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Clash by Night

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Overview

The opening credits appearing over a turbulent ocean serve as a foreshadowing of things to come in this standard-issue love triangle that shifts into high drama thanks to taut direction by Fritz Lang and a sizzling performance by Barbara Stanwyck. Returning to live with her brother, Joe Keith Andes, at her family's home in a small fishing village, Mae Doyle Stanwyck has reached rock bottom. Reeling from the pain of her previous romances, Mae slowly pieces things together and begins dating Jerry Paul Douglas, a ...
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Overview

The opening credits appearing over a turbulent ocean serve as a foreshadowing of things to come in this standard-issue love triangle that shifts into high drama thanks to taut direction by Fritz Lang and a sizzling performance by Barbara Stanwyck. Returning to live with her brother, Joe Keith Andes, at her family's home in a small fishing village, Mae Doyle Stanwyck has reached rock bottom. Reeling from the pain of her previous romances, Mae slowly pieces things together and begins dating Jerry Paul Douglas, a simple-minded fisherman. More along Mae's speed is Jerry's slick, boozy pal Earl Pfeiffer Robert Ryan, a film projectionist who makes his feelings for her known right away despite the fact that he is married. Mae spurns his advances and decides to marry Jerry. Meanwhile, Joe has grown close to ditzy factory worker Peggy Marilyn Monroe. Some time later, Mae and Jerry have had a baby, and things appear happy, but Mae is not in love with Jerry, and soon finds herself in Earl's arms. Jerry discovers the affair, and during a confrontation with the deceitful couple, Mae reveals that she is leaving to be with Earl. After some booze and a pep talk from his Uncle Vince J. Carrol Naish, Jerry confronts Earl and proceeds to nearly strangle him until Mae arrives. Jerry storms off, but when Mae comes to their home to retrieve the baby, she discovers that Jerry has taken the child. Desperately upset, she explains the situation to Earl, but as they talk, she begins to arrive at a new realization about her life and what it takes to find happiness. ~ Patrick Legare, All Movie Guide
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
You can cut the melodrama with a knife in this compelling but occasionally overblown drama directed by Fritz Lang and based on the play by Clifford Odets. Supported with the usual fine direction by Lang, Clash by Night is also the beneficiary of a remarkable performance by star Barbara Stanwyck, who delivers her biting, caustic dialogue with perfection. "What do you want, Joe, my life's history," she snaps miserably. "Here it is in four words: big ideas, small results." Alternating between bitterness and tenderness, Stanwyck delivers a character who could have been a disaster in the hands of a lesser actress. Paul Douglas, looking, sounding, and acting a lot like Lon Chaney Jr., provides a solid characterization of the simpleton who falls for Stanwyck, and Robert Ryan infuses his lecherous Earl with the requisite nasty disposition. Lang may have had trouble handling Marilyn Monroe, but the blonde bombshell is a pleasant, lighthearted addition in a supporting role. The script by Alfred Hayes is excellent, and feeds Stanwyck and Ryan with plenty of ripe dialogue, while building the story up to the inevitable "clash" foretold in the title. As a footnote in the politically incorrect department, Ryan does an atrocious Chinese impression.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/13/1996
  • UPC: 053939639131
  • Original Release: 1952
  • Rating:

  • Source: Turner Home Ent
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barbara Stanwyck Mae Doyle D'Amato
Paul Douglas Jerry D'Amato
Robert Ryan Earl Pfeiffer
Marilyn Monroe Peggy
J. Carrol Naish Uncle Vince
Keith Andes Joe Doyle
Silvio Minciotti Papa D'Amato
Tony Dante Fisherman at Pier
Nancy Duke
Diane Stewart Baby
Gilbert Frye Man
Sally Yarnell Guest
Dan Bernaducci Guest
Al Cavens Guest
Julius Tannen Sad-Eyed Waiter
William Norton Bailey Waiter
Bert Stevens Bartender
Mario Siletti Bartender
Art Dupuis Customer
Frank Kreig Art
Tony Martin Singer
Technical Credits
Fritz Lang Director
George J. Amy Editor
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Jack Baker Songwriter
Mel Berns Sr. Makeup
Carroll Clark Art Director
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
David Dortort Screenwriter
George Fragos Songwriter
Joe Gasparre Songwriter
Alfred Hayes Screenwriter
Jack Mills Set Decoration/Design
Nick Musuraca Cinematographer
Harriet Parsons Producer
Clem Portman Sound/Sound Designer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Jean L. Speak Sound/Sound Designer
Roy Webb Score Composer
Harold E. Wellman Special Effects
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not Another "B" Movie

    Very strong performances raise the impact of the sometimes overly-flowery dialogue. Stanwyck beautifully portrays a woman who thinks she's tough as nails, but realizes she has a conscience. Robert Ryan does his usual impressive turn as a troubled cynic. Marilyn Monroe, in a non-glamour role, shows that she really could act, and is very good and very touching. The truly outstanding performance comes from Paul Douglas, whose quiet talent I am coming to appreciate more and more. I had never heard of this film, which I believe was a Broadway play with Tallulah Bankhead. I was totally involved as I watched it. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2002

    My luck

    This movie was fantasic. I think it sums up almost every relationship I've been in with a woman who cant make up her mind. My only warning is that this movie really makes you think women can be cruel, but so can men. A great classic that is true especially in today's times.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews