Blu-ray Review: Nightfall

Between the 1940s and 1960s one of the most popular film genres in American cinema was film noir. This mix of down at heel gumshoe and slightly shabby chic fitted perfectly into the penny-pinching philosophy of Columbia Studios. They embraced its style and went on to produce some of its greatest movies. The Big Heat, In a Lonely Place, Human Desire and Experiment in Terror all came from their four walls. As did Nightfall, which is up there with the best.

Jim (Aldo Ray) and his friend ‘Doc’ (Frank Albertson) are on a hunting trip in Wyoming when they witness a car accident. Doc patches up John (Brian Keith) but is shot by his partner ‘Red’ (Rudy Bond). The pair are bank robbers and have $350,000 in cash which Jim manages to escape with. Some time later in LA, he bumps into Marie (Anne Bancroft) in a bar. They hit it off, but as the couple leave the establishment his past catches up with him.

Nightfall is a story of a man desperately trying to shake off his past and build himself a new life. Director Jacques Tourneur (Out of the Past, Night Demon, Cat People) has great fun playing with and subverting noir tropes. Ray is great as the lead and there’s an unusual bonhomie between the cast which flies in the face of convention. Nightfall is a superior crime drama which is surprisingly upbeat and positive.

Special edition contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation, restored from original film elements
  • Original lossless mono soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • New audio commentary by author and critic Bryan Reesman
  • White and Black, a new video appreciation of Nightfall by film historian Philip Kemp
  • Do I Look Like a Married Man?, a new video essay on the themes of Nightfall by author and critic Kat Ellinger
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Amy Simmons

Nightfall is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 3 June.

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