Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell in a scene from Nightmare Alley

Nightmare Alley

Edmund Goulding | USA | 1947

Director: Edmund Goulding
Producer: George Jessel
Screenplay: Jules Furthman, from the
  novel by William Lindsay Gresham
Cinematography: Lee Garmes
Editor: Barbara McLean
Music: Cyril Mockridge
Tyrone Power (Stanton Carlisle)
Joan Blondell (Zeena Krumbein)
Coleen Gray (Molly)
Helen Walker (Dr Lilith Ritter)
Taylor Holmes (Ezra Grindle)
Mike Mazurki (Bruno)
Ian Keith (Pete Krumbein)

Rating: PG low level violence Runtime: 111 minutes

Based on the scandalous best-seller by William Lindsay Gresham (and since adapted by Guillermo del Toro), Nightmare Alley is a sordid glimpse into the travelling carnival life. The gritty film noir follows a tale of unchecked ambition and moral degradation with a career best performance from Tyrone Power.

Stanton “Stan” Carlisle (Tyrone Power) is fascinated by the carnival and its “Geek”, a so-called half-man half-beast. Stan can’t understand “how anybody could get so low.” This fascination leads him to join the carnival, and to ruthlessly climb the ranks. Eventually Stan uses his new found talents to dupe and manipulate the public.

Although the film initially shocked contemporary audiences, it has been re-evaluated as a classic noir. “Nightmare Alley, emerges on the screen as a study in realistic horror which might just as well be recorded now as one of the finest pictures of the year. Gripping,exciting and suspenseful, it is a grim, relentless account of a man’s degeneration.
The Hollywood Reporter


Nov 06 2023


6:15 pm - 8:05 pm