7.9/10
11,879
94 user 82 critic

Night and the City (1950)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 25 October 1950 (Mexico)
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)
Reviews

Photos

Edit

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 ... 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)
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In one of Harry's trips to London at night, a theatre advertises the play, "The Third Visitor". This play would be made into a film the year after this film was released, The Third Visitor (1951). 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

Googin the Forger: If you ain't got socks you can't pull 'em up, can you?
See more »

Alternate Versions

There are two versions of this film: the British release and the International/American release. Some examples are: a differing voice-over speech; some changed dialogue; the opening scene where Harry returns home after 3 days away is a different take and the nightclub scenes are longer in the British version. The scores of the two films are also entirely different and alternate shots are used at the ending in the British version. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Killing (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

There's Yes! Yes! In Your Eyes
(uncredited)
Music by Joseph H. Santly
(US version)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Deserving of MUCH more acknowledgment, one of the best Noir films.
2 March 2005 | by Ham_and_EggerSee all my reviews

For some reason Night and the City doesn't seem to the credit it deserves; possibly because it was director Jules Dassin's last American film before being blacklisted as a Communist. I wasn't born until the Cold War was winding down, but it seems that with movies like Night and the City to his credit, we could have turned a blind eye even if he really was a Commie.

Honestly this film deserves to rank up there with the likes of The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, or Out of the Past. The scenes of our "hero" Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark, at his best) being chased through London's East End are as starkly beautiful as anything you'll ever see on film. For several minutes there isn't a single shade of gray, everything is literally black or white and the camera itself seems to have joined in hunting Harry. Then there's the long, semi-grotesque wrestling scene that took me totally by surprise, it's like something out of Fellini.

Widmark is utterly believable as Fabian, a charming two-bit grifter who works as a "club tout" but hatches one ill-fated get-rich-quick scheme after another. The rest of the cast is excellent as well, there isn't a cardboard character in the bunch, except maybe Harry's girl Marry (Gene Tierney) though its really more a flaw in the character than the actress. Mary's saintliness may be the writers' only slip-up though, every other character has the sort of depth that makes the film a joy to watch. They inexorably follow their own motivations, which, of course, rely on those of someone else, who inevitably has a goal of his or her own, which will eventually derail the plan of someone whom someone else is counting on (actually, the film is a little less twisted than this review ;-) Criterion has just (2/05) recently released Night and the City and never has the phrase "filmed in glorious black and white" been more appropriate. Before this film seemed to lurk in the shadows of AMC or TCM, only occasionally showing its face, as if it were one of the genre's minor works. Now, if you haven't seen it you have no excuse, and you're only hurting yourself.


63 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 94 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1950 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Night and the City See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,024
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 »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed