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Blues in the Night (2008)

Priscilla Lane , Betty Field , Anatole Litvak  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Priscilla Lane, Betty Field, Richard Whorf, Lloyd Nolan, Jack Carson
  • Directors: Anatole Litvak
  • Writers: Elia Kazan, Edwin Gilbert, Robert Rossen
  • Producers: Hal B. Wallis, Henry Blanke
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 22, 2008
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0016OM3TK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,374 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Blues in the Night" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Priscilla Lane, Jack Carson. This early film noir starts with a blues band aspiring to make enough scratch to get by. After tangling with a gangster and a man-eating moll, the band's simple dream is corrupted and their lives are in jeopardy. 1941/b&w/92 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film noir meets Jazz April 4, 2008
This is a very offbeat kind of film that is not well known. You'll either really love it - I do - or you'll not care for it at all. Anatole Litvak, who directed so many womens' pictures, directs this odd little film that starts out as a kind of "small town band does good" picture, takes a turn into gangster territory, and then gets really dark with a venture into film noir and mental illness. Nobody in this film was a big name at the time, and I get the feeling it was one of those films that Warner's liked to grind out like sausages in the 30's and 40's that just happened to turn out to be rather special. Great performances are turned in from everyone involved, which includes Priscilla Lane as a good girl with depth, Lloyd Nolan as a gangster with a touch of the entrepreneurial and even a bit of a mentor, Jack Carson as a heel with a large bag of excuses for his behavior, Betty Field as the gangster's moll who aspires to be a singer and also ruins men as a hobby, and Richard Whorf as the musician and bandleader who falls for the moll and also into temporary insanity. Also note that future great director Elia Kazan shows up playing a small part as one of the bandmembers.

Released just three weeks before the beginning of World War II, it provides a snapshot of how the Depression and the era of the gangster were receding into memory just as an age of optimism was beginning that would go on hiatus during the war effort, and restart and peak after the war was over. Great atmosphere and great acting - highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars extraordinary July 29, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this wonderful story on late night. The acting is superb,story brillant.Betty field as troubled singer, loyd nolan as gangster club owner. this is how stories should flow keeping the watcher interested.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Depression-era jazz melodrama March 14, 2009
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Overlooked film drama part film noir, part celebration of jazz music, part social commentary - features future directors Elia Kazan and Richard Whorf in leading roles - fast-paced, well written -recommended.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
It's hard to decide which is the most awkward part of this slightly noirish movie...the beginning, the middle or the end. The beginning features five white musicians and a girl singer who decide to form a special kind of band, led by the impassioned piano player. "It's gotta be our kind of music, our kind of band...the blues, the real blues...the kind that comes out of people, real people...their hopes and their dreams...." The middle features these six riding a box car, becoming entangled with a rough gangster who befriends them, a tough-as-nails femme fatale who does not, and a roadhouse success in New Jersey. The end features a nervous breakdown, a dead baby, a shooting, a car ride to death and another box car. You know, the usual blues stuff. Along the way there is some impassioned dialogue.

What Blues in the Night has going for it are songs by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, including one great song, "This Time the Dreams on Me" and one they knocked out of the ball park, perhaps the best popular blues song ever written, "Blues in the Night." The movie also features another first-rate performance by Lloyd Nolan as the gangster. I wonder if any other actor appeared in so many flawed A movies or just plain B moves but who invariably gave believable, notable performances. There are several musical numbers that stand out. We also have the chance to see Betty Field, a first-rate actress who wasn't as successful in Hollywood as she was on Broadway. She plays the femme fatale, complete with bad grammar and the kind of sexy selfishness that can lead a man to bed at night and leave him alone with an empty wallet the next morning. She's brittle and hard here, but her strong suit as an actress, I think, was the fragile vulnerability and warmth she could project.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues In the Night Review January 13, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a very good film about people who love making music in it's raw form, performing live. They work hard and run into some successes and some troubles. Tremendous acting by Priscilla Lane and Richard Whorf (who looks amazingly like Victor Mature). Betty Field is a great "bad girl" without over playing the role and Priscilla Lane plays the opposing nice, cute girl, also without overdoing it. The director must have really done a great job working w/ all the actors to get such fine performances. Many of the roles would have been easy to over play or become parodies of themselves, but they don't allow that to happen. The storyline isn't complex, but the scenes and characters are so interesting that the plot doesn't need to be complex in order to entertain. You don't have to be a music fan to like this, but it doesn't hurt. This is one of my favorite films from this era.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute gem May 16, 2010
Fast paced, great music, fun story line...what a little gem. Really superior for this type of film. Betty Field is her usually wonderful nutball self and to see Elia Kazan as an actor is a treat. Oh, and dig that title song--and the others!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The way they used to be June 15, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
You can't say too much about the film as it stands in the way of enjoying the ride. I found it slightly askew in the story line and for the better. It is refreshing seeing a different take on what is really only a limited number of plots according to James Cagney. Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl. Boy meets girl, boy doesn't get girl, boy finds another. This one rips at the core of how stupid can be about their life when they give into emotions that blind them to the real world. A world grounded in true happiness and not just the momentary desires of one's self. See it and all this pseudo-crap will make sense.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this film,worth every penny!!!!
Love this early Film Noir story about struggling jazz muscians looking for fame ,but find death and tragedy in their quest! Read more
Published 6 months ago by batsybeve
5.0 out of 5 stars Rip Roaring swell jazz times , high drama and extra dark film noir all...
I first streamed this fascinating film on the Warner Archive channel available via the newest edition of ROKU received as a coveted Christmas gift December of 2013 . Read more
Published 7 months ago by Hammer + Jazz
4.0 out of 5 stars Combo Rides The Rails
Having seen this film on TCM a few years back there were things about it that stuck with me. Definitely not an MGM film, as much of the action takes place in jail cells, boxcars... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Guy M. Budziak
4.0 out of 5 stars Blues in the Night
It was a pretty good movie, but not familiar with most of the players. Better than most of the TV shows available.
Published 22 months ago by Janet E. Streilein
5.0 out of 5 stars HEY BOSS! Here's your sign.......
Greetings from the New Jersey shore! This film would appear to be the inspirational heart and soul of Bruce Springsteen's music. Read more
Published on August 21, 2012 by Robert Allison
2.0 out of 5 stars does not ring true
I blame the director Anatole Litvak for this turkey. A film noir type musical with shades of Andy Hardy. I never got gasps of amazement as the cover predicted. Read more
Published on July 21, 2010 by Jay Holder
2.0 out of 5 stars NEVERMIND....
....The Second Rate Film......Watch The Included Short.."Jammin' The Blues" w/Lester Young & Company...Best Jazz Short EVER..!..The Epitome Of Coolness... Read more
Published on January 5, 2010 by Robert M. Groves
2.0 out of 5 stars The Rail Yard Kids Play Swing
If your taste goes to rosy, thirties-style musicals and, if you don't mind weak cinematic tea, this movie might be palatable. Read more
Published on July 12, 2009 by Carolyn Paetow
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been a lot better
This movie has a great premise and story--too bad the director couldn't make it work. I wanted to like this movie, with its noirish cinematography and jazz storyline, but it falls... Read more
Published on October 20, 2008 by Tom DeZego
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