7.2/10
2,296
47 user 31 critic

Nightfall (1956)

Through a series of bizarre coincidences 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)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Lineup (1958)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In San Francisco, a psychopathic gangster and his mentor retrieve heroin packages carried by unsuspecting travelers.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Eli Wallach, Robert Keith, Richard Jaeckel
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Claude is a ruthless and efficient contract killer - until he finds his next target is a woman.

Director: Irving Lerner
Stars: Vince Edwards, Phillip Pine, Herschel Bernardi
Pushover (1954)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Undercover cop falls for the beautiful moll of a bank robber on the run and together they double-cross the hood and the cops.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Kim Novak, Philip Carey
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A multinational group of train passengers become involved in a post-World War II Nazi assassination plot.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Merle Oberon, Robert Ryan, Charles Korvin
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A retired mob accountant is drawn back in when his brothers, who have recently made a hit for the organization, decide to go to the authorities.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Richard Conte, Dianne Foster, Kathryn Grant
City of Fear (1959)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A vicious killer escapes from San Quentin with a cannister of what he believes to be heroin but is actually a radioactive substance that threatens all Los Angeles.

Director: Irving Lerner
Stars: Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer
Side Street (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A struggling young father-to-be gives in to temptation and impulsively steals money from the office of a shady lawyer - with catastrophic consequences.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After discovering the dead body of her teenage daughter's lover, a housewife takes desperate measures to protect her family from scandal.

Director: Max Ophüls
Stars: James Mason, Joan Bennett, Geraldine Brooks
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An upright car mechanic falls in love with the girlfriend of a gangster. This forces him to participate in the criminal underworld.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Dianne Foster, Kevin McCarthy
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Mexican and American federal agents tackle a vicious gang exploiting illegal farm workers in southern California.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Howard Da Silva
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

George Taylor returns from WWII with amnesia. Back home in Los Angeles, while trying to track down his old identity, he stumbles onto a 3-year old murder case and a hunt for a missing $2 million.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: John Hodiak, Nancy Guild, Lloyd Nolan
Cry Danger (1951)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Ex-con Rocky Mulloy seeks the real culprit in the crime he was framed for, in a night world of deceptive dames and double crosses.

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Dick Powell, Rhonda Fleming, Richard Erdman
Edit

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
Edit

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:

YOU COULD GO TO THE MOVIES EVERY DAY FOR FIVE YEARS---BEFORE YOU'D SEE ANOTHER PICTURE WITH SO MANY THRILLS AND SO MUCH SUSPENSE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Italian

Release Date:

9 November 1956 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Maleta Fatídica 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 »
Edit

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

Marie Gardner: Things that really happen are always difficult to explain.
See more »

Connections

References The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
Played on piano at the restaurant
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Chance and coincidence in one terrific film noir
15 January 2003 | by KalamanSee all my reviews

Although it is far from a masterpiece, "Nightfall", a low-budget film noir (stunningly photographed by Burnett Guffey), is one of Jacques Tourneur's finest films. What amazed me about "Nightfall" was the way it resembles Tourneur's previous films in its depiction of chance and coincidence. The similarity to "Out of the Past" (the duality between past and present, city and country, the use of flashbacks) is somewhat obvious. But consider the opening chance encounter between Vanning (Aldo Ray) and Marie (Anne Bancroft). It recalls the similar (though different) chance meetings between Irena and Oliver at the zoo in Tourneur's "Cat People"(1942), and Dr. Bailey and Cissie on the train at the beginning of "Experiment Perilous"(1944). If you watch it closely at the opening scenes, Marie's seat beside Vanning at the bar is empty BEFORE she appears. So, we expect the seat to be filled. I didn't notice it when I first saw the film, but critic Chris Fujiwara's observations in his splendid book, JACQUES TOURNEUR:THE CINEMA OF NIGHTFALL, were immensely helpful. Fujiwara adroitly notes, "Throughout Nightfall, chance and unconscious processes determine key events. Tourneur's standard procedure of showing the effect before the cause underlies the inexplicability of these events, their fantastic nature".


38 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 47 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed