7.8/10
6,671
110 user 70 critic

Nightmare Alley (1947)

Passed | | Drama, Film-Noir | 28 October 1947 (USA)
The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist whose lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director:

Edmund Goulding

Writers:

Jules Furthman (screenplay), William Lindsay Gresham (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tyrone Power ... Stanton 'Stan' Carlisle
Joan Blondell ... Zeena Krumbein
Coleen Gray ... Molly
Helen Walker ... Lilith Ritter
Taylor Holmes ... Ezra Grindle
Mike Mazurki ... Bruno
Ian Keith ... Pete Krumbein
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Storyline

The ambitious Stanton "Stan" Carlisle works in a sideshow as carny and assistant of the mentalist Zeena Krumbein, who is married with the alcoholic Pete. The couple had developed a secret code to pretend to read minds and was successful in the show business before Pete starts drinking. Stan stays with them expecting to learn their code and leave the carnival to be a successful mentalist. Stan also flirts with the gorgeous Molly that lives in the carnival with the strong Bruno. Zeena and The Savage, an alcoholic man that eats live chickens that the audiences believe that is a savage, are the greatest attractions of the sideshow. When Stan gives booze to Pete and he dies, Stan finds that Pete had drunk methyl alcohol and not his booze, but he feels guilty for the death of him. Zeena teaches the code to him and Molly helps Stan to learn them. After an incident, Stan is forced to marry Molly and he decides to move to Chicago with her to become a sensation in a night club. One day, he ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He was all things to all men ... but only one thing to all women!

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 October 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El callejón de las almas perdidas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point, 'Stan' offers 'Bruno' a cigar. The name on the box is La Unica, a well-known Cuban-made brand at the time. The brand still exists, but the cigars are now made in the Dominican Republic with Dominican and Connecticut-grown tobacco leaves. See more »

Goofs

When Tyrone Power is conning the policeman, several times he refers to himself as being Scotch. No one from Scotland would ever say that. They are a Scot or Scottish. Scotch is a whiskey. See more »

Quotes

Stanton Carlisle: What kind of deck is this?
Zeena Krumbein: This is the tarot. Oldest kind of cards in the world. Pete says the gypsies brought them out of Egypt. They're a wonder for giving private readings.
Stanton Carlisle: I'd say. They look plenty weird.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Across the Hall (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las olas (Over the Waves)
(uncredited)
Music by Juventino Rosas
Played during the opening carnival scene
See more »

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User Reviews

longtime favorite, still unavailable
27 February 2004 | by Judexdot1See all my reviews

Wandered in on this classic many years ago, when it aired on WGN with no advance notice. I'd read a Houdini biography by William Lindsay Gresham, and seeing his name on this really got my curiosity up. Can't understand all the comparisons to "Freaks". They share a carnival setting, and little else. In these days of "Crossing Over", and psychic 1-900 hotlines, everybody should see this expose of the psychic business, possibly more important now, than then. Tyrone Power is excellent, playing against type, and showing more acting ability than many expected. The cast is virtually flawless, and the story remains timely. Having worked on a carnival myself, this film was very useful. Between this, and the gambling books of John Scarne, I started at the carnival with full knowledge of the scams that augmented their operations. I guess that a new print has been struck for arthouse showings, but we really need a lavish DVD presentation, with all the extras and documentation they can find!

--Judexdot1--


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