Nov 05 - Nov 11, 2010

(Jacques Tourneur, USA/France, 1956, 35mm, 78 min)

New 35mm Print

This 1957 noir masterpiece by Jacques Tourneur stars Aldo Ray as a man fleeing a private investigator and Anne Bancroft as the barroom acquaintance who agrees to help him. Ray plays an artist whose life goes permanently haywire when fate interrupts a winter hunting trip. From then on it’s life on the run, complete with dozens of double-crosses, psychotic killers on his trail, lots of flashbacks, and a young Anne Bancroft decked out in sequins and lace. 
Adapted from a novel by David Goodis (Shoot the Piano Player) and shot by Burnett Guffey (Bonnie and Clyde), the images have a smooth, almost liquid quality, the high-contrast lighting of most noirs replaced by a delicate lyricism that takes the natural world as the norm. Tourneur links this naturalism to Ray's growing observational skills ("I know where every shadow falls," he says), but it also contrasts with the story's acute paranoia. 
"A near-forgotten, fast-cheap-&-out-of-control sweat session...Radiates a fight-or-flight inquietude.” —Michael Atkinson, The L Magazine
"[Columbia Pictures] made some  authentically hard-boiled crime pictures on those back lots, of which Nightfall was one of the best." —Seattle PostGlobe
"SW Pick: Worthy of Hitchcock...Aspiring filmmakers should take notes." —Seattle Weekly

Watch the trailer:

Bookmark and Share

<Back to Calendar