Nightmare Alley (1947)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Film-Noir

Nightmare Alley (1947) Poster

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist whose lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.


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25 July 2007 | jzappa
| A Must For Noir Fans
In Nightmare Alley, Tyrone Power is like the George Clooney of the 1940s, yet in a role with a pathetic side that Clooney has never dared to play. His cool, his eyes, his placid stance and walk, and his immovable self-confidence. Power is however more intense in this role than Clooney has ever been in any of his roles. Colleen Grey, the female lead, is one of the sexiest knockouts I've ever seen. I am sold when she first appears in her circus uniform, the glittery skivvies revealing that she is not skinny, but given to thick curves, especially in her smolderingly pliable and smooth hips. She plays a good-girl role, the role she always hated to play, wishing she had roles like Helen Walker's, who plays a wicked psychologist, and quite well.

The story is an interesting weaving of a con game, a horrific tale of descent, and a rags-to-riches story of luck. It's intriguing. Nightmare Alley is true film noir, whether it has gangs and guns or not, because we follow a main character who is suave and personable to without a conscience and almost a little ashamed of it. There are clever crimes, wicked antagonists, and dark, cutting cinematography. It's a must for noir fans.

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