Edmund Goulding

NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947)

Nightmare Alley

In Nightmare Alley, Tyrone Power plays one slick charlatan feeding off the gullibility of old ladies. This cat’s got charm and smoky eyes that could floor a rhino. It might be one of my favorite noir roles, even if I think he deserved a much harsher punishment in the end. This film is cool because it doesn’t revolve around cops or private investigators going after gangsters (in the traditional sense). It’s set in the dark underworld of carnies and provides some surface insight on how they rope in suckers, fleece them, and pull up stakes for the next town. And when carnies start betraying each other and can’t trust their own, you know you’re in for some shit.

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