NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947, 35mm)
First show: January 22
Back in the 90s when the Roxie was almost universally known as San Francisco’s “House of Noir, NIGHTMARE ALLEY was a staple of the theater’s programming at the time, popping up repeatedly (by demand!) in the Roxie’s ongoing noir fests. In October 1999, the Roxie even presented a week-long “premiere revival” that further helped to implant this historic film into the collective imagination of San Francisco moviegoers. Now that Guillermo del Toro’s stunning new version has taken its place as a new classic, it’s time for the Roxie to dust off Edmund Goulding’s original 1947 classic.
Tyrone Power stars as Stan Carlisle, a drifter and a grifter, on the make for whatever it takes to move him up the ladder of success, lands in a backwater carnival and is immediately drawn to the dark and dangerous world of phony spiritualism. His descent into the morass of moral corruption takes him on a perilous journey to the very fiery bowels of Hell as he systematically and diabolically marches over those in his way. NIGHTMARE ALLEY was taken from the novel by William Lindsay Gresham, himself an object of cultish fascination. The star, Tyrone Power, lobbied hard for the role in an attempt to further deepen his range as an actor, but the resulting film, with its garish and often ghoulish depiction of human behavior, failed with both the critics and audiences, quickly fading into obscurity. Over time, NIGHTMARE ALLEY has achieved the type of critical status it only could have dreamed of back in 1947. (Elliot Lavine)
Directed by Edmund Goulding. Screenplay by Jules Furthman, from the novel by William Lindsay Gresham. Starring Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, Helen Walker, Mike Mazurki, Ian Keith. Cinematography by Lee Garmes. In Black & White. 111 mins. 1947. 35mm print courtesy of Criterion Pictures.
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NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947, 35mm): Upcoming Showtimes