Nightfall (1957) Jacques Tourneur
Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics II DVD (library)
Happens all the time. A guy walks into a bar, meets a girl, they decide to meet up the next day and WHAM! You’re right in the middle of a film noir. That’s what happens here as Jim Vanning (Aldo Ray) meets fashion model Marie Gardner (Anne Bancroft). They both take tentative steps to get to know each other (with unusually good dialogue), but when they’re outside the bar, they’re confronted by two men: John (Brian Keith) and Red (Rudy Bond) are waiting for either Vanning or Marie and for a few tension-filled moments, we don’t know which.
Nightfall is a terrific noir, based on a novel by David Goodis with a script by Stirling Silliphant. Combine that with director Jacques Tourneur and cinematographer Burnett Guffey and you’ve got the recipe for a great-looking noir, which this certainly is. Keith and Bond are excellent as the villains and their relationship is explored at the same time Vanning and Marie’s relationship is developing. The ending may have a few problems, but they can’t derail this solid film noir, a great choice for your Noirvember viewing.
Photos: Tune Up Space, Great Old Movies, Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings