Somewhere in the Night (1946) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: During the World War II, a soldier is hit by a grenade that deforms his face and leaves him with amnesia. Sometime later, he is recovered and learns that his name is George Taylor and he is discharged from the army. He finds a letter written by a man called Larry Cravat that would be his pal and he… Runtime: 110 min Release Date: 23 Sep 1946
An Excellent Film Noir Mystery That Will Keep You On The Edge of Your Seat. (by HunterTX)
This is one of my favorite mystery movies. Not only does "Somewhere in the Night" have a great supporting cast, but John Hodiak's performance as one suffering from amnesia has you with him every step of the way on his search for his true identity, missing money, and the reason he is being pursued by others. This plot has so many twists and turns you will not be bored!Look for an uncanny resemblance between John Hodiak and a very young Martin Landau of "Mission Impossible" fame.I saw this movie four times and rate it SUPERB!
One of the Best Fox Film Noirs! (by JohnHowardReid)
Few actresses jump from a thespic nowhere into a star role. You might count them on the fingers of one hand. But it happened to Nancy Guild. Signed to a Fox contract when casting director, Rufus Le Maire, spotted her picture in a 1946 Life magazine lay-out of current college girl dress fashions, Nancy jumped straight from Fox's dramatic school where she spent "a few months as the star pupil" to the lead feminine role in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Somewhere in the Night 1946 . And she does well too. Extremely well by a rather difficult role. Is she a good girl, or one of the <more>
villains? Nancy plays it cool, which is a perfect choice, especially when surrounded by consummate scene-stealers like Richard Conte, Lloyd Nolan, John Hodiak and Fritz Kortner. But her debut proved to be the high point of her motion picture career. Next cast in a Fox "B", The Brasher Doubloon 1947 opposite George Montgomery's Philip Marlowe, she followed with a minor Dan Dailey 1948 musical, Give My Regards to Broadway. Fox then dropped her. At this stage, Orson Welles came to her rescue by offering her the part of Marie Antoinette in Black Magic 1949 in which Gregory Ratoff fronted for him as producer and director. Ratoff actually did direct half the movie, but Welles handled all his own scenes and wrote some of his own dialogue . Although this United Artists release was anything but a success, Universal offered Miss Guild a contract. She played the main feminine role in Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man 1951 and was then third-billed Mark Stevens and Rhonda Fleming were the stars featured on all the posters in Little Egypt 1951 . Fourth billing in Francis Covers the Big Town 1953 and a minor role in Otto Preminger's 1971 Such Good Friends completed her motion picture career. Eight film roles, only one of which her first is of any importance. What a waste! Getting back to the rivetingly noir, Somewhere in the Night, this movie is not just an actor's heyday which it is – you'll probably miss the clever way one of the players signals the plot to the audience in the first 15 minutes, so watch for it on a second view , but a photographer's and set designer's paradise as well. Mankiewicz keeps a firm control of both acting and atmosphere. This exceedingly well-produced movie always enjoyed a considerable cult reputation, which, for once, was thoroughly deserved. Full marks for a really solid script on which none other than leading novelist W. Somerset Maugham worked with Lee Strasberg later to gain fame with his Actors Studio .
A movie with a nice screenplay (by magnatrackamerica)
This is a movie with a bold screenplay,after watching this movie , I had a real hang over for weeks,Obviously each of the scene was quit enjoyable for all of us just because the total element of the movie! I really liked the way of making!
