Review: Nightfall

I had this on my DVR from a showing on TCM and found the introduction to the movie interesting.  Now legendary noir author David Goodis wrote NIghtfall as a screenplay after his success with the film Dark Passage.  Dark Passage put him in the spotlight and he was in Hollywood putting his writing skills to use.  He wrote a screenplay with this story and nobody wanted it.  He got flustered with the Hollywood machine and turned it into a book.  Roughly 10 years later Stirling Silliphant took the book and made it into this screenplay.  He changed a few scenes and gave the bad guy heavies a little more depth and character.  This gave it another chance in Hollywood and it was made into this movie.

film noir directing great Jacques Tourneur was in the directors chair for this film.  It also stars Aldo Ray and Anne Bancroft as our romantic couple.  Brian Keith and Rudy Bond play our thug like bank robbers and we also have James Gregory as an insurance investigator.

This film starts out with Aldo Ray at a news stand looking at papers from the Chicago area.  Gregory talks to him at the corner waiting for his bus.  Then Ray walks into a bar and meets Anne Bancroft.  They hit it off and have dinner, after dinner our two thugs jump our couple.  Bancroft is sent home and Ray is taken in a car.  From here Ray and the thugs battle it out through out the film and the story is told with a few flashbacks to see how our thugs and our hero come to meet.  Our adventure goes from the classic noir streets of Los Angles to the wilderness of Wyoming.

I am surprised with the talent in this film, from the great writing and directing to some good performances from our cast, that this movie isn’t more talked about.  If you’re a fan of any of the cast or crew or just a classic film noir fan, you should check out this film.  It will be well worth your time.

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6 thoughts on “Review: Nightfall

  1. Well, here’s an odd coincidence for you. I finished reading Goodis’s novel not two hours ago — when your email alert arrived I surely began to doubt my sanity.

    I’ll be writing my notes on the book on Goodreads tomorrow, and will link to your post here. Quite bizarre.

    Like

  2. Wow – talk about full circle! From screenplay to book, and back to screenplay again.

    This looks like a great film, and how could it not be with this cast? Thanks for the introduction – I’ll be watching for this.

    Like

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