Nightmare Alley (1947)

Friday, Nov. 19 at the church building. Dinner and a movie! Please RSVP and provide count (to gro.nitcotek@ofni or on Facebook) for free pizza at 6pm–movie is at 7pm. Nightmare Alley is a 1947 American film noir starring Tyrone Power and featuring Joan BlondellColeen Gray, and Helen Walker. The film was directed by Edmund Goulding, and based on the 1946 novel of the same title, written by William Lindsay GreshamNightmare Alley is considered a film that exemplifies the post-World War II movement of film noir. A darker film, it explores some of the evil motivations and machinations of the human heart. At the same time, hope is a major theme in the film.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE NOTE: even though the film is from 1947, it was not meant to be watched or even understood by most kids under 12, so parental guidance is needed. It would definitely get a PG-13 rating if made today. It is not a horror film, but it deals with our capacity to be seduced by sin and the natural outcomes of a pursuit of sin.

Nightmare Alley is considered a film that exemplifies the post-World War II movement of film noir—defined by the shadows of its photography and uneasiness of mood the stories tell the critic. Roger Ebert defined film noir as “the most American film genre, because no society could have created a world so filled with doom, fate, fear and betrayal, unless it were essentially naive and optimistic.” The website American Pulps calls film noir “blue collar Greek tragedy.” The Encyclopedia Britannica defines a tragedy as “a work of art that probes with high seriousness questions concerning the role of man in the universe.” Join us as we consider questions like that around a thought-provoking film.


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