Nightfall (1956)

  |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir


Nightfall (1956) Poster

Through a series of bizarre coincidences, an artist finds himself falsely accused of bank robbery and murder and is pursued by the authorities and the real killers.

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7.2/10
2,586

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  • Anne Bancroft and Aldo Ray in Nightfall (1956)
  • Anne Bancroft and Aldo Ray in Nightfall (1956)
  • Nightfall (1956)
  • Brian Keith and Aldo Ray in Nightfall (1956)
  • Anne Bancroft and Aldo Ray in Nightfall (1956)
  • Anne Bancroft and Aldo Ray in Nightfall (1956)

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8 March 2008 | moonspinner55
7
| Despite some story gaps, a first-rate suspenser...
David Goodis' pulpy novel becomes exciting, well-cast and acted crime-drama, peculiarly titled since most of the action takes place in the snow-covered mountains of Wyoming (perhaps "Snowfall" would've been more apropos). Two innocent campers run violently afoul of two trigger-happy bank-robbers, with 350 G's getting lost in the frost. Hollywood never quite knew what to do with Aldo Ray: polite and beaming (like an overgrown Boy Scout), Ray's ingratiating manner and wobbly, scratchy voice made him difficult to type-cast in the 1950s. He's just right here, playing tough guy up against cold-hearted Brian Keith and buddy/big brother/love-interest to model Anne Bancroft, who gets caught in this crime web and yet doesn't seem to mind. Despite a sluggish start and a few details that don't come together (such as why the crooks' car runs off the road in Wyoming, or why the two bank-robbers don't follow Aldo Ray when he runs through the river with the satchel of loot), director Jacques Tourneur handles the criss-crossing plot with buttery ease. Add in some amusing parallels to the later "Fargo" and you've got the makings of a cult classic, one that Columbia Pictures rarely revives. *** from ****

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