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Ronald Epstein

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Darkness lurks behind the bright lights of a traveling carnival in one of the most haunting and perverse film noirs of the 1940s. Adapted from the scandalous best seller by William Lindsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley gave Tyrone Power a chance to subvert his matinee-idol image with a ruthless performance as Stan Carlisle, a small-time carny whose unctuous charm propels him to fame as a charlatan spiritualist, but whose unchecked ambition leads him down a path of moral degradation and self-destruction. Although its strange, sordid atmosphere shocked contemporary audiences, this long difficult-to-see reflection of postwar angst has now taken its place as one of the defining noirs of its era—a fate-fueled downward slide into existential oblivion.
FILM INFO

Edmund Goulding
1947
111 minutes
Black & White
1.37:1
Spine #1078
SPECIAL FEATURES

New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film historians James Ursini and Alain Silver
New interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith
New interview with performer and historian Todd Robbins
Interview from 2007 with actor Coleen Gray
Audio excerpt of a 1971 interview with Henry King in which the filmmaker discusses actor Tyrone Power
Trailer
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by film critic and screenwriter Kim Morgan

New cover by Ricardo Diseño

May 25, 2021
 

Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

 
Last edited:

Mark VH

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Cool that they got Kim Morgan to write the essay for this one, as I believe she co-wrote the screenplay for the new version of the film coming later this year with Guillermo Del Toro.
 

lark144

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mark gross
I bought this years ago on DVD when it was going out of print, but never opened it. I wanted to get the full brunt of its exquisite darkness, that insubstatial world of night, in HD.
 

dana martin

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a must have,
it nice to see that 20th / Fox (Disney) is willing to let a few titles get a proper release, after the absorption of the studio, hopeful that this will lead to some of the other independents to release so many of the missing 20th Century films.
 

JohnMor

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a must have,
it nice to see that 20th / Fox (Disney) is willing to let a few titles get a proper release, after the absorption of the studio, hopeful that this will lead to some of the other independents to release so many of the missing 20th Century films.
Criterion’s deal for this was likely made a few years ago, before the Mouse bought the Fox.
 

StarDestroyer52

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Superb news. I was starting to get depressed about this one getting to BluRay especially after all the bad news with the Region B Blu from Signal One. Saw it on Noir Alley a few years ago and fell in love with this one. It begs the question I wonder how many more Fox titles that Criterion has from before Disney bought Fox?
 

Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

 

mackjay

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Jay
I remember, long ago, reading the Maltin Guide entry for this film and being so intrigued. I never thought I'd see it; it never showed up on TV. Then a local art house (the Brattle Theater) showed it and later TCM aired it at 4am (mid-90s I think). I taped that and treasured it. When the DVD came out I was happy--it looks pretty good. This bluray will have the same commentary and new extras. One of the great noirs, well deserving of the Criterion treatment
 

obscurelabel

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Larry
I see DVD Beaver has reviewed the new Criterion version.
Well, regardless of how well they represent the actual disc, to me the Criterion screenshots themselves look like they've been processed to death. Almost as bad as those of the Criterion Children of Paradise or the Kino cleaned up version of White Zombie. Again, the DVDBeaver screenshots themselves. To me.
 

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