SECOND LOOKS W/ ILLEANA DOUGLAS: Nightmare Alley (co-hosted by Michael Tolkin!)

Tonight’s film pick is curated/co-hosted by novelist/filmmaker Michael Tolkin (The Player, The Rapture, The New Age.) Both an intensely funky noir and a lurid tale of the carny life(!), Nightmare Alley is a total must-see. Illeana Douglas says: “I chose Nightmare Alley to highlight the underappreciated work of matinee idol Tyrone Power, and because it represents the kind of provocative film that Hollywood could indeed make once upon a time. Fresh off the success of the existential, uplifting The Razor’s Edge, Power and director Edmund Goulding teamed again to explore the dark underbelly of the carnival milieu. In contrast to his typical swashbuckling roles, Power plays ‘The Great Stanton’, a sideshow huckster who reaches for the stars. This film was Tyrone’s baby: he purchased the rights to the source material, and he fought with Fox’s Darryl Zanuck to keep the integrity of the book’s darkest elements. Lucky for us that he did, for it pushes the boundaries of sex, scams and sordidness, plus with an ending, I promise, that’s not easily forgotten. Released in ‘47, reviews at the time harped on the despicable nature of all the characters, particularly Powers’ lead, saying his sinister portrayal had no redeeming qualities. I know! That’s why I love it!”
Dir. Edmund Goulding, 1947, 35mm, 110 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Nightmare Alley”!