Nightmare Alley (2021)
December 23, 2021 11:49 PM - Subscribe

An ambitious young carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is.

This is a remake of a 1947 film starring Tyrone Powers and Joan Blondell.
posted by chrchr (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
The original film is my favorite carny movie. I'm really looking forward to seeing this once it hits streaming.
posted by Catblack at 2:03 PM on December 24


Just saw the original via the Criterion Channel and it was really good - very odd and dark story for 1947, with great performances and cinematography. Dragged a bit towards the end but a great final act. Curious to see the changes del Toro makes once it comes to streaming, and hoping the psychiatrist role is expanded because she was a bit underwritten in the original.
posted by mediareport at 2:52 AM on December 26


four stars. hardly a flaw. brutally selfish con man, pure as snow victim, haunting femme fatale. creepy weirdness of the carnival.

heavy atmosphere that keeps one on the edge wondering omfg what horror next?

only a few very gruesome moments, but plenty of disturbing behavior.

the set design is mind-blowing. huge contrast between the filth and mud and grime of the carnival and the stunning beauty of the later building interiors (is it art deco with art nouveaux details? e.g. the standing ash tray with the nymphet figure. I'm not very educated there.)

the lie detector stands out at as curiously misplaced in history.

cooper kills, mara is the exact right person for the role, collette inhabits and disappears into her character. dafoe is a ruthless stand in for capitalism and immorality.

but, the performance of the year goes to blanchette. finest femme fatale in cinema since romijn - and perhaps a more haunting character. sociopath is overused and misused in contemporary language. but, blanchett is sooo cold, unreadable, and uncannily perverse it almost fits.

the ending was crisply reminiscent of the final scenes of angel heart. not justice, so much as balance. we all pay. some now, some later.

cooper, born bad, lived bad, and now will suffer a perdition I'd wish on no one.

provoked some quiet contemplation afterwards; i really needed to sit with it.

near greek in the depths of horror and tragedy.
posted by j_curiouser at 10:02 AM on December 26 [1 favorite]


Properly, it's not a remake but a new film based on the same source material, the book by William Lindsay Gresham. And the more I think about it, the more I think it's my favorite del Toro movie.
posted by maxsparber at 4:34 PM on December 29


the lie detector stands out at as curiously misplaced in history.


They've been in use since 1895, and were really popularized in the late 30s, the time the story takes place. Weirdly, the guy who popularized them was William Moulton Marston, who also created Wonder Woman.
posted by maxsparber at 4:38 PM on December 29 [2 favorites]


ty!
posted by j_curiouser at 3:04 PM on January 5


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