Adapted from the lowlife novel by Gerald Kersh, Night and the City is a baroque masterpiece of corruption, paranoia and doom that ranks among the true works of art in the film noir genre. Produced by Twentieth Century Fox, yet employing American, British and Continental personnel and filmed on the streets of London, it was directed by Jules Dassin, under suspicion in Hollywood for his political beliefs, who made it at great speed before he was blacklisted.
Much of the filming was done in actual after-midnight hours, shooting night scenes in a London still shattered and skeletal from wartime bombings. Soho, Piccadilly and the Festival of Britain construction site on the South Bank were all locations.
Richard Widmark delivers an indelible performance as Harry Fabian, a small-time American nightclub tout and desperate dreamer who tries to worm his way into the wrestling rackets of post-war London. In his path lie the formidable obstacles posed by a vengeful club owner Phil Nosseross (Francis L Sullivan) and the racketeer Kristo (Herbert Lom). The club owner’s sultry wife (Googie Withers) schemes with him, and a long-suffering girlfriend (Gene Tierney) does her best to save Harry from himself. Like many a noir hero before him, Harry thinks he can outrun his fate. He’s wrong.
- Interview with director Jules Dassin.
- Feature commentary by film noir specialist Paul Duncan.
- Short film comparing the US and British versions of the film.
- Fully illustrated booklet with essays by Lee Server and Paul Duncan.
English for the hard-of-hearing
Original aspect ratio