Follow TV Tropes

Following

Film / Night and the City

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dumb_626.jpg
Advertisement:

A 1950 Film Noir directed by Jules Dassin, Night and the City is a bleak tale of ambition, morality and sacrifice.

The film's protagonist is Harry Fabien (Richard Widmark), whose ambition is to control all of professional wrestling in London. His girlfriend, Mary Bristol (Gene Tierney) is not supportive of his plans, but sticks up for him anyway. Harry works as a con man, tricking men into visiting the Silver Fox Club, owned by Phillip Nosseross (Francis L. Sullivan) but really run by his wife, Helen (Googie Withers). Harry strikes a deal with Helen: she gives him £200 to obtain her restaurant license, so that she no longer has to serve her husband, and agrees help fund his wrestling plans.

One night, Harry meets an old retired Greek wrestler named Gregorius (Stanislaus Zbyszko), and becomes his buisiness partner. Gregorious' son, Kristo (Herbert Lom) is aware of Harry's unscrupulous nature and warns his father, who trusts Harry. This disagreement causes a huge rift in the relationship. Because of his own ambition, Harry not only becomes more and more ruthless, but also makes several enemies. Namely a wrestler named The Strangler (Mike Mazurki).

Advertisement:


Tropes used by the film:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Harry goes into a Villainous BSoD after his friend betrays him to Kristo and hides in a boathouse as he waits for Kristo to find and kill him. He makes a speech to an old woman about how stupid he was and how Mary loved him and how he should have been content with his life in the first place. Mary finds him and tries to help, but Harry has given up. In order to give Mary the 1000 pound reward that Kristo has promised, he runs towards Mary, cursing at her and shouting how she's a traitor in front of Kristo. He gets killed and thrown into the ocean, but it's implied that Mary isn't going to get the reward. It's hard not to pity Harry after his pointless sacrifice.
  • All for Nothing: Harry's wrestling promotion that he's worked so hard for falls to pieces after the death of Gregorious.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Harry's ambition is what causes him to become manipulative and uncaring.
  • Advertisement:
  • Amoral Attorney: Harry used to be one before becoming a con man.
  • Anti-Hero: Harry is a Villain Protagonist until Kristo puts a hit out on him. In which he becomes a Type V as he at least didn't murder anyone.
  • Anti-Villain: Kristo is a Type II. He puts a hit out on Harry and even orders his death at the end of the film, but he is purely motivated by the death of his father.
  • The Apprentice: Nicholas to his master Gregorious.
  • Arc Words: "A life of ease and plenty."
  • Badass Boast: Gregorious to Harry about Nicholas: "Strangler? Nicholas pin ten Stranglers! All in same ring, same time."
  • Badass Crew: Gregorious and the other wrestlers at Fabian's Gym.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The Silver Fox Club, where men are cheated out of their money.
  • Bear Hug: What Gregorious uses to finish and beat The Strangler.
  • Big Bad: Kristo becomes this after putting a hit out on Harry, kicking off the third act.
  • Blood Knight: Deconstructed with Gregorious, who loves wrestling and is very proud of his skill. It gets him killed when he fights The Strangler and dies because of his aged body.
  • Bond One-Liner: From Gregorious to Kristo after beating The Strangler: "That's what I do to your clowns."
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: Harry gives himself up to Kristo and The Strangler so that Mary could get the reward money. It doesn't work.
  • The Brute: The Strangler.
  • Cool Old Guy: Gregorious is a retired wrestler and is still very strong despite being middle-aged/elderly. He even beats The Strangler in a fight, though it costs him his life.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Harry slips into a Villainous BSoD after his friend gives him up to Kristo.
  • Downer Ending: Harry dies after making a meaningless sacrifice and the man who ordered his death, Kristo won't get punished.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Helen is the one behind the cons and corruption in The Silver Fox Club and runs things there, her husband merely owns the place.
    • Dragon with an Agenda: But she has no care for her husband and leaves him as soon as she gets her restaurant license.
  • Driven to Suicide: Phillip shoots himself after Helen leaves him.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: The friend who is hiding Harry from Kristo sells him out to Kristo. Harry quickly realizes this, which sends him over the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Kristo, a gang boss, is extremely saddened after his father dies and vows revenge on Harry, who indirectly killed him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Harry acts friendly and charming while sweet talking his targets but drops the act and becomes an aggressive Jerk Ass the moment things don't go his way. Mary, Phillip and Kristo are the only ones who see through it.
  • Film Noir
  • Gold Digger: Helen hates her husband and is only married to him so that she could run the club.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Played Straight with Gregorious. Downplayed with Harry. Who dies screaming, but happily believed that Mary would be taken care of.
  • Heel Realization: While waiting for Kristo to kill him, Harry realizes how obsessed he was and regrets hurting Mary.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Harry hands himself over to Kristo so that Mary could get the reward money.
  • Irony: Helen gets her forged license revoked the night her club is about to open.
  • Karma Houdini: Kristo.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Strangler is arrested instantly after killing Harry. Its implied that Kristo turned him in for his share in his father's death.
  • Like a Son to Me: Nicholas to Gregorious, unlike Kristo his real son.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Harry's entire business is built on this trope.
  • Meaningful Name: The Strangler chokes and kills Harry at the end of the film.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Gregorious and The Strangler beat the crap out of each other. Gregorious wins, but at the cost of his own life.
  • No Name Given: Kristo and Gregorious don't have given last names while The Strangler doesn't have a given real name.
  • Plan: Raise 400 pounds from Phillip and Helen to fund wrestling business, become partners with a retired wrestler, pit him and his powerful mob boss/wrestling promoter son against each other, make his son's brute fight him, the son would fire said brute for harming his father, ruining his business and allowing him to control the London wrestling network. The plan backfires when said brute kills the father and the son AND the brute blame him for it, resulting the son putting a hit out on him. Not to mention that Phillip has withdrawn his funds.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Phillip to Harry: "You have everything, but you're a dead man."
  • Retired Badass: Gregorious the Great. "Finest wrestler the world has ever known."
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Harry turns himself in to Kristo and is killed by The Strangler so that Mary could get the reward money. She doesn't get anything.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Gregorious vs. The Strangler
  • Villain Protagonist: Harry.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: During the fight between Gregorious and The Strangler we are treated to old school wrestling techniques like the Bear Hug, Chokeholds, headlocks, neck cranks, armbars, snapmares, a dragon sleeper and a double wristlock aka kimura lock.
  • You Killed My Father: Kristo towards both Harry and The Strangler.

Top

Example of:

/

Feedback