Clash By Night (1952) starring Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan, Marilyn Monroe
In Clash By Night, a woman is torn between her husband and his friend. Despite thinking about leaving her husband, his temper causes second thoughts …
Earl Pfeiffer: Love is rotten when it happens like this – the hard way. But we want each other, this is the fire we have to walk through, because this is forever, Mae.
Mae D’Amato: Forever?
Earl Pfeiffer: Or until he sticks a knife in me, or you walk out.
Mae D’Amato: How could I walk out?
Earl Pfeiffer: And do the next thing, get away from here. If you have a dream, live it. If you have a hope, chase it.
Mae Doyle is a good-time girl, but now times are bad. Weary of too much booze and too many men, she returns to her girlhood home, the fishing village of Monterey, California. There she finds security as the wife of a devoted and dull fisherman…and passion in the arms of his provocative best friend. Film noir master Fritz Lang (The Big Heat, Ministry of Fear ) directs four towering talents – Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan and rising star Marilyn Monroe – in a stark tale of lives burnished by human emotion and shattered by human failings. Intense and powerfully realistic, Clash by Night (from a Clifford Odets play) is about many towns, many families. Serene on the surface. Roiling with desperation underneath.
Cast of characters
- Barbara Stanwyck (Titanic 1953, The Two Mrs. Carrolls) … Mae Doyle
- Paul Douglas (Angels in the Outfield (1951), Never Wave at a WAC) … Jerry D’Amato
- Robert Ryan (Born to Be Bad, The Dirty Dozen) … Earl Pfeiffer
- Marilyn Monroe (Bus Stop, All About Eve) … Peggy
- J. Carrol Naish (Sahara, House of Frankenstein) … Uncle Vince
- Silvio Minciotti … Papa D’Amato
- Keith Andes (Back from Eternity) … Joe Doyle
Editorial review of Clash By Night courtesy of Amazon.com
Barbara Stanwyck plays a hardened woman returning from big-city life to her northern fishing village in this 1952 film noir. After deciding to settle down, she marries a simple man (Paul Douglas) but is wooed by another (Robert Ryan), a circumstance that turns what had been her choice into her trap. Director Fritz Lang (Metropolis, M, The Big Heat), working from a Clifford Odets story, teases out his pet themes about human beings ensnared in fate by their own impulses and in search of redemption. This is not one of Lang’s masterpieces, but it is very good in an Anna Christie way. Stanwyck and Ryan, two indispensable figures in the noir genre, are tough as nails. –Tom Keogh