Even for an amnesiac noir, this archetypal entry is too often forgotten (by bmacv)
Borrowed as the title of Nicholas Christopher's study of film noir and the American city, Somewhere In The Night remains a movie less familiar than Laura or The Big Sleep or Out of the Past. But it's almost in their class an atmospheric and at times archetypal noir, the first directorial effort of Joseph L. Mankiewicz and the first major post-war feature to use the device of amnesia-as-metaphor: How vets survived global cataclysm only to have to construct new lives in a homeland that had, in their absence, turned into alien territory.Drifting up out of coma in a military hospital, <more>
John Hodiak can't figure out why everybody calls him George Taylor. Only two letters offer clues to who he is, one from a vindictive girl he ditched, the other apparently from an old pal, Larry Cravat. Without much to go on, he heads to Los Angeles to track down Cravat and thus himself. But as he skulks though the city's dark demimonde Turkish baths, mobbed-up nightclubs, phony spiritualist parlors, insane asylums , he's quick to learn that other people don't want Cravat found. Yet he finds allies in club canary Nancy Guild, her boss Richard Conte, and police detective Lloyd Nolan. He also finds that the reason for all the violence unleashed against and around him is $2-million in Nazi money which disappeared in 1942, the year he joined the Marines . Cravat proves both elusive and uncomfortably close....Somewhere In The Night boasts a strong cast in supporting Conte, Nolan, Fritz Kortner and even tertiary roles Sheldon Leonard, Whit Bissell, Henry Morgan, with special mention to Josephine Hutchinson, who plays a poignant largo midway though the movie . Where it offers scant measure is in its principals. 20th-Century Fox was grooming Guild as its answer to Warners' sultry sensation Lauren Bacall, failing to grasp that Guild's appeal was less romantic than matey the gal pal like a couple of other Nancys from that era, Olson and Davis . Hodiak's more problematic. He enjoyed a few years in the Hollywood limelight Lifeboat, Marriage Is A Private Affair, Desert Fury, Command Decision before his untimely death in 1955. But he never brought the illumination the star quality to his work that would elevate it from the competent to the classic. So he stays generic through his picaresque ordeals, without the specific anguish that distinguished, for example, John Payne or even Gordon MacRae and Edmond O'Brien as they underwent theirs in, respectively, The Crooked Way, Backfire and D.O.A. .Mankiewicz' first go as director comes as a surprise. Most vividly remembered as writer/director of A Letter To Three Wives and the immortal All About Eve movies whose sparkling scripts camouflaged their lack of visual interest , he generates a menacing look in his nightscapes for the City of Angels, camping out in Bunker Hill walk-ups and on Skid Row. The storyline's almost as complicated as The Big Sleep's, and as murky, but then clockwork plots never sat well in film noir the universe it dwells in stays random, volatile, unfathomable.
Mankiewicz could really turn out good product and this neglected film is absolutely worth a look! An unusual hybrid of THE MALTESE FALCON and TOTAL RECALL, SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT was ahead of its time and has aged better than most amnesiac fare. One could argue that TOTAL RECALL owes quite a debt to this movie regarding its twist bad guy identity revelation. There's some excellent dialogue and once you overlook some whopper implausibilities, the plot works well, as does the oddball cast of supporting characters, including the opportunist police lieutenant and the rogues gallery of <more>
ne'er do wells hoping to cash in on the amnesiac's memories. The movie doesn't hold up to close scrutiny how did the money hanging under a pier not rot from three years' worth of salt water for one but it is highly entertaining and noir fans should definitely take a look. Hodiak, Nolan and Conte are all solid in their respective roles. Enjoy!
The difficult way out of total darkness through a nightmare of adversities and rough trials (by clanciai)
A soldier, all bandaged up, wakes up in an army hospital in the war and remembers nothing. All he can do is to soliloquize. His wallet has been miraculously saved from the grenade devastation that all but killed him, which contains a weird letter from someone condemning him with all her hate. That's the only cue he has to his life and identity.It's a difficult beginning to start with, but the soldier is returned to life and to Los Angeles, where he starts digging for his past, groping his way in the total darkness of a mystery that only grows worse for each new clue that turns up. A <more>
singing lady takes care of him and bandages him up when he gets beaten up by hoodlums for no known reason, and there are more and more people like that, trying to get what he knows and the more eagerly so for the fact that he knows nothing.All amnesia films are usually extremely interesting and good, "Random Harvest" is the best example of all, but here the hero has no great past and has never been in any position but is just a common man who had the misfortune to get mixed up with accidents and intrigues beyond his control. At first you feel disappointed with the film, as nothing seems to resolve the mysteries but only to complicate them. Like the man himself you err in a labyrinth of grotesque absurdity, and every helper seems only to make it worse - until he meets an old man in a mental hospital, and then you have already passed way beyond half of the film.What follows though is completely rewarding. The miracle happens that everything in this inextricable mystery actually is resolved and explained, and an impossible abyss of illogical absurdity turns the other way around in a marvel of a sudden revelation, which definitely saves the film and turns it from disaster to glory.All Joe Mankiewicz's films display a high class stylishness of almost an aristocratic touch, which makes them all enjoyable, and this weird odyssey through a nightmare of disorientation is no exception. The actors are also convincing enough, while Richard Conte is the only real character player. This was Mankiewicz's second film on his way up to supreme stardom of directors, and he still had 20 more years to go of reliably outstanding films.
Very good film-noir with a good supporting cast. (by bux)
Hodiak is a WWII Marine vet, suffering amnesia and searching for his true identity. He returns to Los Angeles and becomes involved in two million dollars of missing Nazi loot. Look for many familiar faces in small supporting roles. While watching this one, I kept thinking what a great vehicle it would have been for John Ireland...then I checked the IMDB and found that Ireland did the voice-over narration.......Freudian???
