Edmund Goulding / US, 1947 / 110 min.
Darkness lurks behind the bright lights of a traveling carnival in one of the most haunting and perverse film noirs of the 1940s.
Adapted from the scandalous bestseller by William Lindsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley gave Tyrone Power a chance to subvert his matinee-idol image with a ruthless performance as Stanton Carlisle, a small-time carny whose unctuous charm propels him to fame as a charlatan spiritualist, but whose unchecked ambition leads him down a path of moral degradation and self-destruction.
Although its strange, sordid atmosphere shocked contemporary audiences, this long-difficult-to-see reflection of postwar angst has now taken its place as one of the defining noirs of its era—a fatalistic downward slide into existential oblivion.
Rain-drenched streets, curls of cigarette smoke, and men with a dark past. An inescapable fate and a femme fatale, sly and sexually independent. This summer Eye is presenting an extended programme of classic film noir, featuring masterpieces such as The Third Man and In a Lonely Place starring Humphrey Bogart. With vintage 35mm prints and newly restored works.