8.0/10
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80 user 74 critic

Night and the City (1950)

A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.

Director:

Jules Dassin

Writers:

Jo Eisinger (screenplay), Gerald Kersh (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Widmark ... Harry Fabian
Gene Tierney ... Mary Bristol
Googie Withers ... Helen Nosseross
Hugh Marlowe ... Adam Dunn
Francis L. Sullivan ... Philip Nosseross
Herbert Lom ... Kristo
Stanislaus Zbyszko ... Gregorius
Mike Mazurki ... The Strangler
Charles Farrell ... Mickey Beer
Ada Reeve ... Molly the Flower Lady
Ken Richmond Ken Richmond ... Nikolas of Athens (as Ken. Richmond)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adelaide Hall Adelaide Hall ... Singer (scenes deleted)
Eliot Makeham ... Pinkney (scenes deleted)
Betty Marsden Betty Marsden ... Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Harry Fabian is a London hustler with ambitious plans that never work out. One day, when he encounters the most famous Greco-Roman wrestler in the world, Gregorius, at a London wrestling arena run by his son Kristo, he dreams up a scheme that he thinks will finally be his ticket to financial independence. As Fabian attempts to con everyone around him to get his scheme to work, he of course only ends up conning himself. This is an interesting tale of blind ambition, self-deception, broken dreams, and how a man who always thinks he's ahead of the game ends up tripping himself very badly. Written by Alan Katz <katz@panther.middlebury.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The inside story of London after dark.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 1950 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Siniestra obsesion See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Finnish censorship visa # 32043 delivered on 19-9-1950 (banned). New decision on 9-4-1965 (K-16). See more »

Goofs

During the scene outside the American Bar, a large group of bystanders can be seen watching the action being filmed. See more »

Quotes

Gregorius: That is what I do... to your clowns.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An alternate British version exists that includes scenes deleted in the American version, different title credits, a different opening scene with Widmark and Tierney, and a completely different score composed by Benjamin Frankel. This version runs 101 minutes, 5 minutes longer than the American version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pretty Little Liars: Stolen Kisses (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

She Was Poor but She Was Honest
(uncredited)
Music by R.P. Weston
Played on the accordion at the bar when Harry meets Helen
(US version)
See more »

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User Reviews

Odd Man Out
8 December 2003 | by harry-76See all my reviews

The rise and fall of small-time hustler Harry Fabain is chronicled in this noir thriller by Director Jules Dassin.

This was Dassin's American swansong, completed just before being named by fellow director Ed Dmytryk before HUAK as a "communist," thus ending Dassin's American career.

He brought to "Night and the City" all the technique he acquired over years of quality movie making. Although born in Connecticut and raised and trained in the US, Dassin's work always had the look and feel of his European counterpart, Carol Reed.

The script here is a decent one with surprise turns, avoiding predictability. Franz Waxman's high pitched score adds excitement to the proceedings and Gene Tierney is a creditable second lead.

Yet it's Richard Widmark on whose shoulders the success of this film ultimately rests. It's not an easy role, as Fabian's character runs the gamut of emotional range as he struggles to wheel and deal his petty schemes amongst assorted lowlife types.

Widmark proves he's well up to the challenge, creating a strong portrait of a small time hood striving for positive payoffs through his callous cleverness.

It's a reminder of how talented and resourceful this actor is, and how he and Dassin meshed to create a film of impact.

Dassin, of course, went on to France after this to engage in a fabulous European period, while Widmark struggled to find scripts worthy of his formidable talents, which turned out to be few and far between.


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