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Night and the City

Night and the City

1950
Suspense/Thriller
Crime
1h 36m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 74.44% from 655 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(655)
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Rated 13 Feb 2007
5
91st
One of the best film noirs ever made, and has perhaps the best noir cinematography of any; chiaroscuro has never been as heavily emphasized as this, with extreme contrasts and shadows lurking in every corner. Widmark's panicked, worrisome Harry Fabian is one of the great noir characters, perhaps the best example of the down-on-his-luck-loser archetype. The impending doom is relentless.
Rated 16 Apr 2007
5
93rd
Location, location, location. The beginning of Dassin's European exile is a shadowy and fatalistic London noir, an underworld of sleazy big shots and pathetic bottom feeders. It's a spry and frantic film. Widmark is manic, a two-bit born loser always running from one desperate last chance to the next. It is an adrenalized and powerhouse performance, only one of several strong characterizations. Tierney is sad, Sullivan is grotesque, Withers is vile, and they're all just pitiful.
Rated 31 May 2012
90
95th
A thoroughly tense and exhilarating noir, that transformed London into a cruel fatalistic theatre of thwarted ambitions. The lighting and photography was marvellous, but I'd like to offer comment on the fight scene that stands out as one of the most compelling I've ever seen.
Rated 27 Jan 2009
5
96th
Entertaining collaboration between Richard Widmark (fast becoming my favorite actor) and Jules Dassin (a creative, intelligent director). I love Dassin's visual style. Many noir directors use shadow indiscriminately, but Dassin seems to understand the proper use of chiaroscuro. His shots are always so well-composed and balanced. The story may have lost some steam after the wrestling match, but this is still a whopper of a flick. Recommended viewing.
Rated 31 Oct 2008
100
99th
A masterpiece of film noir, made with utmost care. It excels in every department, from Dassin's meticulous directing and the gripping performances - Widmark is on FIRE - right down to makeup. The script, apart from biting irony typical to the genre, has insight, warmth and roundness. Even the littlest of characters is well written and well played.
Rated 10 Mar 2016
100
97th
Harry Fabian is a great character, whose last name speaks to his campaign of misdirection, deception, & inevitable retreat. Striving for "ease & plenty," Fabian possesses a manic energy that propels him through every confrontation & problem; his solution is inevitably some form of betrayal or deceit. His appetite for status ill fits with his capriciousness; there couldn't be a greater contrast with the smooth operators who yield real power, who regard their ill-gotten gains as a prerogative.
Rated 29 Jan 2007
90
94th
Gripping story of a perpetual loser always trying to score big who gets in way over his head. The photography was super and I was never bored. I'm not a big Richard Widmark fan, but Francis Sullivan is always a pleasure.
Rated 02 May 2021
80
67th
Looks and sounds like a competently made film noir, which I dig because that style is always appealing to me. It also has a compelling performance by Widmark. The plot starts off really strong but as it went on it lost me a little, ending with a final act that is not as satisfying as I would have liked. And hey, I like watching sweaty mostly naked men wrestle as much as the next guy but that scene was too long.
Rated 30 May 2011
88
91st
A heart-pounding ride from start to finish. Widmark is perfect as the cocky, scheming Harry Fabian. It's not just a great film noir, it's an excellent movie period.
Rated 27 Aug 2008
66
97th
Widmark and Co. with the direction of Dassin make this the best film noir ever. Criminally underrated.
Rated 10 Apr 2010
8
82nd
I love Richard Widmark's manic, sweaty performance. This guy was literally dripping sweat throughout most of the movie and the manic nature of his character just adds to the desperation of everything that happens. Great ending, very noirish and the whole thing is just incredibly sleazy.
Rated 08 Nov 2011
80
87th
A great sense of atmosphere and a fantastic performance by Richard Widmark, who owns this film,makes this one of the finest noir's I've seen.
Rated 22 Jan 2011
7
88th
A grim and unforgettable film. The chiaroscuro photography deserves special mention, of course, but it's really the labyrinthian story that makes this one of the best film noirs I've ever seen. So many characters populate the shadowy London streets, each one of them compelling. Richard Widmark gives a frantic and mesmerizing performance as the doomed protagonist. And the script is both poetic and moving, reveling in its characters' amorality w/o letting anyone find either freedom or redemption.
