8.0/10
10,802
89 user 76 critic

Night and the City (1950)

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 Dassein (as 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 1950 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Siniestra obsesion See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,024
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are 2 versions of the film: the British release and the International/American release. There are a few scenes added to the British version and the scores of the 2 films are entirely different See more »

Goofs

Harry's hair changes between shots when he is caught by Mary going through her handbag. See more »

Quotes

Adam Dunne: Harry is an artist without an art.
Mary Bristol: What does that mean?
Adam Dunne: Well, that is something that could make a man very unhappy, Mary, groping for the right level, the means with which to express himself.
Mary Bristol: Yes, he is that. Is not he? I like that, Adam. It is a very nice thought.
Adam Dunne: Yes, but it can be dangerous.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An alternate British version exists that includes scenes deleted in the American version, different title credits, a different opening scene with Widmark and Tierney, and a completely different score composed by Benjamin Frankel. This version runs 101 minutes, 5 minutes longer than the American version. See more »

Connections

References Escape Me Never (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

It Happens Every Spring
(uncredited)
Music by Josef Myrow
(US version)
See more »

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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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