Night and the City (1992)




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Movie Info

Night and the City is a remake of the 1950 Richard Widmark vehicle of the same name. Major changes: As played by Robert DeNiro, the Widmark character, one Harry Fabian, is no longer merely a two-bit tout but instead a two-bit lawyer; and the film is set in New York, as opposed to the London setting of the original. While embroiled in a lawsuit involving a boxer, Fabian becomes fascinated in the world of championship prizefights. Always susceptible to get-rich-quick schemes, Fabian tries to organize his own big boxing event, but to do that he needs the help of hardnosed promoter Alan King--and to get to King, Fabian uses the promoter's father, former boxer Jack Warden, to act as front man. Fabian scurries around lying and double-dealing in order to sell percentages of the upcoming bout, while King warns Fabian of the consequences should anything unfortunate happen to the ailing Warden. Disaster plagues Fabian as his boxers fail to pass their physicals, and Warden dies while setting up the big event. Pursued by King and his creditors, the terrified Fabian is urged by girlfriend Jessica Lange to get of town. Instead, Fabian decides to face up to his failings for the first time in his life, and stands his ground for the final, fatal confrontation. Like the earlier Widmark film, the 1992 Night and the City is based on a novel by Gerald Kersh.
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In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


Robert De Niro
as Harry Fabian
Jessica Lange
as Helen Nasseros
Cliff Gorman
as Phil Nasseros
Alan King
as Grossman
Barry Primus
as Tommy Tessler
Gene Kirkwood
as Resnick
Pedro Sanchez
as Sanchez
Jack Warden
as Al Grossman
Gerry Murphy
as 1st Steel Jaw
Brenda Denmar
as Kid's Mom
Clem Caserta
as 2nd Steel Jaw
Anthony Canarozzi
as Emmet Gorgon
Byron Utley
as Frisker
Maurice Shrog
as Gym Manager
Regis Philbin
as Himself
Joy Philbin
as Herself
Richard Price
as Doctor
Frank Jones
as Dugan
Peter Bucossi
as Attacker
Bert Randolph Sugar
as Guy at Bar
Barry Squitieri
as Marty Kaufman
Lisa Vidal
as Carmen
Carol Woods
as Secretary
Michael Badalucco
as Elaine's Bartender
Nandan Sage
as Gupta
Ben Lin
as Duk Soo Kim
John Polce
as Bouncer
Kennan Scott
as Kid on Phone
Kenn Scott
as Kid on Phone
Victor Machado
as Santiago
Chuck Low
as Freddy DiMario
Louis Cantarini
as Boxing Official
John Quinn
as Bartender
Lou Polo
as Jap Epstein
Philip Carlo
as Peck's Guy
Cameron Lane
as 1st Mugger
Sharrieff Pugh
as 2nd Mugger
Mitchell Tex Low
as Delivery Man
Mitch Cunningham
as Kid at Disco
Dave Reilly
as 2nd Cop
Leslie Bart
as Boom Boom's Secretary
Ann Devaney
as Gorgon's Girl
Lorenzo Palminteri
as Tommy Carver
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Critic Reviews for Night and the City

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4)

Relish the movie's snappy, low-life high spirits.

Full Review… | January 18, 2013
Top Critic

An unnecessary remake? judged by the end result. it's hard to tell what motivated Irwin Winkler, a poor director, to redo the Jules Dassin noir classic of the 1940s; perhaps the opportunity to work with De Niro and Jessica Lange, though neither is good

Full Review… | September 11, 2006

Quote not available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Quote not available.

March 30, 2005
Los Angeles CityBeat

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December 31, 2004
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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April 7, 2004
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Audience Reviews for Night and the City

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 Walker
Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

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 sigur
matt sigur

Super Reviewer

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 Williams
Mason Williams

Super Reviewer

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