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Nightfall (1956)

Through a series of bizarre coincidences, an artist finds himself falsely accused of bank robbery and murder and is pursued by the authorities and the real killers.

Director:

Jacques Tourneur

Writers:

Stirling Silliphant (screen play), David Goodis (from the novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Aldo Ray ... James Vanning
Brian Keith ... John
Anne Bancroft ... Marie Gardner
Jocelyn Brando ... Laura Fraser
James Gregory ... Ben Fraser
Frank Albertson ... Dr. Edward Gurston
Rudy Bond ... Red
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Storyline

There is money missing from a bank job, an attractive model, an insurance investigator, and two extremely dangerous thugs. James Vanning (Aldo Ray) portrays an innocent man on the run, being pursued by the criminals who stupidly misplaced their take from the crime and think he has it or knows where it is hidden. Add model Marie Gardner (Anne Bancroft) who crossed paths with nice guy Vanning, while he is on the run. This all adds up to a thriller wherein the viewer is drawn into the story and becomes part of the drama. When Marie says "things that really happen are difficult to explain" it captures the theme of this film. A nice girl helps a nice guy, who is innocent and is drawn into the drama. As tension mounts she says: "I am always meeting the wrong man, and it leads to doomed relationships." Marie inadvertently leads Vanning into the hands of the villains. However, she is a pseudo-femme fatale, innocently involved in the intrigue and, like the viewer, is gradually drawn into the ... Written by Noir-Fan-en-Suisse

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On a night made for lovers... and killers. See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Italian

Release Date:

9 November 1956 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Poursuites dans la nuit See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Copa Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Listed by author James Ellroy as one of his favorite Los Angles set noir films along with Tge Prowler, Crimewave, and Murder by Contract. See more »

Goofs

At the camp, when James Vanning (Aldo Ray) sees the speeding car, he says, "It's going to go over!" Even though the car is basically going down a straight road in a fairly straight line (no evidence of driving crazy enough to go off the road). Immediately afterward, the car brakes and swerves hard to the right and drives off the road. Something no one could have seen or anticipated until it happened. See more »

Quotes

James Vanning: Anyway, I'm scared. You don't know what it is to live with your back against the wall, Marie. Inside you change. You really change.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Murder of a Cat (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Red River Valley
(uncredited)
Traditional
Music heard on bus rider's radio
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Coincidences, Bad Luck and a Wallet
12 October 2016 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

The artist James "Jim" Vanning (Aldo Ray) meets the model Marie Gardner (Anne Bancroft) in a bar and they have dinner together. When they leave the restaurant, Marie gives her address but the gangsters John (Brian Keith) and Red (Rudy Bond) abduct Jim and Marie goes home. They want information about a wallet with US$ 350,000 and Jim tells that he does not know where it is. They torture Jim, but he escapes and drives to Marie's apartment. He tells that she is in danger and he explains that he was camping in the snow in Moose with his friend Dr. Edward Gurston (Frank Albertson) when they see a car driving off the road. They go to the spot to help the victims but they are subdued by John and Red that kills the doctor and shots him. The criminals believe they are both dead and Red mistakenly takes the doctor's wallet leaving the money behind. When Jim awakes, he flees with the wallet with money but looses it in the snow. Now the criminals are hunting him down while he is also wanted by the police. Meanwhile the insurance investigator Ben Fraser (James Gregory) is also on the track of Jim and curious with his behavior without spending the stolen money and having a simple life. Will Jim prove his innocence?

"Nightfall" is a film-noir with a story of coincidences and bad luck. It is an entertaining film with a good villain despite the flaws. The screenplay is intriguing and the viewer only knows the truth after the initial scenes. How could Ben, Jim and Maries go after the killers without a weapon? My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "A Maleta Fatídica" ("The Fateful Wallet")


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