The Big Night

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Losey's last American film before his European exile opens on a note strikingly reminiscent of The Killers: a sensitive 17-year-old boy (Barrymore) watches in shattered disbelief as the father he hero-worships (Foster) tamely submits to a brutal thrashing at the hands of a crippled sports reporter (St John). Then, wandering with vengeful gun through a seedy nighttown inferno of bars, boxing-rings and nightclubs, he gradually discovers why in a process of growing up. Intense, sharply characterised, brilliantly shot by Hal Mohr, it works extremely well even though Losey subsequently objected to the chronological narrative imposed by producer Philip Waxman: 'It had been planned in a frame of flashback.'

Release details

Duration: 75 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joseph Losey
Screenwriter: Stanley Ellin, Joseph Losey
Cast: John Barrymore Jr
Preston Foster
Howland Chamberlin
Howard St John
Dorothy Comingore
Joan Lorring
Philip Bourneuf
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