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Clash By Night

Barbara Stanwyck , Robert Ryan , Fritz Lang    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.99
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Clash By Night + The Asphalt Jungle (Sous-titres franais) + Home Town Story [Import]
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Product Description

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Barbara Stanwyck plays a hardened woman returning from big-city life to her northern fishing village in this 1952 film noir. After deciding to settle down, she marries a simple man (Paul Douglas) but is wooed by another (Robert Ryan), a circumstance that turns what had been her choice into her trap. Director Fritz Lang (Metropolis, M, The Big Heat), working from a Clifford Odets story, teases out his pet themes about human beings ensnared in fate by their own impulses and in search of redemption. This is not one of Lang's masterpieces, but it is very good in an Anna Christie way. Stanwyck and Ryan, two indispensable figures in the noir genre, are tough as nails. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Drama of Lust and Betrayal July 22 2009
By Moodywoody TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Fritz Lang in my opinion never did a bad film. His films were either great or very compelling, but never boring. For this reason he should be ranked as one of the great film directors in movie history.

Though Clash by Night has been described as a film noir, I would have to disagree. It is more a drama about lust and betrayal, and how our choices in life can be irreversible and how ultimately the right choice may not be the most apparent one. The film is based on a play by Clifford Odets, and it was written as an intense drama of emotions.

Barbara Stanwyck plays Mae, a woman with a checkered past returning home to her small town roots. Her life without direction and purpose, she accepts the marriage proposal of a simple and kind man named Jerry, played by Paul Douglas, even though she makes it quite clear to him that she does not love him. When she meets Earl, played by Robert Ryan, who is the best friend of Jerry, it is obvious that there is a mutual sexual attraction, obvious to everyone except Jerry who has absolute trust in both Mae and Earl. Things get complicated when Mae has a baby girl, just before she begins her affair with Earl.

This is where the drama gets intense. Mae and Earl display a powerful sexual chemistry which overwhelms any guilt feelings they may have about betraying Jerry. When Jerry discovers the affair, the baby girl is used as a pawn in his battle with Mae. In the end, Mae must choose between the sexual chemistry she has with Earl, and the responsibilities she has as the mother of her baby girl and the security and commitment that Jerry offers as a father and husband.

Paul Douglas is exceptional as the betrayed friend and husband. He is very believable in balancing his pain with a barely controlled rage.
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By J. Lovins TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
RKO Radio Pictures presents "CLASH BY NIGHT" (1952) (105 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Returning to live with her brother, Joe (Keith Andes), at her family's home in a small fishing village, Mae Doyle (Barbara Stanwyck) has reached rock bottom --- Reeling from the pain of her previous romances, Mae slowly pieces things together and begins dating Jerry (Paul Douglas), a simple-minded fisherman --- But more suited to Mae's previous tastes is Jerry's slick, boozy pal Earl Pfeiffer (Robert Ryan), a film projectionist who makes his feelings for her known right away despite the fact that he is married --- Mae spurns his advances and decides to marry Jerry --- Meanwhile, Joe has grown close to ditsy factory worker Peggy (Marilyn Monroe) --- Some time later, Mae and Jerry have had a baby, and things appear happy, but Mae is not in love with Jerry, and soon finds herself in Earl's arms.

Taut direction by Fritz Lang and a sizzling performance by Barbara Stanwyck -- This is noir at its best.

Under the production staff of:
Fritz Lang [Director]
Clifford Odets [play "Clash by Night"]
Alfred Hayes [Screenwriter]
Harriet Parsons [Producer]
Norman Krasna [Producer]
Jerry Wald [Producer]
Roy Webb [Original Film Music]
Nicholas Musuraca [Cinematographer]
George Amy [Film Editor]
Carroll Clark [Art Director]
Albert S. D'Agostino [Art Director]

BIOS:
1. Fritz Lang [Friedrich Christian Anton Lang] [Director]
Date of Birth: 5 December 1890 - Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria]
Date of Death: 2 August 1976 - Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

