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3.9
303 Ratings

Nightmare Alley

Directed by Edmund Goulding
United States, 1947
Crime, Thriller, Film noir

Synopsis

Tyrone Power gives a mesmerizing performance as an ambitious carnival barker with a fifth-rate circus in this terrifying and moving film noir classic.

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Nightmare Alley Directed by Edmund Goulding
Veteran English-born director Edmund Goulding (Grand Hotel, The Dawn Patrol, Of Human Bondage), who’d just worked to good effect with Power in Twentieth-Century Fox’s picture made from Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, here guided the leading man through arguably his best career performance, a mesmerizing portrait of seedy charm, facile sincerity, evil ambition, and pathetic disgrace. Several other players are excellent too, including Ian Keith as the down-on-his dignity Pete.
May 17, 2017
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Goulding does very, very well by the material, achieving a sense of pulp despair from the opening scene and never letting up. (He’s greatly assisted by cinematographer Lee Garmes, whose credits include Sternberg’s MOROCCO and SHANGHAI EXPRESS, DUEL IN THE SUN, and Ophuls’ CAUGHT.) And Power nails the ruthlessness and charisma that are essential to Stan Carlisle’s character; his performance is often show-stopping.
January 06, 2017
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Nightmare Alley is, in the simple, a grim look at the rise and fall of a carnival swindler, though it is bursting at the seams, constantly attempting to escape its own story’s simplicity. Like Knight of Cups the novel is not without its flaws, but is invaluable as a relic of a tortured mind’s attempts at expressing something great.
December 28, 2016
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