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Nightmare Alley (1947)

Nightmare Alley (1947)
November 24, 2013 - 7:00 pm

“‘Nightmare Alley'’ is grim, powerful stuff - the sordid tale of a carnival charlatan's rise and fall … it contains Mr. Power's best performance, strong and captivating.” – New York Times

Directed by Edmund Goulding 

Bored with playing sympathetic heroes, Tyrone Power persuaded Twentieth Century-Fox to cast him as a calculating heel in a noir-ish film version of William Lindsay Gresham's 1946 novel.  Ambitious carnival roustabout Stan Carlisle takes over a sideshow mind-reading act and transforms it into a slick nightclub turn.  Determined to milk the "spook racket" for all it's worth, Stan next joins forces with a corrupt psychiatrist who supplies him with confidential information about her wealthy patients that Stan uses to convince them of his psychic ability.  Power skillfully conveys Stan's cynicism and nervy charm, along with his oddly touching naiveté: he cannot help believing in tarot cards, and has a superstitious fear of divine retribution.  Nightmare Alley stands out among 1940s films for its darkly humorous slant on phony religionists and their gullible followers.

---Charles Hopkins

Twentieth Century Fox.  Producer: George Jessel. Screenwriter: Jules Furthman, based on the novel by William Lindsay Gresham.  Cinematographer: Lee Garmes.  Editor: Barbara McLean.  Cast: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, Helen Walker, Taylor Holmes. 

35mm, b/w, 111 min.

Watch the trailer below.

Walky Talky Hawky (1946)

Directed by Robert McKimson

Loudmouth rooster Foghorn Leghorn and chicken-hungry Henery Hawk first squared off in this Academy Award–nominated cartoon.

35mm, color, 10 min. 

Popular Science, J7-4: Fog Fighters (1947)

Stories include: precision measuring devices, a "scientific" barbershop in Westwood, and a testing station for high-intensity landing lights and other fog-fighting aids at the Arcata Airport.

Producer: Jerry Fairbanks.

35mm, color, 10 min. 

News of the Day, Vol. 19, No. 207: "The Forgotten Islands" (September 25, 1947)

Two years after the end of WWII, a News of the Day team made the 20,000-mile air journey from Guam to Iwo Jima, retracing the Navy's successful "island hopping" campaign in the Pacific.  The islands' peaceful appearance in 1947 is contrasted with newsreel images of the bloody battles fought on them a few years earlier.

35mm, b/w, 8 min.