Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Long Night (1947, Anatole Litvak)

Kino is a company that I trust. So, when they proudly proclaim on the cover of the dvd that this is a "rediscovered American classic" I was interested in checking it out since: A) That quote B) I love a good noir C) Henry Fonda and Vincnet Price in a noir movie sounds awesome.

The movie did not let me down at all.

As the film begins a blind kid is walking up the stairs of an apartment building. As he reaches the top he hears a a gunshot and a badly injured Vincent Price falls out of a room and down the stairs dead. Out of the room walks out Henry Fonda holding the smoking gun. He then walks into his room again where he locks the door and refuses to come out meanwhile the police and neighborhood gather outside. Through a moody voice over and flashbacks we begin to find out how he got to this position.

Everything you would want from a noir shows up here.

Voice Over? Check.
Flashbacks? Check.
A flashback within a flashback? Check.
Moody black and white photography? Check
A shady magician who likes virgins played by Vincent Price? Check

After that little checklist I don't know what else to write. It's not a perfect example of the genre but its a fun, wild, and pretty pulpy 90 minute film. All the trademarks of the noir genre do their thing while Henry Fonda delivers another slow burn performance and Vincent Price does his evil bastard with a cool moustache thing again.

It's worth your time if you are a fan of the genre even if it introduces nothing new.


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