I can't play along like this anymore. I'm getting the jumps. Chasing shadows. (by Spikeopath)
Somewhere in the Night is directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz who also co- adapts the screenplay with Howard Dimsdale from a story by Marvin Browsky. It stars John Hodiak, Nancy Guild, Lloyd Nolan, Richard Conte, Josephine Hutchinson and Fritz Kortner. Music is by David Buttolph and cinematography by Norbert Brodine. George Taylor Hodiak returns from the war suffering from amnesia and trying to track down his identity by following a trail started by a mysterious man named Larry Cravat. Pretty soon George finds himself thrust into a murder mystery where nothing is ever as it seems. The amnesia <more>
sufferer is not in short supply in film noir, neither is the returning from the war veteran, but Somewhere in the Night may just be one of the most under appreciated to use these central themes. Amongst film noir writers it has a very mixed reputation, yet the trajectory it follows is quintessential film noir stuff. George Taylor Hodiak assured and rightly playing it as low-key confusion is very much at the mercy of others, thus he finds himself wandering blindly into a labyrinthine murder mystery. His journey will see him get a beating no matter he is one tough boy , pulled from one suspicious location to the next and introduce him to dames, a stoic copper, a shifty fortune teller and a "too good to be true?" club owner. The screenplay is deliberately convoluted, making paying attention essential, and the script blends tongue in cheek nonchalance with spicy oral stings. The locations Taylor visits are suitably atmospheric, even macabre at times, which allows Mankiewicz and Brodine Boomerang/Kiss of Death to open up some noir visuals. Dr. Oracles's Crystal Ball parlour really kicks things off, fronted by Anzelmo Kortner deliciously shady , it's a room adorned by face masks on the walls and lit eerily by the glow of a crystal ball. Then there's Lambeth Sanitorium, with low-lighted corridors, many doors that hide mentally troubled patients and the shadow inducing stairs. And finally the docks, with dark corners down by the lapping silver water, a solitary bar at the front, smoky and barely rising above dive status. These all form atmospheric backdrops to enhance the suspicion and confusion of the protagonist. Nancy Guild apparently pronounced as Guyled didn't have much of a career, and much of the criticism for the acting in the film landed at her door, but unfairly so. It's true that she's more friendly side-kick than sultry femme fatale, but she has a good delivery style that compliments the doubling up with Hodiak. She's pretty as well, a sort of Bacall/Tierney cross that's most appealing. Elsewhere Conte and Nolan offer up the expected enjoyable noirish performances while a host of noir icons flit in and out of the story, making it fun to see who will pop up next? There is undeniably daft coincidences and credulity stretching moments within the plotting, and in true Mankiewicz style the film is often very talky, but it's never dull and quite often surprising, even having a trick up its sleeve in the finale. Great stuff. 8/10
No one could say Mank didn't have a checkered career: In the 1930s he was castigated for daring to re-write Scott Fitzgerald in his capacity as Producer on Three Comrades, Scott's only solo writing credit, he felt obliged to 'tidy' up several sequences and in the 1960s he was the guy brought in to re-write and 'salvage' Cleopatra but in between he initially wrote then wrote and directed some very tasty fare indeed culminating in his two magnum opii A Letter To Three Wives And All About Eve. Somewhere In the Night dates from 1946, the same year his second directorial <more>
effort Dragonwyck was released and it's well up to snuff. A lot of 'amnesiac' films are, by definition, forgettable, but not this one. Mank assembled as tasty a supporting cast as had ever been shoehorned into one film ranging from Whit Bissell through Harry Morgan, Jeff Corey to the standout Josephine Hutchinson. Leading from the front are the slightly wooden John Hodiak - marriage to Ann Baxter didn't improve his acting -, newcomer Nancy Guild, Lloyd Nolan and Richard Conte and Mank keeps the balls spinning in the air leaving little time for awkward questions - like why would Conte - who'd got away with murder for three years, introduce Hodiak to a detective friend Nolan knowing that Hodiak was trying to get to to bottom of the very murder for which he, Conte, was responsible. This the kind of movie, popular at the time, in which a protagonist who is possibly a murderer is befriended by a girl/woman who's never met him before - for example Alad Ladd and Veronica Lake in The Blue Dahlia and/or in which a street-wise gal like Guild here, has to have the expressions 'private eye' and 'shamus' explained to her. None of this detracts from an enjoyable ride and it's one to add to your Blockbuster shopping list.