Noir City Hollywood, the Home Game: NIGHTMARE ALLEY

I’ve seen this flick a dozen times and will happily watch it a dozen more, but this special 35mm nitrate screening is one I was really crushed to miss.

Ty Power plays an ambitious young drifter with a knack for the cold read who joins a carnival and swiftly hustles his way into mentalist racket.

There are three blondes in the mix, a washed up fortune teller (Joan Blondell), an electrically charged ingenue (Coleen Gray) and a stone-cold psychologist (Helen Walker.)

Bonus: Mike Mazurki in a leopard singlet!

This is a deliciously pitch black flick, cynical, nuanced and suprisingly modern. It’s vivid, gritty, visually striking, and the characters are all gray-shaded and complex. It pulls no punches as it gazes deep into the shadows of the human psyche and tells it like it fucking is.

Seriously, it’s aces.

Oh and there’s a remake. Different of course, but also gorgeous and definitely worth watching.

It’s even darker and more fucked up than the original, and not just because it’s no longer constrained by the Hays code. The character of Stan isn’t a good guy who goes bad, he’s born bad and stops trying to be anything different.

But why chose when you can have both? Make it a double bill!

Say tuned Faustketeers, because my last write up of the festival is coming tomorrow: UNDER THE GUN, NEW YORK CONFIDENTIAL, and LE SAMOURAÏ

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