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Somewhere in the Night [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009X7678
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,624 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Somewhere in the Night is directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz who also co-adapts the screenplay with Howard Dimsdale from a story by Marvin Browsky. It stars John Hodiak, Nancy Guild, Lloyd Nolan, Richard Conte, Josephine Hutchinson and Fritz Kortner. Music is by David Buttolph and cinematography by Norbert Brodine.

George Taylor (Hodiak) returns from the war suffering from amnesia and trying to track down his identity by following a trail started by a mysterious man named Larry Cravat. Pretty soon George finds himself thrust into a murder mystery where nothing is ever as it seems.

The amnesia sufferer is not in short supply in film noir, neither is the returning from the war veteran, but Somewhere in the Night may just be one of the most under appreciated to use these central themes. Amongst film noir writers it has a very mixed reputation, yet the trajectory it follows is quintessential film noir stuff.

George Taylor (Hodiak assured and rightly playing it as low-key confusion) is very much at the mercy of others, thus he finds himself wandering blindly into a labyrinthine murder mystery. His journey will see him get a beating (no matter he is one tough boy), pulled from one suspicious location to the next and introduce him to dames, a stoic copper, a shifty fortune teller and a "too good to be true?" club owner. The screenplay is deliberately convoluted, making paying attention essential, and the script blends tongue in cheek nonchalance with spicy oral stings.

The locations Taylor visits are suitably atmospheric, even macabre at times, which allows Mankiewicz and Brodine (Boomerang/Kiss of Death) to open up some noir visuals. Dr.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
although this seems understated, this is a brilliant film.

Much in the vein of the later Bullitt from 1968, this film will have you puzzling out who is what and how they are connected.

A wounded US Marine returns to California after WW2 with no memory and a mysterious letter from a 'Larry Cravat'

When the US Marine starts asking about Larry Cravat, the action starts, just like when you lift up a stone, all the bugs start crawling out!

There are many twists, turns and dead ends for the lead charachter George Taylor the US Marine as he tries to find Larry Caravat and unravel the story of what happened in 1942 some three years previously.

I won't spoli it for you but he gets the runaround and people go to an awful lot of trouble to try and find out what George Taylor knows about Larry Cravat!

A great understated performance from Lloyd Nolan as the Police Detective too!

Great 1940's style film noir!
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Format: DVD
George Taylor (John Hodiak) wakes up in a Marine field hospital in the Pacific. His jaw is wired shut, his face has been rearranged by a grenade, he has no memory. He finds in his wallet an old note from a friend, Larry Cravat. He's finally discharged and goes to Los Angeles, where Cravat's letter said he'd put $5,000 in a bank account for Taylor. He still has no memory. Suddenly, he finds himself up to his neck in a three-year-old murder supposedly committed by Cravat, a missing suitcase containing $2 million of Nazi money, a nightclub songstress named Christy Smith (Nancy Guild), her boss, Mel Phillips (Richard Conte), and an assortment of bruisers, low lifes and mental cases. Off to the side, watching and waiting, is police lieutenant Don Kendall (Lloyd Nolan), who has a hunch Taylor may lead him to Cravat.

This was one of Joseph Mankiewicz's first director jobs. He'd made his reputation writing screenplays and he wrote this one. As a director, he was still learning his way. The movie is interesting, but is not in the league of the films he would start making in two or three years. Once the plot really kicks in, however, about a third of the way, the movie starts getting better and better.

Although as a noir, the film has all the nighttime scenes and tough dialogue you might want, it still is very much a B-movie, and this is, I think, because of two flaws you need to accept if you're going to enjoy it. The two leads, John Hodiak and Nancy Guild, aren't very effective. Hodiak was a sincere, somewhat stolid middle-of-the-road actor. At his best, as in A Bell for Adano and Sunday Dinner for a Soldier, he could be effective. I don't think tough-guy roles played to his strengths. He was only 41 when he died of a heart attack. This was Nancy Guild's first film.
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Format: DVD
Excellent little-known thriller with tons of twists and turns and compelling set-pieces and a gallery of great characters: Phyllis the glamorous tramp; Anselmo the fortune-telling crook; Hubert the heavy; the wise-cracking laid-back looey; Elizabeth and Conroy a very strange father and daughter; and John Hodiak our mysterious hero who resembles a big dog crossed with Johnny Depp. Ripe for a Mankiewicz revival season somewhere, it has a great script with some very amusing wise-cracks. A great scene (among many) in a Chinese restaurant; in fact that would feature in a list of top 20 film lunches I reckon!
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