my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Clash By Night
Director:   Fritz Lang
Year:   1952
Genre:   Noir
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   09.05.06

Other Movies Seen By This Director (2)
- Metropolis
- While the City Sleeps

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
09.05.06DVD So... pretty much every noir fan has his or her own definition of the term. Some think it's a genre, others just a set of expressionistic lighting and camera angles... I myself tend to think of it as a period in time, or cycle... from the mid 40s to the late 50s. And the big reasons why I define "film noir" that way are movies like this. While most of the classic noirs are crime stories, there are some, such as this one, that are pretty far away from the private detectives, hoods, and gangsters. Even though this is really a relationship melodrama, it's colored all over with noirish tone and attitude that makes it fit just as well as the Double Indemnities and Maltese Falcons. The movie Lang did before this, Rancho Notorious, does the same for the western genres... so even though they are in completely separate genres, they're both still noir (never mind that I tag it as a genre for this site).

But... whether it's noir or not, I still prefer crime stories to relationship melodramas. This one was a bit slow for me, even though it's pretty clear that Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, and Paul Douglas all give great performances. The characters I liked the most though were Marilyn Monroe and her beau... even though they are supporting characters, they are the moral center of the piece which makes Stanwyck's and Ryan's twisted hearts all the darker. But what can they do? Just like in Born To Kill, they are a match made in hell... Poor Paul Douglas is just the nice guy and therefore in the noir world he suffers.
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