Like Renoir said, sometime it's cruel to spend two hours loving some character to see him kill in the end. But we all know some melodramas can't save is characters from is faith. More than being a film about punishing, is a film about faith and is beauty relying on that. How could lovers live their love, if they can't live in this world peacefully? Dying is cruel, but for they is the beginning of new redempted love.
Given its secondary-canon status, it's easy to forget how strange this film is; the premise of a dying man looking for somewhere to rest his weary bones allows for an ephemeral and heightened quality. It's the draw but also the hindrance, as the necessarily episodic quality prevented me from investing much (similar to The 49th Parallel). My sleepy nature helped me relate, but also necessitates a revisit sometime.
Ante todo, es la historia de un fugitivo. James Mason va de refugio en refugio, cada uno provisional. En su estadía contemplamos a un personaje atormentado, la redención parece pisarle los talones, cuestión que no necesariamente viene de su propia condición, sino de los encuentros furtivos con esos otros personajes que lo acogen. "Larga es la noche" es una historia de amistad, de amor y de gente benevolente.
The dichotomy of fame, faith and the human condition. An elegent plot, baroque style, and caricaturesque characters with depth. Fast moving, exciting action, with a protagonist who can do nothing but depend on his fellow man. Light hearted, with serious consequences. Deftly comic, emensly profound, brave and beautiful. Noir, -no- expressionism, -no- FILM AT ITS FINEST.
A moralistic crime drama that would have been superb had it skipped the first 30 minutes. The actual heist and the robbers are the least interesting part of this film. Instead, much like Lang's M, it is the stylized city and the people and groups that inhabit it that bring life to this tale. Some of Reed's surreal touches feel out of place and fail to make the main character any more memorable. Solid nonetheless.
So I'm probably overstating the obvious by bringing this up, but... why is it that this film has yet to be given the Criterion Treatment? Whereas Reed's other two classics of the late Forties, The Third Man and The Fallen Idol, have? An extraordinary film, in all ways, direction, cinematography, screenplay, performances... If any film is deserving, it's this one.