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: Nightmare Alley (1947)  ( 1924 )
cigar joe
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« : November 20, 2011, 06:34:23 AM »

Director Edmund Goulding writers, Jules Furthman (screenplay) based on William Lindsay Gresham's novel. Cast, Tyrone Power as Stanton 'Stan' Carlisle,  Joan Blondell    as Zeena Krumbein, Coleen Gray as Molly, Helen Walker as Lilith Ritter, Ian Keith as Pete,  Taylor Holmes as Ezra Grindle, and Mike Mazurki as strong man Bruno. This film has both great visuals into the world of the Carney and an insider peek into the various cons and the slang terminology.




The story is, basically, carny roustabout Stan (Power) is having a quasi affair with phony fortuneteller Zeena who's husband Pete is a hopeless alcoholic, and became so because Zeena was unfaithful to him, Stan also has the hots for Molly "Electra" who's act is based on electric charges. Before becoming an alky Pete & Zeena had a mentalist act that was very successful based on a set of code words. Zeena explains to Stan that the code was worth a small fortune (in carny terms) and that other performers have offered Zeena & Pete lots of money for it. 

Stan & Zeena


However Pete doesn't want to sell it, in fact he says only "over his dead body." Zeena feels sorry for Pete who she now feels responsible for, she wonders if its not too late to get Pete "the cure". Stan mentions that that takes money and Zeena says that she can sell the code for the dough.  Stans says why don't she just do the cat with him and make the money that way. Zeena and Stan discuss doing the act but during a bout of Tarot card reading the hanged-man card turns Zeena away from the idea of doing the act. 

In the course of events one night Pete gets the shakes bad Stan feeling sorry for him lets him have some of his pint of moonshine Pete tells Stan about his act as a crystal ball reader and how easy it is to hook "chumps". Later in a drunken stupor Pete accidentally drinks some of Zeena's wood alcohol and dies. After Pete's death Zeena with the help of Molly teach Stan the code. Zeena and Stan then begin to do the act, and it's revealed that possibly Stan actually does have some precognitive extrasensory perception abilities.

Stan and Molly consummate their relationship Bruno & Zeena find out and in the convoluted morals of the Carney world this means that they must marry. Stan & Molly marry and Stan decides to leave the carnival and do the act with Molly.

Bruno & Molly


Helen Walker plays Lilith Ritter a prominent psychologist who is not what she appears to be.

Walker


Another great Noir 10/10. Actually a 20th Century Fox "A" picture which Power persuaded the Studio to make (trying to change his image) based on his success with "The Razors Edge" the year before. Bought the Fox Film Noir DVD with a great commentary by Alain Silver and James Ursini.


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« #1 : November 21, 2011, 01:08:08 PM »


Another great Noir
Urm, a great drama, certainly, but a noir? Maybe if they'd kept the novel's original ending. Oh well, no reason to get exercised over semantics.



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« #2 : November 21, 2011, 01:15:38 PM »

Urm, a great drama, certainly, but a noir? Maybe if they'd kept the novel's original ending. Oh well, no reason to get exercised over semantics.

Probably because it was an "A" picture no doubt.


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« #3 : August 24, 2013, 12:17:28 AM »

Yes, 9\10: but can anybody explain  how Power manages to be clean-shaven throughout the movie?


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« #4 : August 24, 2013, 06:04:40 PM »

I'm sure he was able to shave between takes. Oh, you meant the character . . .  >:D



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« #5 : August 24, 2013, 08:27:01 PM »

I shut this one off halfway through (right after Power's shotgun marriage).


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« #6 : August 24, 2013, 11:43:38 PM »

I shut this one off halfway through (right after Power's shotgun marriage).

why?


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« #7 : August 25, 2013, 12:11:04 AM »

why?

couldn't stand it. wasn't enjoying myself at all.


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« #8 : August 25, 2013, 08:10:03 AM »

couldn't stand it. wasn't enjoying myself at all.

You missed the best part  :(


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« #9 : August 25, 2013, 01:40:52 PM »

You missed the best part  :(

well I know that's always a risk when I shut off a movie early if I'm not enjoying it.

On the other hand, I also know that it's very rare that I'll hate a movie's first half but enjoy its second half. So, I accept the risk  ^-^


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« #10 : June 23, 2018, 05:18:06 PM »

This turned out to be pretty good.  The first part was kinda boring but after Stan and Molly left the carnival it turned into a totally different film.  I concur with CigarJoe that this is a fabulous film.  The second half was pure noir in my opinion.   It had enough twist and turns to keep you on edge.  I rate this a solid 8 out of 10...

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« #11 : June 23, 2018, 06:25:11 PM »

This turned out to be pretty good.  The first part was kinda boring but after Stan and Molly left the carnival it turned into a totally different film.  I concur with CigarJoe that this is a fabulous film.  The second half was pure noir in my opinion.   It had enough twist and turns to keep you on edge.  I rate this a solid 8 out of 10...

Believe it or not the book is even better, there was a lot that the MPPC would not allow in the film.


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« #12 : June 23, 2018, 06:57:39 PM »

Believe it or not the book is even better, there was a lot that the MPPC would not allow in the film.

I believe you about the book.  Also, when I think back on it the first part of the film was necessary to set up the second half.  With out the first half the second half wouldn't have the same effect and most elements of it wouldn't have been able to happen.  Its a great film and I'm surprised its not more highly regarded...

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« #13 : June 24, 2018, 02:47:59 AM »

I like the creepy parts of this. Good film for people who like a bit of psychism in their thrillers. An even better (perhaps?) TV series on this subject is 'The Mentalist.' I've just rated 'Nightmare Alley' 8/10 on IMDb.

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