Classic Film Guide

Clash By Night (1952)

Directed by Fritz Lang, this Clifford Odets play, adapted by Alfred Hayes, stars Barbara Stanwyck as a cynical woman who returns home to live with her younger brother Joe (Keith Andes). Joe is not real happy about it, and prefers that his girlfriend Peggy (Marilyn Monroe) not be exposed to the negative influence of her worldly ways. With limited options, she's marries cannery business owner Jerry D’Amato (Paul Douglas), who knows she doesn't love him but hopes that she'll grow into it. They have a child, but even still Stanwyck’s character is inexplicably drawn to Jerry's Cro-Magnon man-like oddball hotheaded friend Earl Pfeiffer (Robert Ryan). Of course, they have an affair which leads to the "clash by night".  J. Carrol Naish also appears.  You may find yourself, as I did, not caring about any of these unsympathetic characters.  After watching it, one feels cheated given the director and its cast.

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