7.2/10
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47 user 30 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)
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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 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:

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 »
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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: [Seeing a drink next to the barstool he's sitting down at] Is this one free?
Bartender: She's alone if that's what you mean.
James Vanning: Vodka on the rocks with a lemon twist.
Bartender: A little twist or a big twist?
James Vanning: [Sarcastically] You look like the big twist type.
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

A decent Film-Noir
9 May 2003 | by Ilya MauterSee all my reviews

Jacques Tourneur's Nightfall follows the classic Film-Noir pattern: a man hunted by someone for something he did in the past, a beautiful woman, expressionist black and white photography etc..

The action of the film takes place in Chicago where James Vanning (Aldo Ray), meets in a bar a beautiful young fashion model Marie Gardner (Anne Bancroft). There is instant liking between them. Everything seems fine till James is picked up by two strange individuals whom as we understand he knew before and who begin to interrogate him, threatening his life, about a big amount of money that he supposedly possess and that actually belongs to them. James manages to escape and takes refuge at Marie's home. He's obliged to tell her the story about his past that led those to men to hunt him. The story which is shown to us in flash back sequences.

Though Nightfall doesn't stand comparison to Jacques Tourneur Film-Noir masterpiece Out of the Past, it's still quite an interesting film generally well acted with some very good dialogs in it and the most remarkable end sequence that probably served as an inspiration for the ending of brothers' Coen Fargo. 7/10


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