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993 Ratings

Night and the City

Directed by Jules Dassin
United States, 1950
Crime, Film noir, Mystery


Two-bit hustler Harry Fabian aches for a life of ease and plenty. Trailed by a history of go-nowhere schemes, he stumbles upon a chance of a lifetime in the form of legendary wrestler Gregorius the Great. But there is no easy money in this underworld of shifting alliances and pummeled flesh.

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Night and the City Directed by Jules Dassin
Harry claims he’s been on the run all his life, and we believe it – few films from 1950 are as breathlessly paced as Night and the City, and the tightly constructed plot shows how Harry’s desperate activities ruin various folks willingly or unwillingly involved with him.
October 02, 2015
Dassin’s approach to this material is more dramatically pungent than is customary for the genre, and less rooted in German Expressionism. Imposing shadows are kept to a minimum, and Widmark makes Harry a sweaty, grasping loser, rather than the sort of cool customer exemplified by the likes of Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum. He seems to be forever trapped in a metaphorical headlock, straining to free himself.
August 05, 2015
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Lest Night and the City receive too much credit for starting a (failed) revolution, maybe it’s more appropriate to simply state how Dassin’s prescient vision of impending, neoliberal demise is the most imperative and enduring economics lesson an American studio has ever devised.
August 05, 2015
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