8.0/10
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89 user 78 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 ... 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:

Night and the City See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to studio Twentieth Century Fox publicity at the time of the film's release, a total of 54 different London locations were used during the shooting. See more »

Goofs

As Harry is being chased through the streets of London at night, he runs down a set of stairs, then turns and runs down a lit street. In the foreground the cameraman and director's shadows are clearly outlined against the street. See more »

Quotes

Mary Bristol: Harry, do you know what you're doing? You're killing me. You're killing me and yourself.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The following scene is lacking in some prints: After Helen discovers that Phil is dead, she learns that he has willed everything to Molly, an old flower seller. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 9-1-1: Merry Ex-Mas (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Fence Me In
(uncredited)
Music by Cole Porter
Played at the beginning of the American Bar scene
(US version)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My favourite film.
3 March 2006 | by harryfablesonSee all my reviews

Imagine Charles Dickens had to make a bit of extra money by writing B-movies in Hollywood and you might get close to imagining this haunting, wonderful film. It fuses the best traditions of film noir with a very British atmosphere: a cast of character actors playing vividly drawn and desperate people.

There's a mournful tone to the whole film, like a boat's siren drifting across a foggy Thames. All the characters seem to be reaching for their hearts desire, wanting to believe in a dream of a better tomorrow, in something that's real and true for them. But they rip into each other trying to get there. That gives the film a poignant, tragic trajectory.

A compelling central performance by Richard Widmark as Harry Fabian, a man with flair and drive and an infectious hope, but a man who lacks something like the moral fibre to be honest. A man always looking for a shortcut. A nearly-great man, an almost classically tragic figure. Googie Withers is a revelation as Helen, a woman who seems cynical but has hopes and dreams just like Fabian (just like all our characters).

So much I haven't even mentioned, the sweaty muscular wrestling scenes are are action scenes of the best kind, in that they drive and skew the plot as well as holding our attention. So many good performances. And a film that speaks to our hopes and our flaws and the tragic spaces between the two.

Any Londoner or person who loves the atmosphere of that city should check it out too, some lovely old footage of Trafalgar Square and Picadilly.


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