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Night And The City

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:04 pm
by garth cartwright
I watched this for the first time last night and what a GREAT film it is! I'd heard the title many times and was aware there was a book that had been published in the 1930s of which little beyond the title and a few names were transfered to the film but I didn't know this was such an outstanding film.

Shot in crisp b&w in 1949 by Jules Dassin - his last US financed film before the blacklist kicked in - it follows a young American hustler in London desperate to win big. Of course, he loses terribly. The amazing thing about this film is that pretty much every character in it is incredibly sordid. No Guy Ritchie laddish gangstas or Tarantino charmers, these people are scumbags and proud of it. Beautifully shot, superbly acted, a great script, lots of notable London scenes - it's so good!

I was fascinated to learn that Dassin made 2 Night And The City films from this shoot - one for the US market and one for the UK. Different soundtracks, scenes added or deleted etc. Apparently this was some kind of union deal in post-war UK so to ensure local composers and such got work on US films shot in the UK. The DVD is the US film - seemingly thought to be the superior edit - and comes with extras that include info on the 2 composers, scenes from the UK film not included in the US one and much else including an interview with Dassin. A great film given serious treatment on DVD, this is good.

I'd go so far as to say Night And The City is superior to The Third Man and a lot of other noir films of the time. Perhaps it's because I'm a Londoner . . .

Re: Night And The City

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 5:18 pm
by AndyM
Great film indeed. There are a clutch of 'British film noir' (lazy label but you get the drift) set in that post-war London underworld well worth seeking out. 'Noose' is fab and 'They Made Me A Fugitive' almost unbearably wonderful.

Oh, and "better than The Third Man" isn't a difficult status to achieve.