Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Romance / Thriller

IMDb Rating 7.2 10 2606


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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June 21, 2019 at 03:02 PM


Anne Bancroft as Marie Gardner
Brian Keith as John
James Gregory as Ben Fraser
Aldo Ray as James Vanning
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647.84 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 18 min
P/S 33 / 91
1.24 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 18 min
P/S 46 / 158

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by evanston_dad 8 / 10

Another Wonderfully Inventive Film from Jacques Tourneur

Jacques Tourneur used his vast reserves of creativity to turn small-budget films into fascinating movie-going experiences. If "Out of the Past" is one of the best films noir to be released in the 1940s, then "Nightfall" must be one of the best from the succeeding decade.

Aldo Ray plays James Vanning, who, with his doctor friend Edward Gurston (Frank Albertson), finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up knowing the whereabouts of a bag of stolen money, wanted mightily by two bank robbers (one played with droll relish by Brian Keith). Fate, always a principal character in any film noir, brings James together with Marie Gardner (an impossibly young Anne Bancroft), a fashion model who becomes his girl Friday. Meanwhile, an insurance investigator (James Gregory) working on behalf of the robbed bank has James's number and comes calling. All of these characters finally collide in a memorable and rather grisly ending.

"Nightfall" is tremendously stylish and playful. It very much resembles Tourneur's earlier noir, "Out of the Past," in its thesis that a man can run but never hide from his past. But it also reminded me of "On Dangerous Ground," Nicholas Ray's strange offering from 1952, in its juxtaposition of a shadow-filled urban environment filled with anonymous (and perhaps dangerous) strangers with the wide open (and no less frightening) spaces of the country, where anything can happen and no one will know. I don't know if Aldo Ray was considered a good actor at the time, but he does a terrific job here -- who better to play an American everyman caught up in a sticky web than this all-American jock of an actor? He and Bancroft sizzle in their scenes together, and one of the movie's highlights comes when they are racing away from one of Bancroft's fashion shows with the bad guys in hot pursuit, and Ray, frustrated by the fact that Bancroft can't run in the impractical gown she was just modeling, picks her up and runs with her into the safety of a cab, after which she leans against him and says, "You're the most wanted man I know." This scene and line got laughs and applause at the screening I attended, but you could tell that people were laughing with the film and not at it.

This film is one of the highlights of the noir genre, and I highly recommend catching it if you get a chance.

Grade: A

Reviewed by moonspinner55 7 / 10

Despite some story gaps, a first-rate suspenser...

David Goodis' pulpy novel becomes exciting, well-cast and acted crime-drama, peculiarly titled since most of the action takes place in the snow-covered mountains of Wyoming (perhaps "Snowfall" would've been more apropos). Two innocent campers run violently afoul of two trigger-happy bank-robbers, with 350 G's getting lost in the frost. Hollywood never quite knew what to do with Aldo Ray: polite and beaming (like an overgrown Boy Scout), Ray's ingratiating manner and wobbly, scratchy voice made him difficult to type-cast in the 1950s. He's just right here, playing tough guy up against cold-hearted Brian Keith and buddy/big brother/love-interest to model Anne Bancroft, who gets caught in this crime web and yet doesn't seem to mind. Despite a sluggish start and a few details that don't come together (such as why the crooks' car runs off the road in Wyoming, or why the two bank-robbers don't follow Aldo Ray when he runs through the river with the satchel of loot), director Jacques Tourneur handles the criss-crossing plot with buttery ease. Add in some amusing parallels to the later "Fargo" and you've got the makings of a cult classic, one that Columbia Pictures rarely revives. *** from ****

Reviewed by drmality-1 8 / 10

Neglected Suspense Classic

I wonder if Jacques Tourneur's "Nightfall" was a kind of influence on the Coen Brothers' "Fargo". It features quirky crooks and flawed characters stumbling about in a frozen wilderness in search of loot. Sure, this is not as wry as "Fargo", but I wonder. One thing's for sure...both films capture the essence of a snowy rural locale well. "Fargo" had death by wood chipper, "Nightfall" has death by snowplow...

Another reviewer made an astute connection to "On Dangerous Ground". I wouldn't put this on the emotional level of that wonderful film, but it does effectively contrast the cold dark city with the cold white space of the countryside.

The story unfolds in a series of flashbacks related by the singularly unlucky James Vanning, our hero. Vanning's luck is sure lousy, as he becomes the victim of a series of terrible coincidences and bad timing (as one of the hoods, Red, gleefully points out). It seems that while on a winter fishing trip with good pal Doc, Vanning comes to the rescue of two gents whose car crashes in a canyon. Unfortunately for Vanning and Doc, the duo, John and Red, are dangerous felons fleeing a bank robbery. John is the laconic brains of the outfit while Red is a jovial sadist itching for the kill. Before we know it, Doc is gunned down and Vanning is left for dead, while John and Red take off with what they think is a bag containing $350,000. But it isn't, it's Doc's bag...and the still-living Vanning stumbles into the snow in a daze with the real swag.

Circumstances are such that Vanning is now hunted as the murderer of Doc. The bag of money is laying out in the wilderness where Vanning left it. Vanning is forced to hit the road and change his name to avoid capture. Hot on his tail is amiable insurance investigator Ben Frazier, who suspects Vanning might be innocent. But to make things worse, John and Red also catch up with Vanning...and they're prepared to do whatever's necessary to get their money back.

The chase is on, with Vanning trying to elude the sadistic thugs as well as Frazier, while also romancing Marie, a sultry model who offers him shelter.

Beautiful cinematography is a given in any Tourneur film and the direction here is as top notch as ever. Strong performances and crisp dialog also make an impact. Aldo Ray wound up as a drunken hack in terrible films later in his career, but here he makes a rugged yet vulnerable Vanning. It's one of his best roles. The wonderful James Gregory is appealing as always as Frazer...what a terrific character actor he is. Anne Bancroft is most attractive as Marie, though I never shook the feeling she was a token female stuck in the movie for a tacked on romance.

As with just about any film, the bad guys really dominate. Brian Keith's John is a most peculiar bad guy...laid back, very reasonable sounding, yet something about him suggests this is a very dangerous man capable of great violence. That comes through best when he hauls a captive Vanning to an oil derrick and threatens to kill him with some of the derrick's huge machinery. In contrast, Rudy Bond as Red is a chuckling backslapping type who just happens to be a bloodthirsty killer. The scene where he casually, almost apologetically sets up Doc's murder and Vanning's "suicide" is chilling. The dynamic between these two is really strong and explodes into conflict at the end.

Not everything clicks. I found it pretty amazing that the bag of loot would sit out in the Wyoming winter countryside in the same place for so long. Even in remote areas, hunters often wander and wild animals could have taken the bag,too. Not too mention it should have been under a snowdrift. As mentioned before, the relationship between Vanning and Marie also seems artificial. And the plot of the show, while clever, is far from revolutionary. I can think of many crime dramas with more action and firepower.

But it all works out pretty well. I was gripped by the whole show and the final showdown is pretty intense, ending up in one of the most gruesome deaths in 50's cinema.

Well worth your time.

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