2.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cannery Noir Feb. 5 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Although the emphasis here is on emotions rather than mayhem, fans of "Film Noir" will chew on Fritz Lang's "Clash By Night" with relish. What saves this film from becoming another weepy 50's melodrama are the cynical, tough-as-nails characters played by Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Ryan. They are the illicit lovers cuckolding hubby Paul Douglas' naive, easygoing Monterey Bay fisherman. Ryan brings a sweat-streaked, smouldering, "Streetcar Named Desire" intensity to all of his scenes with Stanwyck, who holds her own as a restless, world-weary housewife with a "been there done that" past. Stanwyck and Ryan play out thier furtive romantic scenes like rutting animals (this is pretty hot stuff by early 50's standards). Paul Douglas gives his career-best performance, particularly when he registers heartbreak, betrayal, and internal struggle between gentle demeanor and homicidal rage all in one pivotal scene ("ANIMALS! That's what you are...ANIMALS...!") Marilyn Monroe is excellent in a small but memorable role as Stanwyck's tomboyish sister-in-law. What makes this film unique in the Noir canon is that while there is a fair amount of violence, none of it is fatal in the literal sense. The only fatalities here are the characters' hopes, dreams and faith in humanity-now THAT's what I call Noir!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not great overall, but many great elements Dec 27 2002
Format:VHS Tape
As a whole, this is not one of better films by any of the participants, but nonetheless this film is fascinating on several levels, and there are plenty of good reasons to see this. First, Barbara Stanwyck once again proves she was almost incapable of being anything except exceptional. Hands down, while I personally prefer her in comedy, I nevertheless believe she was the greatest film noir actress of all time. She was also the greatest portrayer of "bad girls" film has seen. In CLASH BY NIGHT, she plays a burned out bad girl, almost the female equivalent of the aging gunfighter in a Western, tired of being called out by every young gun in every town. Stanwyck decides to marry Paul Douglas more because she is too exhausted to attempt anything else. Paul Douglas is superb in his role of the man who is in love with Stanwyck, only to find tragic disappointment. Robert Ryan is great as Douglas's friend who has tremendous chemistry with Stanwyck. Personally, I have always thought that Ryan should have had a much better career than he did. He was a superb actor with tremendous onscreen charisma. Although he had several memorable roles, he never seemed to have that one role that put him into the rank of the top actors in Hollywood. He had top shelf ability, but never quite made it to the top. Marilyn Monroe was still a year away from superstardom, but she was enormously attractive in her small role. Finally, the movie is worth seeing because it was directed by Fritz Lang. This is not major Fritz Lang, but it is an interesting addition to a formidable body of work.
The setting for the film is quite remarkable. In the 1940s and 1950s, very few films set on the West coast were not set in LA or San Francisco.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Un grand film !!
Quel grand classique !! J'ai adoré. Barbara Stanwyck est extraordinaire. Marilyn Monroe se fait remarquer malgré qu,elle a un second rôle. Read more
Published 22 months ago by David
4.0 out of 5 stars Stanwyck and Ryan are great together
"Clash By Night" is a great fifties movie. Barbara Stanwyck said in an interview once that she felt this movie came closest to exemplifying the European adult approach to... Read more
Published on April 26 2004 by Nancy Tannenbaum
3.0 out of 5 stars A very average soap opera; an unintended historical record.
This is the story of a woman who marries one man then falls for another. Nothing new here, and there's a lot of shouting in the process. Read more
Published on Dec 21 2002 by James Toy
4.0 out of 5 stars After the Clash--What?
The term 'film noir' may have been coined with CLASH BY NIGHT in mind. This gritty film explores an underside of relationships that often got overlooked even then. Read more
Published on Dec 7 2002 by Martin Asiner
4.0 out of 5 stars Town Tramp Comes Home.
Interesting "little" 1950's film noir, with always terrific Stanwyck as the worn out bad girl who returns home, to what's left of her family, because she has nowhere else to go. Read more
Published on June 2 2002 by F. Gentile
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty melodrama
This is one of my favorite movies from the 1950's. Barbara Stanwyck is the tough-bitten prodigal daughter who returns to the fishing village of her youth after getting burned (not... Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars An Alpha Female "Must See"!
Babs Stanwyck at her usual best! This is a riveting classic, which also features a serious, fresh and believable Marilyn Monroe. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2001 by Mara McKeown
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must for any serious Marilyn Monroe Fan
If u like classic movies, chances are u will like this story. Some of the acting is a little much (Babara Stanwyck)but Marilyn Monroe gives a great performance here! Read more
Published on March 19 2000 by "zipppoo"
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