4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine performance by De Niro
This is a remake of Night and the City (1950) directed by Jules Dissan, who was blacklisted by Hollywood because of actions by the House Un-American Activities Committee, and for that reason is dedicated to Dissan who had to continue his career in Europe. The original film starred Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Francis L. Sullivan and Herbert Lom. I haven't seen that...
Published on 10 Dec 2006 by Dennis Littrell
3.0 out of 5 stars Harry, you ever hear of Murphy's Law? Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Night and the City is directed by Irwin Winkler and adapted to screenplay by Richard Price from the novel written by Gerald Kersh. It stars Robert De Niro, Jessica Lange, Cliff Gorman, Jack Warden, Alan King, Eli Wallach and Barry Primus. Music is by James Newton Howard and cinematography by Tak Fujimoto.
Ambulance chasing lawyer Harry Fabian (De Niro) has...
Published 4 months ago by Spike Owen
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine performance by De Niro,
This review is from: Night And The City [DVD] (DVD)This is a remake of Night and the City (1950) directed by Jules Dissan, who was blacklisted by Hollywood because of actions by the House Un-American Activities Committee, and for that reason is dedicated to Dissan who had to continue his career in Europe. The original film starred Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Francis L. Sullivan and Herbert Lom. I haven't seen that film, but I understand that it is very good.
This film from 1992 is not bad; however for some reason its reputation isn't much. The voters at IMDb give it a rather tepid 5.7 stars out of 10 while giving the original 8 out of 10. I'm not sure why, but I think it has to do with:
(1) Robert De Niro playing a non-heroic character. It certainly doesn't have anything to do with his acting. He is outstanding as Harry Fabian, flimflam low life lawyer and cheap BS artist who tries desperately to make a big splash as a fight promoter. I think most De Niro fans would prefer to see him in a more two-fisted role. At any rate, those who didn't like the movie almost certainly didn't care for De Niro's performance since his character dominates the action.
(2) The ending, which some might see as unfinished and others as disagreeable since, regardless of what transpires, Fabian is still a loser, perhaps bigger than ever.
(3) Some rather cheesy plot play. Near the end Fabian and Helen (Jessica Lange looking as fetching as ever) hide in a dead end alley among dumpsters and trash cans. Well, they should have continued running since the guys after them were only walking. Also when Fabian and Helen run out the side door of the restaurant they go the wrong way so that the heavies can see them running across the street. Had they turned left instead of right (as anybody in their situation would have done) they would not even have been seen. Furthermore, Fabian in a flamboyant gesture throws $12,000 into the air that flutters to the ground in the dead end alley. Nobody bothers to pick it up. That could happen.
What cannot be faulted is the authentic New York atmosphere created by director Irvin Winkler, who is better know as a producer, most notably of the Sylvester Stallone "Rocky" films, and the fine work by the rest of the cast, especially Alan King (Ira "Boom Boom" Grossman), Eli Wallach (Peck), Cliff Gorman (Phil Nasseros), and Jack Warden (Al Grossman). The story itself, from a novel by Gerald Kersh (script by Richard Price), is a variation on the "lovable, colorful loser makes good" theme, only in this case, like an inept noir anti-hero, he falls on his face--more than once, by the way.
No real De Niro fan should miss this. Personally I thought it was one of his best performances. The rapid fire dialogue, the fawning, pathetic, yet somehow uplifting personality were not something most actors could pull off, at least not nearly as well. De Niro became the character he portrayed.
Bottom line: definitely worth seeing. You will not be bored.
3.0 out of 5 stars Harry, you ever hear of Murphy's Law? Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.,
This review is from: Night And The City [DVD] (DVD)Night and the City is directed by Irwin Winkler and adapted to screenplay by Richard Price from the novel written by Gerald Kersh. It stars Robert De Niro, Jessica Lange, Cliff Gorman, Jack Warden, Alan King, Eli Wallach and Barry Primus. Music is by James Newton Howard and cinematography by Tak Fujimoto.
Ambulance chasing lawyer Harry Fabian (De Niro) has grand designs to be a boxing promoter. Unfortunately this ruffles the feathers of a local promoter who is not exactly known for his kindness...
It's often unfair to do down a remake of a classic film, with the rule of thumb being we are asked to judge said remake on its own terms. However, Winkler's neo-noir remake of Jules Dassin's brilliant 1950 film noir of the same name just lacks the edginess or urgency to make a mark.
It's not down to performances of the cast or the tech production in general, in fact De Niro, Warden and the under written Lange are watchable, while Fujimoto's photography around the New York locations is superlative. Yet the characters as written here, in the shift from postwar London to a thrumming NYC, have no psychological pangs to drive the picture forward.
Harry trudges from one slice of idiocy to another, with a big plot development making no sense, and all the time there's ill placed humour hanging over the plot to further compound the feeling we are watching a disjointed attempt at neo-noir nirvana. While the conclusion here is weak and kind of a cheat.
The makers dedicated the film to Dassin, that's a nice sentiment, but really they should have honoured him by making a far better movie in the spirit of the great director himself. 5/10
5.0 out of 5 stars De Niro, the proverbial New Yorker, delivers a master-class in acting..,
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This review is from: Night And The City [DVD] (DVD)When this film premièred the reviews were mixed. Many critics compared it to the original 1950's film with Richard Widmark etc.
I think overall this is an unfair comparison.
For me this film always remind me how exceptional an actor De Niro can be.
And its because of that reason alone I rate this film as one my hidden gems. Its the kind of film I'll watch when its raining, when the doldrums of another working week has begun, and I'm looking for some special kind of tonic to revitalise me.
De Niro's performance is - trying to find a suitable adjective here - I would say his performance is swanky. A grade swanky. He looks like he is enjoying playing this role. So often you can watch a film and a nagging sensation strikes you, something is missing, and the answer rests on a number of reasons. Is it the plot? Would there be more credibility in believing in Santa Claus rather than the principal characters of whatever turgid film you're watching? Are the actors pedestrian, notching another pay cheque to support their lavish celebrity lifetstyle?
I guarantee you, De Niro is not going through the motions. His performance crackles with vivacity, and in fact all of the cast is stellar. I see little point in talking about the plot.
All said and done if you're a De Niro fan this film should be in your collection. And if you despise De Niro, but you love films I'll wager you at the bare minimum this is a very enjoyable film.
It costs next to nothing to buy. Grab your loved one, get the popcorn, recline in the sofa, relax and hail the hidden splendour of Robert De Niro in 'Night And The City'.
4.0 out of 5 stars New York TKO,
This review is from: Night And The City [DVD] (DVD)'Night And The City' sees Robert De Niro as Harry Fabian, an ambulance chasing lawyer, the kind you see on daytime TV, where there's a blame, there's a claim except Fabian tries to invent claims where there is no blame and in the course of this, he tries to sue a boxer and his promoter but the promoter turns out to be a gangster so, instead of backing down Fabian tries to become a rival promoter with the help of the gangsters brother and money borrowed from here, there and everywhere.
It's not a Robert De Niro film that springs to mind when you're rattling through his bio and has seemingly slipped under the radar, it was released the same year as 'A Bronx Tale' so maybe it got lost in that films shadow, who knows, nonetheless it is a quality film and although it's listed as a crime drama or film noir in some listings, I'd describe it as a comedy drama and a comedy drama in which De Niro shines as part time hustler, schmuck and smooth operator.
The only thing that let it down was the ending which, I can't say too much about as I don't want to spoil it if you're thinking about buying this DVD but I just felt it let the film down slightly, other than that I enjoyed it.
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Night And The City [DVD] by Irwin Winkler (DVD - 2007)