Nightmare Alley | Chicago Reader

Nightmare Alley

Rated NR 111 minutes 1947

This dark and determinedly sleazy 1947 film comes as quite a surprise from its director—Edmund Goulding, whose specialty through the 30s, in films like Grand Hotel and The Old Maid, was his inveterate tastefulness (although, come to think of it, the sleaze of Nightmare Alley has a suspicious gloss). Tyrone Power stars as a sideshow barker who successfully promotes himself as a mind reader, only to have his ruthlessness catch up with him in a finale that still seems shockingly draconian, particularly where a matinee idol like Power is concerned. A fascinating anomaly. With Colleen Gray and Joan Blondell; the screenplay, adapted from William Lindsay Gresham's novel, is by Howard Hawks's frequent collaborator Jules Furthman.

Film Credits

Director: Edmund Goulding

Cast: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell and Coleen Gray

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