Rated 23 Feb 2007
75
50th
Solid noir. The plot is good and fairly unpredictable. Richard Widmark is excellent as Harry Fabian; his performance is easily the movie's single greatest achievement. But there are some flaws. For one thing, there are too many damn characters. It's not that it was confusing -- more like unnecessary. In addition to that, there's some hammy 50's style acting, and some generic and overdone 50's soundtrack stylings. But I still enjoyed it.
Rated 25 Jul 2008
98
93rd
R.I.P. Richard Widmark
Rated 12 Jul 2022
90
94th
Harry Fabian is slimy, sleazy, naive and more than a little foolish - but he's one hell of a swindler, and it's this very skill that will take him high, before sending him tumbling all the way down. One part wrestling flick, two parts seedy noir, Night and the City is a unique gem with great, moody cinematography, a consistent air of impending tragedy and more than a few slimy characters; their arcs both satisfying and fittingly grim, this is about as bleak and brutal as noir gets.
Rated 14 Jul 2012
70
67th
Some of the shots and camera movements were really fantastic, backed up by some nice lighting. The film felt fairly dark and I really liked the view of London's seedy underbelly it presented. It had some fun and varied characters too.
Rated 19 Nov 2018
55
24th
The lead is just the right amount of batshit crazy, but unfortunately the rest of the setting doesn't give him much material to riff off of.
Rated 12 May 2009
85
90th
null
Rated 20 Aug 2010
91
72nd
Brilliantly written, acted, and directed, Night and the City offers nary a bright or positive moment. And that's how I like my noir.
Rated 12 Jun 2019
87
90th
An intense noir that never stops once it gets going and builds to a heart-pounding conclusion where no one truly wins. The control of shadows, especially shadows falling upon the actor's faces, is probably the best I've ever seen. And of course I must give praise to Widmark, for a performance that grabs you right from the get-go.
Rated 24 May 2011
95
98th
Fantastic.
Rated 04 Jul 2012
90
80th
Fantastic noir. Shot and edited so tightly, it moves along in an exhilarating fashion. Richard Widmark is fantastic, playing a manic conniving asshole and still making him someone you could sympathize with. Totally a role that plays to his strength. The smaller parts are good, but Gene Tierney is given nothing to do and practically becomes a non-presence.
Rated 02 Apr 2022
86
94th
Uncut Gems if people didn’t interrupt each other so often
Rated 18 Jan 2013
90
90th
Relentlessly grim, beautifully shot, at times frantic (and downright thrilling) but not without moments of melancholy, with a terrific cast of characters not least of which is the main character Harry Fabian who will cheat over anyone and everyone to make it big or just to save his own behind. Watching his exploits never ceases to be gripping as he desperately struggles to stay one step ahead of failure.
Rated 07 Apr 2010
87
71st
The female leads are named Gene and Googie
Rated 13 May 2010
96
97th
Foe tha Love of $
Rated 05 Jul 2011
71
74th
It's not breathtaking, and some scenes are unnecessary or a bit boring. But the highlights are pretty stunning.
Rated 31 May 2014
99
92nd
Claw machines used to be so cool!!! WHAT HAPPENED!?
Rated 24 Apr 2022
60
62nd
Above average noir about a man all too desperate to make something of himself in a world of sharks. A film whose plot turns on the difference between the Hulk Hogan type of wrestling and the type whose rules were formulated by trying to figure out what was depicted on fragments of ancient pottery.
Rated 25 Aug 2009
88
63rd
Withers and Sullivan were terrific in their supporting roles and this film is definitely "noir" through and through. However, I felt a critical moment in the plot failed to create the recipe for Fabian's demise.
Rated 14 Mar 2014
72
53rd
Richard Widmark is good here as the ever-scheming hustler, but as often it seems with very highly regarded noirs, I wasn't blown away/or super impressed. The story is ok, but personally I've seen grimmer noirs. The frenzied ending is good, but not the darkest I've seen.
Rated 18 May 2009
80
68th
It may be set in London, but it's very much the sort of film that gets held up today as a prime example of "film noir"; black and white, lots of shadows, lots of dirty dealings, and most of the characters are fuckheads. The protag in particular is a massive sleazeball, and the whole story is basically about how he'll cajole, manipulate, and outright fuck anyone in his ongoing attempt to be a big shot. The fight sequence (you'll know which one) is guaranteed to bring the house down
Rated 17 Aug 2020
86
91st
Fantastic.It has a steady, slow-burning intensity with climactic scenes that are operatic in their conception and scope. Richard Widmark as the clever hustler--"an artist without an art"--is a wonder: he moves like a modern dancer, and one can't help pulling for the poor, naïve schlub. The rest of the cast is uniformly great, especially Francis L. Sullivan as the club owner, and Googie Withers as his wife--I'll never understand why she wasn't a bigger star.
