Review: ‘So Dark the Night’

Around the frail structure of a story [by Aubrey Wisberg] about a schizophrenic Paris police inspector who becomes an insane killer at night, a tight combination of direction, camerawork and musical scoring produce a series of isolated visual effects that are subtle and moving to an unusual degree.

Around the frail structure of a story [by Aubrey Wisberg] about a schizophrenic Paris police inspector who becomes an insane killer at night, a tight combination of direction, camerawork and musical scoring produce a series of isolated visual effects that are subtle and moving to an unusual degree.

Paradoxically, the film seems to collapse under the weight of its technical niceties as director Joseph H. Lewis continuously takes time out to make his points through the indirection of cinematic imagery rather than directly through the spoken word.

Settings for the pic, which unfolds in an obscure French village, are outstanding for their density and accuracy of detail. Despite the obvious budget limitations, the layout of the streets, interior decorations and landscape shots define France as it exists in our imagination.

Story revolves around the ill-fated romance between a middle-aged Parisian detective and a young country girl who is already betrothed to a neighboring farmer. On the wedding eve, the farmer in a well-portrayed dramatic encounter, threatens the detective and stalks out of the party, the girl following in a frenzy of mixed emotions. Several days later, both the girl and farmer are found to have been strangled to death.

So Dark the Night

Production

Columbia. Director Joseph H. Lewis; Producer Ted Richmond; Screenplay Martin Berkeley, Dwight Babcock; Camera Burnett Guffey; Editor Jerome Thoms; Music Hugo Friedhofer; Art Director Carl Anderson

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1946. Running time: 71 MIN.

With

Steven Geray Micheline Cheirel Eugene Borden Ann Codee Egon Brecher Helen Freeman
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading