Clash by Night
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- Theatrical trailer
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The storyline revolves around Mae Doyle (Barbara Stanwick) who returns to a Northern California fishing community after a ten-year hiatus. She left that town hoping to find a wealthy or prestigious man to marry, but her dreams never materialized. Upon returning she runs into an old acquaintance, Jerry D'Amato (Paul Douglas), at a bar and they later start dating even though they have very little in common. Jerry is hardworking and stable, yet a boring simpleton. Mae is fickle and shallow. Jerry introduces Mae to his best friend Earl (Robert Ryan) who is cantankerous yet very extroverted - pretty much the exact opposite of Jerry. From this point on in the movie, the human dynamics these three people go all over the map and develop into an enthralling plot for the viewer.
I was initially taken off guard with the way the film ended, but I couldn't get it out of my head for the rest of the day and realized it took a very brave direction with the issues it confronted. Furthermore, the movie is probably more representative of today's social landscape than it was when the film was made and has some hard-hitting commentary for the consequences of people's actions. There is however, one scene that is clearly politically incorrect by today's standards where Earl imitates a Chinese person. The movie also contained some refreshing scenes of a young Marilyn Monroe who plays the girlfriend of Mae's brother. Overall I give the film a solid recommendation for viewing.
The DVD is remastered but not restored and as a result, the black and white transfer is sharp but occasionally tiny spots of film deterioration can be observed. The sound is fine.Read more ›
"Clash by Night" is based on the play by Clifford Odets, and it's fun to try to pick out the lines that sound like Odets by their affectedness. Usually the actors deliver the lines casually, so they don't sound too histrionic. I found that the film's strength is its documentary-like qualities, which don't end after the introductory sequence. The vignettes of working class life and conversations about family matters lend the film an authenticity that it really needs considering that Barbara Stanwyck' s glamour and forcefulness seem as out of place in that town as her character professes to feel.Read more ›
The love triangle involving Ryan, Stanwyck and Paul Douglas, seems entirely plausible then and now. It is amazing to see that the sexual attraction between Ryan and Stanwyck was conveyed without the de rigueur explicit romp in the hay that predominates any film made in the last thirty years. If the viewer wants to see some real sexual tension without the overtness viewers are subjected to these days to get them to watch what's out there, simply watch the scene in which Ryan and Stanwyck engage in a short but heated embrace. One doesn't need to see anything more than Stanwyck's hand clutching Ryan's bare back underneath his T-shirt to envision what happens next.
The addition of secondary players, Marilyn Monroe and Keith Andes, likewise didn't need to achieve its sexual effect in the blatant manner employed in films these days. J. Carrol Naish's devilish Uncle Vince was also a tour de force for this wonderful character actor, and Silvio Minciotti effectively portrayed Paul Douglas's lonely widowed father.
Add to these dynamics a wonderful screenplay, sharply written and without a maudlin word to it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Didn't realize M M had more then then just a handful of good movies she made include support roles. Stanwyck in this one with her, what a surprise! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Imre Demech
Riviting documentary worthy movie featuring the sardine boom time in Monterey. Great historic Cannery Row scenery. Read morePublished 5 months ago by KatMo50
Even though I'm not a big Barbara Stanwyk fan, I do enjoy this movie. Robert Ryan, as usual, can wring emotion out of every line.Published 6 months ago by Crazy cat lady
This is a very beautiful melodrama from the most mature period of Fritz Lang's career, very deep-dyed in treating relationships within the specific world it depicts of a coastal... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Blake Lucas
My favorite Stanwyck movie. Man she was an accomplished actress. A fable of a story that is as timeless today as it was 50 or 500 years ago.Published 9 months ago by Sally P.
It's funny how accidently physical Marilyn gets in a scene.Published 9 months ago by Matthew T. Ryan
Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan and Paul Douglas star in this riveting film noir based on the Clifford Odets play. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Thomas J Lombardo