Film Review of Clash by Night: A Beautiful Cannery Girl with a Future, a Fisherman Boyfriend in Her Present, and a Future Sister-in-law with a Past
A fast, pretty, young girl anticipates the day when she can quit her cannery job. Her dream appears realizable when she meets her fisherman boyfriend’s sister, who welcomes her into the family. But complications loom when siblings clash over the sister’s involvement with the brother’s employer in the movie “Clash by Night”.
Clash by Night is a gripping drama of conflicting personalities, intense emotions, and restless minds.
Bad habits can be difficult to break. Good habits can seem daunting. A person may find the predictable safety of good habits boring compared to bad habit thrills of too little sleep and responsibility and too much partying and self-indulgence.
This is the dilemma in Clash by Night, written by Alfred Hayes; produced by Norman Krasna and Jerry Wald; and directed by Fritz Lang. Cinematography, editing, and music were respectively by Nicholas Musuraca, George Amy, and Roy Webb.
The film is based upon the same-named play by Clifford Odets (1906-1963). It lasts 100+ minutes. RKO Radio Pictures released the film on June 18, 1952.
The movie begins with Peggy (played by Marilyn Monroe) dressing for her cannery job. When her shift ends, Peggy meets boyfriend Joe Doyle (played by Keith Andes). They walk to Joe’s house and find Joe’s sister Mae (played by Barbara Stanwyck) waiting.
Mae comes back after a ten-year absence. She makes a stop at an eatery for coffee and two brandies. One brandy stains her coat when Jerry D’Amato’s (played by Paul Douglas) father (played by Silvio Minciotti) jostles her.
Joe allows Mae to have their dead mother’s room. After moping indoors for two weeks, Mae goes to the movies with Jerry, Joe’s boss. Afterwards, they talk with Jerry’s friend, Earl Pfeiffer (played by Robert Ryan).
Earl is attracted to Mae. He is married to a frequently absent wife whom he ultimately divorces. Everything passes over Jerry, who naively trusts Earl and Mae.
Mae finally accepts Jerry’s marriage proposal. She has Uncle Vince (played by J. Carrol Naish) kicked out for having calendar pictures of nudes in his room. Joe and Mae have a daughter, Gloria (played by Deborah and Diane Stewart).
Earl comes by for drinks. He already is so drunk that he passes out. Jerry lets Earl spend the night. Earl thanks Jerry by forcing Mae into an affair.
Jerry finds out about the affair from Uncle Vince. Earl and Mae insist that they are in love and taking Gloria with them. But Jerry removes Gloria to his boat. The thought of leaving without Gloria upsets Mae, not Earl.
The movie ends with Peggy engaged to Joe and Mae reconciled with Jerry.
Clash by Night is a drama film of serious moments with all five stars. It also offers humor with Marilyn: at a party, in a restaurant, and on the beach.
Copyright: Monday, July 2, 2012 by Derdriu.