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Ranjan recommends NIGHTMARE ALLEY (USA, 1947)


Tyrone Power plays an ambitious young man who works at a travelling carnival who rises up the social ladder through con, helped ably by his vulnerable wife (Coleen Gray); but as in any such project, especially if it is a noir, the protagonist’s downfall is foreshadowed, raising the audience’s anxiety to the right pitch till fate catches up with him. Helen Marion Walker plays the femme fatale with aplomb – she is a psychoanalyst in the film, and the rest of the film is competently assisted by an impressive ensemble cast. NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947) by Edmund Goulding has recently been reinterpreted by Guillermo Del Toro and is running for the Oscars, but this old black and white film, shorn of all embellishments strikes just the right note as it pierces the heart with its unrelenting screenplay, reminiscent of a Greek tragedy.


Unfortunately, the film is not on any OTT platforms but you can watch it on YouTube. Here is the link.



Ranjan Das is a Mumbai based filmmaker and faculty.

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