Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


THE LONG NIGHT (1947). Director: Anatole Litvak.

Ann Dvorak loves Henry Fonda who loves Barbara Bel Geddes, who is loved by Vincent Price, who is ... and all with a lot of talk, talk, talk. The film begins with a murder, and the perpetrator being cornered by police in his apartment. After what seems like an hour the flashback finally begins that tells us what led up to the murder, but there are two problems: the flashback isn't that interesting, and it keeps getting interrupted by more scenes with the fugitive and the police. Fonda is back from the war, and meets Bel Geddes, who is both fascinated and repulsed by magician Vincent Price, whom was formerly carrying on with his assistant, Dvorak. It all leads to tragedy and a lot of tedium. The Long Night is turgid, pretentious and unconvincing nearly from start to finish; the wind-up takes even longer than the opening. Fonda's performance is too controlled, Price's too phony, but Dvorak is vivid and Bel Geddes is strong and fully committed; she's excellent in a movie that doesn't deserve her. The characterizations are too thin to make any of these people really matter to us -- and all that's left is talk. And when all is said and done this is just another movie about a guy who goes nutso when he discovers his gal isn't quite as "pure" as he thought she was, giving it all a very dated air. Dimitri Tiomkin's score is interesting, but too much -- this ain't exactly Grand Opera.

Verdict: A long night indeed. *1/2.

1 comment:

how to download movies for free said...

Long night is old movie and before watching it I would like to see some trailer of the movie.Then I am gonna decide whether to watch it or not.So till then wait for the review.