Edition no. 1078
Darkness lurks behind the bright lights of a traveling carnival in one of the most haunting and perverse film noirs of the 1940s. Adapted from the scandalous best seller by William Lindsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley gave Tyrone Power a chance to subvert his matinee-idol image with a ruthless performance as Stan Carlisle, a small-time carny whose unctuous charm propels him to fame as a charlatan spiritualist, but whose unchecked ambition leads him down a path of moral degradation and self-destruction. Although its strange, sordid atmosphere shocked contemporary audiences, this long difficult-to-see reflection of postwar angst has now taken its place as one of the defining noirs of its era—a fate-fueled downward slide into existential oblivion.
- Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film historians James Ursini and Alain Silver
- New interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith
- New interview with performer and historian Todd Robbins
- Interview from 2007 with actor Coleen Gray
- Audio excerpt of a 1971 interview with Henry King in which the filmmaker discusses actor Tyrone Power
- An essay by film critic and screenwriter Kim Morgan