Night And The City (1950)

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A small time hustler looking for his big score hatches a scheme to promote a wrestling match against the wishes of a big-time kingpin, little knowing that his jealous partner is setting him up to fail.

Although Night And The City is set in London, its American stars and Film Noir sensibilities makes for an interesting transatlantic mix of crime thriller and kitchen sink drama. Directed with real flare by Jules Dassin using some beautifully shot post-war London locations, it’s wonderful to look at and the compelling tale of a man whose life is spiralling out of control thanks to a fatal character flaw is almost Shakespearian in its theme. The main flaw for me was my lack of any real interest in Greco-Roman wrestling but the fight that catalyses Richard Widmark’s downfall is still strangely gripping.

There is also a great supporting cast including stunning Film Noir staple Gene Tierney and the suave but cold as ice Herbert Lom, and it’s worth seeing if only to witness two stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood discussing the merits of Birmingham!

7/10

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