Rent Nightfall (1956)

3.6 of 5 from 59 ratings
1h 18min
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Adapted from the novel by prolific crime fiction author James Goodis (Dark Passage), 'Nightfall' is the story of Jim Vanning (Aldo Ray), an innocent man wrongly accused of murder. On the same night he has a chance encounter in a bar with glamorous model Marie (Anne Bancroft), the hoods he s spent the past year running from catch up with him, determined to recover the money they believe he stole from them. Pursued by both the hoods and law enforcement, Vanning and Marie go on the lam, leading to a desperate chase that takes them from the streets of Los Angeles to the snowy peaks of Wyoming.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Joan Fotre, ,
Ted Richmond
Stirling Silliphant, David Goodis
Classics, Drama, Romance, Thrillers
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
78 minutes
Release Date:
Run Time:
79 minutes
English Dolby Digital 1.0
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • New audio commentary by author and critic Bryan Reesman
  • White and Black, a new video appreciation of Nightfall by film historian Philip Kemp
  • Do I Look Like a Married Man?, a new video essay on the themes of Nightfallby author and critic Kat Ellinger
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Image Gallery

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Reviews (1) of Nightfall

Atmospheric early Goodis adaptation. - Nightfall review by Steve Mason

Spoiler Alert

Nightfall is an adaptation of a novel by one of hardboiled fiction's most downbeat writers, David Goodis, a poet of threadbare lives ruined by dumb bad luck. The story is glamourised a little for the screen, but is still very subdued. It is like a mournful ballad.

Relating its narrative is Aldo Ray (as James Vanning) who is like a vocalist, murmuring huskily way down low with a catch in his voice. He is being tracked by a pair of killers who are convinced Vanning has the loot from their bank raid. Vanning acquires help from Anne Bancroft, a model he picks up in a bar, and James Gregory, the insurance detective chasing up the stolen loot.

This is another richly atmospheric mood piece from Jacques Tourneur and one of the great LA noirs. Ray is another of those hulking leading men that appeared after WWII. He plays a sentimental guy with no luck at all. Rudy Bond and Brian Keith are a fine double act as the relentless killers. Stirling Silliphant's screenplay conveys the weariness of Goodis' writing and milieu.

The film is mostly set in LA and also very effectively around the oil fields of California, but concludes in the winter snowdrifts of Wyoming. Like On Dangerous Ground the film contrasts the big dirty city with the white rural snowscape. The death of a character by snowplough must be a first for film noir!

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