- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
I was not going to comment on this fairly forgettable movie, but Don Riley's previous review pulled me in. I vehemently disagree that Barbara Bel Geddes and Lionel Barrymore were "brilliant" actors. High end of good, maybe, but no greater. Brilliance in acting has to be associated with range and both these performers were severely limited in what they could do on screen. Bel Geddes' was always either pained, sweet, or long-suffering, while Barrymore was the eternal Mr. Curmudgeon. They played these types extremely well, but they rarely, if ever, ventured beyond them. Perhaps Mr. Riley can point out instances where these two thesps went out of their comfort zone? (Though getting this reviewer to respond is like getting Garbo to talk.)
Barbara Bel Geddes Gives An Acting Lesson !
- DON RILEY
Unfortunately among all of the Bogus lists that pop on the internet claiming to included the top 50 Actresses or top 100 actors. Absolutely none included Barbara Bel Geddes or Lionel Barrymore two of the finest and most precise. This film if nothing else includes Barbara Bel Geddes and she is "perfect". Actually she's the finest actor in the film and it includes Henry Fonda. My opinion only. She's almost "too good", too strong, too fine in stature. Hitchcock told her...."don't act" ....just be natural in her role in Vertigo,,,,,,,,,,,possibly because she could have "upstaged" Jimmy Stewart. Anyway, she's one of the finest and she's included in this film. I don't know, this film would have been incredible if James Mason had played the lead.
I had seen the French version of this film years ago. I just attributed my dislike of it to Continental pre-war timing and despair and a language-sub-title difficulty. The earlier French version was entitled Le Jour se lve (1939). It was easy to lose interest in the characters in both films.There was one exception, Vincent Price's part is so creepy, oily and disgusting that I found myself wishing to off him after his second scene in the film.The Long Night is a poor film vehicle for the likes Fonda, Bel Geddes and Ann Dvorak. However, Henry Fonda during this period, seemed to be in a slump that even Hitchcock couldn't remedy in the Wrong Man.The Direction was made to the sets, but the director Anatole Litvak forgot that overbuilt sets don't follow direction well and hung around like background in a nightmare. The actors acted parts that had little to do with each other; it was as if they had parts from four different plays.This is a turgid boring film to be avoided and to be watched only if you are on LSD or a drunk insomniac!
What a cast of characters! A quirky film that still holds up to the test of time.
The Long Night
Not to be missed, with Dvorak in her prime, and Price's special magic.