Saturday, November 26, 2005

Day 17: "Night and the City"

Director: Jules Dassin 1950
Although set in London, the leads--Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney--are American, and no explanation is offered as to why they're in England. Thankfully, they do not affect British accents. Widmark plays a low-life hustler named Harry Fabian, who's constantly on the run as he tries to make a big score. Four years before Brando, Widmark gets to say that all he wants is "To be somebody." But it's not in the cards for Fabian as he finagles his way to staging a big wrestling match, only to run afoul of a most menacing business man (Herbert Lom). As in "Naked City" and "Rififi," Dassin shows his talent for on-location shooting. Fabian is not a nice guy, but his struggle to be somebody is compelling.
Remade in 1992 with Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange.


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