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Clash By Night Blu-ray Review

“Clash By Night” is certainly not as thrilling as the title suggests. 

Based on the stage play of the same name, “Clash By Night” is a melodrama (although some label it a film noir) set in the fishing town of Monterey, California. The story primarily revolves around a middle-aged woman (Mae) who returns to her hometown of Monterey to stay with her brother Joe (a fisherman that is dating a factory worker named Peggy). Mae catches the eye of a seemingly pleasant aging bachelor Skipper (Jerry). Mae also catches the eyes of a bitter, sexist movie projectionist (Earl) who is in an unhappy marriage. Mae eventually marries Jerry (much to the chagrin of Earl), but the story doesn’t end there. What happens next? That would be telling.

Directed by the legendary Fritz Lang and penned by Alfred Hayes, “Clash By Night” is a disappointingly drab melodrama that doesn’t really go anywhere. Even when tensions boil over in this domestic drama about loneliness, failure, pain, jealousy and lust, you’re left wanting more than this stagy bore. It’s mostly a sorrowful drama about characters whose lives aren’t what they hoped they would be. Really, the most engaging part of the story is the Monterey backdrop (which is sadly underutilized a lot of the time).

The saving grace of the film is the stacked cast that features Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan, and a young Marilyn Monroe. Stanwyck delivers the film’s best performance. She really digs into the layers of the character of Mae. Douglas shines as the often mild mannered Jerry. Ryan gives the showiest performance as the dysfunctional Earl. Monroe is only in a few scenes, but she’s nothing short of charismatic. 

“Clash By Night” is available on Moviezyng.com and through other online retailers.


Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? Despite how one may feel about the movie itself, this is yet another stunning print from Warner Archive. The B&W movie looks flat out gorgeous.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A pleasant 2.0 track.

* “Clash By Night” trailer.
* Commentary by director and film expert Peter Bogdanovich which also contains audio excerpts from Fritz Lang.


May 19, 2023 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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