Noir City: Detroit 2022 Double feature: Nightmare Alley and The Spiritualist hosted by Eddie Muller
Saturday, September 24th at 8:00PM Tickets: $10.00
Nightmare Alley. 1947, 20th Century–Fox. 110 minutes. Director Edmund Goulding.
One of the bleakest and most audacious “A” pictures ever to emerge from Hollywood. Tyrone Power has his finest role as a carny roustabout who connives his way to the big-time as a “mentalist.” But when he drops his gullible wife and partner (Coleen Gray) for a sinister, scheming shrink (Helen Walker), there’s hell to pay. Nightmare Alley enjoyed a resurrection at the start of this century thanks to its revival at early NOIR CITY film festivals, eventually leading to its being remade in 2021 by Guillermo del Toro. See the original on a big screen and compare!
The Spiritualist. 1948, Eagle-Lion. 78 minutes. Director Bernard Vorhaus.
Some of John Alton’s finest black-and-white cinematography elevates to exhilarating heights this entertaining story of a phony psychic (Turhan Bey) preying on a wealthy widow (Lynn Bari) and her impressionable daughter (Cathy O’Donnell). Writer Crane Wilbur’s well-researched script makes this film a perfect complement to Nightmare Alley, displaying how a charming charlatan uses carny tricks to bamboozle his gullible marks. Alton and director Vorhaus’s cinematic trickery creates genuine movie magic, making this one of the most satisfying “B” films of the era.
Noir City: Detroit 2022 is sponsored by the Knight Foundation (https://knightfoundation.org/)