Rated 19 Nov 2020
80
36th
I didn't care what happened to any of the characters. I respect the gutsy ending though.
Rated 26 Apr 2020
100
92nd
Richard Widmark is the perfect antihero. Charming, high energy, and the biggest weasel in noir. So much of Night and the City is reliant on Fabian's manic hustler energy who is desperate for the big score he's always been after. It's a thriller to see him scheme and play friends, colleagues, and fellow hoods to get what he wants. And it's heartbreaking to see the straight people fall for his schtick. Noir shows better than any other genre just how destructive a leech can be.
Rated 09 Aug 2017
70
45th
scored for the cinematography
Rated 21 Mar 2021
80
78th
Great noir with a large stable of secondary characters (most are memorable, even with their short appearances). You're left debating whether you want the sleazy main character to hit the jackpot ("top o' the world, ma") before the inevitable fall, or always be left looking at it from afar.
Rated 24 Oct 2015
80
81st
watched: 2015, 2020
Rated 21 Feb 2010
40
45th
I wish my legs were full of gravy-snakes
Rated 13 Apr 2010
83
91st
Absolutely great film noir with a captivating performance from Widmark and some beautiful use of chiaroscuro lighting! The last act stumbles a bit with some pacing problems but that is my only gripe with this film.
Rated 17 Oct 2010
40
97th
"The archetypal film noir." - Nick Schager
Rated 15 Aug 2013
75
89th
Excellent
Rated 08 Aug 2021
75
38th
Most shots are clearly carefully done and the casting is mostly good. The pacing was partly draggy and thus didn't provide the feel that otherwise lesser noirs can sometimes offer.
Rated 28 Aug 2013
70
70th
A small time hustler always after a big score. He takes every opportunity and squeezes every angle. His employer and partner, fearful of losing his wife, sets him up to protect his relationship with his wife. His gamble goes wrong and suddenly he's on the run for his life from a mobster wanting revenge. In almost every scene Richard Widmark is desperate in some way. Gene Tierny is fabulous as his wife. The music is dated and frequently annoying. But, interesting to the end.
Rated 02 May 2023
100
96th
This film creates an intricate, densely populated London underground and lets Widmark lose in it. It's one of his best performances as a constantly moving, hustling force of nature. This is Dassin's first film made outside of the US (20th Century Fox put it together as a way of using funds they had in the UK and couldn't take out due to postwar restrictions), made just as he was in the process of being blacklisted. It's a stunningly dark and cynical film for 1950.
Rated 02 Aug 2015
75
71st
Widmark is fantastic and the supporting cast are strong (though Tierney barely gets a chance to shine), and the story moves at a good pace, chronicling the downfall of a lowly hustler who overplays his own hand in trying to outsmart his enemies. There are a few nice twists and turns to this noir, but the ending feels a little abrupt and unbelievable despite its effective lack of sentimentality.
Rated 15 Feb 2010
90
91st
Harry's "got everything", as a character puts it, "but is a dead man", a doomed antihero always looking for cash and a way to the top, always on the run. The dialogue is to-the-point but poetic ("Harry's an artist without an art"), the cinematograpy assured and often claustrophobic, and the play with light and shadow beautiful and expressive and, actually, very, very moving...
Rated 11 May 2023
93
96th
An absolutely brilliant noir that I can tell is going to stick with me. It has everything I look for in a noir, from beautiful black and white photography to memorable supporting characters (Francis Sullivan and Stanislaus Zbyszko are especially memorable) to a tight plot and fantastic central performance from Widmark. You can feel the anxiety as his clever but desperate plan goes awry. Marlowe's character is pointless, but other than that it's pretty much flawless.
Rated 14 Jun 2022
90
99th
Dirty and gritty wrestling themed underworld noir with the great Stanislaus Zbyszko in one of the key roles! Ah man, did that makes the fight scenes look more grueling as it wasn't like your usual camera trick shadow fighting. Their skin wrinkled during holds for a more realistic grudge fight. Richard Widmark, who the whole film centers around, does a tremendous job as the sleazy wannabe promoter! A raw and thrilling spectacle that doesn't pull any punches. Loved it!
Rated 22 Jul 2023
55
35th
One of the things that the viewer hopes to enjoy considering the high rating of the movie. But unfortunately, it was disappointing.
Rated 01 Nov 2009
8
85th
Brutal.

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