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Nightmare Alley

Though perhaps it tries too hard to be 'respectable' and downplays its tawdry trash vulgarity a little too much (the film is tough, but William Lindsay Gresham's superb novel is even tougher), this is still a mean, moody, and well-nigh magnificent melodrama. Power excels as the hick fairground huckster who rises to society celebrity as a fake spiritualist, only to have fickle fortune arc him back to the midway as the boozed-up, live-chicken-eating geek. Blondell, Gray and the strange Helen Walker are the women he uses/abuses to grease his path. Lee Garmes' camerawork, Jules Furthman's script, and Goulding's direction make this one of the most oddball and enduring of the decade's Hollywood highspots.

Release details

Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Edmund Goulding
Screenwriter: Jules Furthman
Cast: Tyrone Power
Joan Blondell
Colleen Gray
Helen Walker
Mike Mazurki
Taylor Holmes
Ian Keith
James Flavin
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