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Night and the City (1950)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 25 October 1950 (Mexico)
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:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one of Harry's trips to London at night, a theatre advertises the play, "The Third Visitor". This play would be made into a film the year after this film was released, The Third Visitor (1951). 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

Googin the Forger: If you ain't got socks you can't pull 'em up, can you?
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

References Escape Me Never (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Yours (Quiéreme mucho)
(uncredited)
Music by Gonzalo Roig
(US version)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Widmark Tops Out
20 February 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

My favorite Richard Widmark performance on the screen and probably his best work is Night and the City. This was director Jules Dassin's last film before settling in Europe in the wake of the blacklist and it has a first rate cast tuned to a fine pitch, like an orchestra without a bad note in it.

Harry Fabian is this smalltime American hustler/conman who's settled in London and always working that middle ground netherworld between the law and outright gangsterism. He really isn't a very likable man and the trick is to keep the audience care what's happening to him. This is the test of a great actor and Widmark is fully up to the challenge.

Fabian while working one of his cons overhears a piece of information about the father/son relationship between champion Graeco-Roman wrestler Gregorius the Great and gangster/promoter Cristo who is the London version of Vince McMahon. He cons Gregorius into thinking he wants to promote old style wrestling like Gregorius used to do. That con game sets in motion the events of the film that ultimately end in tragedy.

The cast is uniformly fine, but one performance really stands out, that of Stanislaus Zbyzsko as Gregorius. He was a real professional wrestling champion back in the day when it was real. Zbyzsko invests so much of his own life and reality as Gregorius that he's really something special. His scenes with Herbert Lom as his son are so good they go far beyond the plane of mere acting. It's some of the best work Lom has ever done as well.

How there weren't a few Oscar nominations from this is a mystery for me. For those who like film noir, this should be required viewing. Especially for you Richard Widmark fans.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1950 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Night and the City See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,024
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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