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Nightmare Alley

Nightmare Alley (1947)

tomatometer

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 1,576

My Rating

Movie Info

Nightmare Alley is the sordid tale of a conniving young man who, in the words of one of the film's supporting characters, ends up low because he aimed so high. Drifter Tyrone Power sweet-talks his way into a job as barker for a rundown carnival. He is fascinated by an illegal side-show attraction called "The Geek," a near-lunatic who bites the heads off live chickens and then is "paid off" with a cheap bottle of rotgut and a warm place to sleep it off. Otherwise, Power's attention is focussed on

Unrated,

Drama, Classics

Jun 7, 2005

20th Century Fox

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (0) | DVD (12)

A strange and rather sick movie made by highly talented people.

February 6, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Neither a great movie nor even a classic noir but it has a great ambition to be daring and, once seen, is not easily forgotten.

February 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Alongside Todd Browning's Freaks, this is a brilliantly grim assessment of humanity's place in the cruel circus of life.

August 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

...worth a look, if only for Power's engaging, electrifying performance.

July 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

will haunt you for days

June 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

A cult classic.

January 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

One of the odder products of Hollywood's golden age.

February 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

A terrific movie, pulled off with a tremendous amount of skill.

February 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A middle of the road drama that has a lot going for it in certain key areas.

February 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

Power used his almost irritating handsomeness as a subversive tool.

February 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Movieline
Movieline

Audience Reviews for Nightmare Alley

A touching, dramatic, exciting, romantic, interesting film. I loved Power as the young man who aims too high, goes too far, pushes too much to get what he thinks he deserves. It's pretty long, but very worth seeing.
September 26, 2012
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

Nightmare Alley gets better every time I see it. The photography is so beautiful and simultaneously sleazy that I felt like I need a tetanus shot after watching it. Tyrone Power plays a great prick who gets what he wants through Jedi mind tricks and a series of screw jobs. Obviously things aren't going to end well for such an unscrupulous character and said ending may be a little predictable. But watching a film noir carnie movie is one of those things that blow your mind once you stop to think about it. Like deep fried pickles...
June 6, 2011
mjgildea

Super Reviewer

Good movie, with an especially good performance by Tyrone Power. He plays a magician/mentalist in a circus sideshow. One of his fellow performers dies due to a careless, although unintentional, act by Power, a death foretold in a tarot card reading by Joan Blondell. Power leaves the circus and starts his own mind-reading act with his new wife Coleen Gray. During a show he meets a mysterious lady psychiatrist who makes a deal with him. Telling anymore would ruin it, so I'll just say this -- you can't run away from fate.
January 13, 2008
webalina

Super Reviewer

The best Carnie Noir film ever made.

and Colleen Gray is wicked hot
December 9, 2007
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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Foreign Titles

  • Nightmare Alley (1947) (DE)
  • Nightmare Alley (1947) (UK)
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