Nightmare Alley 1947
One of the most glamorous / unsavory films noir ever, this creepy tale of a master con-man undone by warped ambition was planned as a career-altering role for the big star Tyrone Power. Power plumbs the depths of personal degradation in terms that even today skew to the squeamish side of human experience.

Tyrone Power, cast against type — at his own insistence — gives the performance of his lifetime as handsome scumbag / carnival barker / con-man Stanton Carlisle. He seduces fellow sideshow artiste Mademoiselle Zeena (Joan Blondell) to learn the secret of the once-lucrative mind-reading act she performed with her alcoholic husband (Ian Keith). Carlisle, a "born mentalist", secures the secret method and sets off with his new carnie wife, Molly (Coleen Gray) to milk the bigtime as a spiritualist in Chicago. As Carlisle's success grows, it's only a matter of time before his greed — and twisted involvement with femme fatale psychoanalyst Lilith Ritter (Helen Walker) — bring his world crashing down around him.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Cast: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, Helen Walker, Taylor Holmes, Mike Mazurki, Ian Keith, Florence Auer, George Beranger
Country: USA
Genre: Drama, Film-Noir

BD50, DVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:51:39 | 44.6 Gb, 7.45 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English


Commentary - this archival audio commentary was recorded by film historians James Ursini and Alain Silver in 2005.

Todd Robbins - in this new program, performer and sideshow historian Todd Robbins explains how actual carnival shows were staged, and specifically the 'freak shows', and the business environment that existed in carnival troupes. Nightmare Alley and its portrayal of the carnival businesses is addressed as well. The program was produced for Criterion in 2021. In English, not subtitled. (20 min, 1080p).

Coleen Gray - in this archival interview, actress Coleen Gray recalls her involvement with Nightmare Alley. There are some particularly interesting comments about the manner in which Tyrone Power was cast by Twentieth Century Fox and his 'classic' image as a 'pretty boy' in Hollywood. The interview was recorded by filmmaker Patrick Francis in 2007. In English, not subtitled. (13 min, 1080p).

Henry King - presented here is an excerpt from an archival audio interview with director Henry King that was conducted by Thomas R. Stemple in January 1971 and recorded as part of the Darryl F. Zanuck Research Project for the American Film Institute's Oral History Collection. In it, the director discusses his work with Tyrone Power, who appeared in eleven of his films. In English, not subtitled. (10 min, 1080p).

Imogen Sara Smith - in this new video interview, critic Imogen Sara Smith, author of Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City, discusses Nightmare Alley. The interview was conducted for Criterion in New York in January 2021. In English, not subtitled. (32 min, 1080p).

Trailer - a vintage trailer for Nightmare Alley. In English, not subtitled. (3 min, 1080p).