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Night and the City Photos

Movie Info

Harry Fabian (Robert De Niro) is a crooked lawyer running cons all over New York City. After he fails at a boxing scam, he finds himself in dire financial straits and takes a loan from a merciless moneylender named Mr. Peck (Eli Wallach). When he needs help paying Peck back, Harry turns to Helen (Jessica Lange), a married waitress he is sleeping with. He begins to plot one last con -- that double-crosses many of his allies. With no friends left around town, Harry's luck goes from bad to worse.

Cast & Crew

Robert De Niro
Harry Fabian
Jessica Lange
Helen Nasseros
Cliff Gorman
Phil Nasseros
Alan King
Ira 'Boom Boom' Grossman
Jack Warden
Al Grossman
Barry Primus
Tommy Tessler
Pedro Sanchez
Cuda Sanchez
Harry J. Ufland
Executive Producer
Mary Jane Ufland
Executive Producer
Dennis Matkosky
Original Music
Tak Fujimoto
Cinematographer
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Critic Reviews for Night and the City

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for Night and the City

  • Jun 28, 2016
    Coming off the back of Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear remake in 1991, Robert DeNiro and Jessica Lange collaborated again a year later on another remake; this time Jules Dassin's 1950's film-noir, Night and the City. The original had a lot of admirers which can often lead to a retread being heavily criticised and even though I haven't seen Dassin's version, Irwin Winkler's certainly didn't deserve the much maligned reception it received. Two-bit, incompetent lawyer Harry Fabian (Robert DeNiro) takes whatever unethical approach is required to defend his clients but when he finds himself involved in a lawsuit with a prize boxer, he develops and interest in the boxing world. In another of his get-rich-quick schemes he decides to stage his own boxing event but in doing so, he steps on the toes of the local mob boss and has to borrow money off everyone he knows to put his plan together. From the offset we overhear Sam the Sham's Wooly Bully played out to the sidewalks of Manhattan as DeNiro's Harry Fabian shuffles in and out of the busy commuters. It's a brisk opening and sets the tone for the rest of the film. Fabian is a man that's always on the move and by his own admission "I'm like a shark: I stop moving, I die". He's a very colourful character and it's another one of DeNiro's interestingly offbeat portrayals that's not unlike his desperate hanger-on Rupert Pupkin from The King Of Comedy. Fabian is basically a no-good, shyster who ambulance chases his way to a living. He lacks scruples and a moral integrity and anyone that gets close to him, simply isn't safe from his financial shenanigans. He really is a hard man to like but that's all the more reason to single out DeNiro's magnetic performance. As a viewer, you don't trust this man as far as you could throw him but DeNiro still makes you care. Despite his faults, Fabian is still shown to have a modicum of decency and it's a decency that DeNiro teases out of the role. He's not the only one on form, though, the entire supporting cast deliver very strong work; Jessica Lange's ambitious but bored waitress, Cliff Gorman as her controlling and suspicious husband, the great Jack Warden as DeNiro's business partner and Alan King as the local mobster "Boom Boom" who takes a strong disliking to Fabian. It's an eclectic mix of personalities that make up this quintessential New York story as cinematographer Tak Fujimoto makes great use of the locations to capture the flavour and vibrancy of the city itself. All positives aside, though, this film came in for some very heavy criticism; there has been complaints about it's tone, a muddled script, poor direction and badly judged performances but I really didn't see it that way. DeNiro's kinetic energy brings a very lively pace to the film and Irwin Winkler's direction handles the pace more than admirably and employs the use of some impressive tracking shots along the way. Even these weren't good enough for some, though, as he was criticised for trying too hard to be like Scorsese (who was originally onboard to direct before passing it on). I can accept that the ending of the film loses a little steam but, for the most part, Richard Price's screenplay is filled with humour, sharp dialogue and three-dimensional characters. There's not much more that's required. An under the radar and vastly underrated slice of New York life that benefits greatly from, a rarely offscreen, DeNiro in one of his most enjoyable roles. Forget the critics, there's much to recommend this and it's a film that should be on every DeNiro fan's list. Mark Walker
    Mark W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2009
    So De Niro does great here, and his monologues and way of speaking incessantly are pretty good. But this film, it just feels like this tired, old retread of something out there that's better. Oh wait, it's a remake, that's why! I mean, Warden's good, hell, even Lange and her terrible accent isn't half bad, but I wasn't compelled to watch this movie that much. The ending was scattershot, and I could've seen it coming a mile away. I'm sure the original is better. This one, leave it in bin next to Eight-Legged Freaks and The Wiz.
    matt s Super Reviewer
  • May 08, 2009
    Night and the City starring Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange is a good drama set in NYC. Harry (De Niro) is a ambulance chasing lawyer whom is romantically involved with a married woman (Lange) who works at her own bar. A good film to see with the great actors De Niro & Lange.
    Mason W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2009
    Enjoyed this. Great role for <a href="http://www.flixster.com/actor/robert-de-niro">De Niro</a>.
    Ed K Super Reviewer

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