Clash by Night Reviews

  • Nov 11, 2020

    The story of tough times for working fishermen. Paul Douglas is exceptional in this film as the hopeful husband. Unlike other 30s-50s movies, the potential breakup of his marriage is heartbreaking to him, and that feeling seems to spread. Really enjoyed Stanwyck's character. She is what brought me here, after seeing her in Elvis Presley's Roustabout.

    The story of tough times for working fishermen. Paul Douglas is exceptional in this film as the hopeful husband. Unlike other 30s-50s movies, the potential breakup of his marriage is heartbreaking to him, and that feeling seems to spread. Really enjoyed Stanwyck's character. She is what brought me here, after seeing her in Elvis Presley's Roustabout.

  • Feb 07, 2020

    Some consider this film noir? No, this was a heavy-handed soap opera, with tons of plot holes. Its main characters feature two of the biggest scumbags I've seen in any movie recently, played by Stanwyck and Ryan. Then there's Marilyn's boyfriend, who is a jealous, controlling piece of garbage himself (though nobody in the movie is as bad as the two above). Horrible drama with no redeeming qualities except for how absolutely beautiful Marilyn Monroe looks in her scenes. In other words, unless you have to see Marilyn Monroe in any appearance she did (esp. one where she's especially amazing, even for her - before the "glamour" was heaped on her), there's really nothing to recommend this awful movie for.

    Some consider this film noir? No, this was a heavy-handed soap opera, with tons of plot holes. Its main characters feature two of the biggest scumbags I've seen in any movie recently, played by Stanwyck and Ryan. Then there's Marilyn's boyfriend, who is a jealous, controlling piece of garbage himself (though nobody in the movie is as bad as the two above). Horrible drama with no redeeming qualities except for how absolutely beautiful Marilyn Monroe looks in her scenes. In other words, unless you have to see Marilyn Monroe in any appearance she did (esp. one where she's especially amazing, even for her - before the "glamour" was heaped on her), there's really nothing to recommend this awful movie for.

  • Oct 30, 2018

    Barbara Stanwyck returns to her small fishing town after many years living in big cities and a couple of failed marriages. She hooks up with genial fishing boat captain Paul Douglas and they eventually marry. She intensely dislikes his hard drinking, cynical buddy Robert Ryan, but after growing restless in this town and her marriage, she starts an affair with Ryan. This dreary, uninteresting melodrama does not feel like a Fritz Lang film. It would feel like a total waste of time if not for really strong performances from Stanwyck, Ryan and Marilyn Monroe as Stanwyck's brother's girlfriend.

    Barbara Stanwyck returns to her small fishing town after many years living in big cities and a couple of failed marriages. She hooks up with genial fishing boat captain Paul Douglas and they eventually marry. She intensely dislikes his hard drinking, cynical buddy Robert Ryan, but after growing restless in this town and her marriage, she starts an affair with Ryan. This dreary, uninteresting melodrama does not feel like a Fritz Lang film. It would feel like a total waste of time if not for really strong performances from Stanwyck, Ryan and Marilyn Monroe as Stanwyck's brother's girlfriend.

  • Sep 20, 2018

    An impressive drama (in the wake of 'A Streetcar', I guess) with realistic background. Barbara Stanwyck delivered a truly fantastic performance and the rest of the cast did a tremendous job too. The story of chasing your "dream" neglecting the while responsibilities is an old one, but it needs a constant revival in the minds of people who usually tend to forget that true happiness lies exactly in those things one flies from. I was really of the ending, that Mae did grasp it and I'm sure eventually she'd make a wonderful wife and mother.

    An impressive drama (in the wake of 'A Streetcar', I guess) with realistic background. Barbara Stanwyck delivered a truly fantastic performance and the rest of the cast did a tremendous job too. The story of chasing your "dream" neglecting the while responsibilities is an old one, but it needs a constant revival in the minds of people who usually tend to forget that true happiness lies exactly in those things one flies from. I was really of the ending, that Mae did grasp it and I'm sure eventually she'd make a wonderful wife and mother.

  • Antonius B Super Reviewer
    May 10, 2018

    Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Ryan play a couple of dissatisfied, bitter middle-aged people in 'Clash by Night', a film which may leave you as dissatisfied as it left me. It's a shame, because the combination of director Fritz Lang, Barbara Stanwyck, and Marilyn Monroe was intriguing. In the film, Stanwyck has returned to the fisheries in Monterey after failing to realize her big ambitions on the east coast, and Ryan is not happy in his marriage. Stanwyck rebuffs Ryan's advances because he's married, and then softens towards a nice guy (Paul Douglas). The film has several issues, starting with the characters being one-dimensional and not remotely likeable. Stanwyck is cynical, Douglas is cartoonishly simple, and Ryan is a glowering bully, who, among other things, gives us a highly racist and horrifying impression of Chinese people. The acting is overplayed and poor, particularly from Douglas and Ryan, but even Stanwyck's performance is uneven, though she has her moments. At various points all three actors break out into torrents of emotion in the least authentic way. There is also zero chemistry between Stanwyck and Ryan, and too often the dialogue or delivery is overwrought. Lang piles it on with obvious symbolism in shots of stormy clouds and the ocean pounding the shore. Everything about it seems heavy-handed, and on top of it all, the ending is unbelievable and groan-inducing. I would watch it just for the scenes with Marilyn Monroe, who is incidental to the main story, but delightful. She is unaffected and natural, as is Keith Andes, who plays her boyfriend (and Stanwyck's brother). I give one star for her, and one star for Stanwyck's better moments, and because I adore her so. After that, I have to say, whew it's tough. Not sure why this one gets as many high ratings as it does.

    Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Ryan play a couple of dissatisfied, bitter middle-aged people in 'Clash by Night', a film which may leave you as dissatisfied as it left me. It's a shame, because the combination of director Fritz Lang, Barbara Stanwyck, and Marilyn Monroe was intriguing. In the film, Stanwyck has returned to the fisheries in Monterey after failing to realize her big ambitions on the east coast, and Ryan is not happy in his marriage. Stanwyck rebuffs Ryan's advances because he's married, and then softens towards a nice guy (Paul Douglas). The film has several issues, starting with the characters being one-dimensional and not remotely likeable. Stanwyck is cynical, Douglas is cartoonishly simple, and Ryan is a glowering bully, who, among other things, gives us a highly racist and horrifying impression of Chinese people. The acting is overplayed and poor, particularly from Douglas and Ryan, but even Stanwyck's performance is uneven, though she has her moments. At various points all three actors break out into torrents of emotion in the least authentic way. There is also zero chemistry between Stanwyck and Ryan, and too often the dialogue or delivery is overwrought. Lang piles it on with obvious symbolism in shots of stormy clouds and the ocean pounding the shore. Everything about it seems heavy-handed, and on top of it all, the ending is unbelievable and groan-inducing. I would watch it just for the scenes with Marilyn Monroe, who is incidental to the main story, but delightful. She is unaffected and natural, as is Keith Andes, who plays her boyfriend (and Stanwyck's brother). I give one star for her, and one star for Stanwyck's better moments, and because I adore her so. After that, I have to say, whew it's tough. Not sure why this one gets as many high ratings as it does.

  • Sep 08, 2017

    Curiously overtalky film about the pains, perils and philandering gong on in a fishng village. All the aciting here s first rate, but the story seems recycled, hardly anything happens n the first half and the dialogue s a bit too much coming out of the mouths of simple fishng folk lol

    Curiously overtalky film about the pains, perils and philandering gong on in a fishng village. All the aciting here s first rate, but the story seems recycled, hardly anything happens n the first half and the dialogue s a bit too much coming out of the mouths of simple fishng folk lol

  • Jul 10, 2017

    A sad yet realistic love melodrama set in a fishing town.

    A sad yet realistic love melodrama set in a fishing town.

  • Jul 06, 2017

    Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan ok movie

    Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan ok movie

  • Nov 16, 2013

    Fritz Lang's reworking of Clifford Odets' play (which I haven't read) probably adds an extra layer of DOOM to the proceedings, arising from the preordained destinies of the people based on their personality types (which they themselves frequently acknowledge). There is jaded, selfish Barbara Stanwyck, unwilling to commit to the traditional female roles (although she tries anyway). There is gentle bear Paul Douglas, a tolerant sentimental and perhaps foolish fisherman who she marries. There is wicked Robert Ryan, swaggering sarcastic mean-spirited but insecure, with whom she rebels. (Marilyn Monroe is here too as the impressionable young girl who looks up to Stanwyck). Although stagey at times with sometimes ostentatious dialogue (a la Odets), by the end, the characters feel lived in and real, their choices natural. Lang won't quite commit to the ending shown here, but I'd imagine that he doesn't believe it either.

    Fritz Lang's reworking of Clifford Odets' play (which I haven't read) probably adds an extra layer of DOOM to the proceedings, arising from the preordained destinies of the people based on their personality types (which they themselves frequently acknowledge). There is jaded, selfish Barbara Stanwyck, unwilling to commit to the traditional female roles (although she tries anyway). There is gentle bear Paul Douglas, a tolerant sentimental and perhaps foolish fisherman who she marries. There is wicked Robert Ryan, swaggering sarcastic mean-spirited but insecure, with whom she rebels. (Marilyn Monroe is here too as the impressionable young girl who looks up to Stanwyck). Although stagey at times with sometimes ostentatious dialogue (a la Odets), by the end, the characters feel lived in and real, their choices natural. Lang won't quite commit to the ending shown here, but I'd imagine that he doesn't believe it either.

  • Mar 23, 2013

    Barbara Stanwyck may just be the best actor who never won an Oscar, male or female. (And Peter O'Toole.) She is terrific in this. So glad she won multiple Emmys for her tv roles.

    Barbara Stanwyck may just be the best actor who never won an Oscar, male or female. (And Peter O'Toole.) She is terrific in this. So glad she won multiple Emmys for her tv roles.