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Night and the City

Night and the City

Director:Jules Dassin
Cast:Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers
Release Date:1950
Genre:Noir, Crime

By Bret McCabe | Posted 10/5/2005

Richard Widmark delivers yet another one of his sympathetic-if-shifty hustlers in Jules Dassinís London-set 1950 noir. Harry (Widmark, all calculating eyes and distrustful forehead) is already fleeing from somebody when Night opens, and he pretty much spends the entire flick in flight. When Harry runs into a wrestler, Gregorious (Stanislaus Zbyszko), he divines a promotion angle to land a bigger payoff than his usual petty score. True to Harryís luck, while the event goes off as planned, it plays out angering Londonís entire wrestling netherworld, which puts a price on Harryís head. Itís way too easy to project Dassinís own struggles onto this story of an outsider caged in from all sidesóDassin was in the process of being blacklisted as a communist at the timeóbut donít just see Night and the City as yet another by-product of the House on Un-American Activities Committee. Instead, come for Mutz Greenbaumís supple cinematography that is as alive as a graphic novel, the colorful London crime figures that wouldnít be equaled until the late 1960s, and, in Gene Tierney, a bombshell on par with Rita Hayworth and Lana Turner.

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