Clash by Night (1952)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

Clash by Night (1952) Poster

Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.




  • "Clash By Night" M. Monroe & Keith Andes 1952 RKO
  • Barbara Stanwyck and Paul Douglas in Clash by Night (1952)
  • Clash by Night (1952)
  • Barbara Stanwyck and Paul Douglas in Clash by Night (1952)
  • Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Ryan in Clash by Night (1952)
  • Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Ryan in Clash by Night (1952)

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3 October 2004 | mik-19
| Animal eroticism
Far from vintage Fritz Lang, but still enjoyable in its high-strung melodramatic antics, accentuated in a needlessly symbolic way by the raging of the sea and the clouding over of the sky.

Tough girl Barbara Stanwyck returns to her hometown after ten years of being the mistress of a married man. "Home is where you come, when you run out of places", she says, characteristically". She meets and marries simple, goodhearted fisherman Paul Douglas, but is bored by ordinary married life: "Every day you get a little older, lonelier, stupider", and soon succumbs to her attraction to cynical, boozy movie projectionist Robert Ryan.

The power of 'Clash by Night' lies not in its trite plot or in its overblown imagery, but in the no-nonsense acting of Stanwyck and Ryan, tough as nails but raw at the core. They have an animal eroticism together between them that sparkles like fireworks, but they are also, alas, quite self-pitying.

Many of the bit parts are surprisingly unsavory, but then we also get the young Marilyn Monroe as the naive young girl who hopes to marry Stanwyck's hunky brother, played by Keith Andes, more often than not strutting his naked torso.

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