Girls in the Night is an American film noir directed by Jack Arnold. Released by Universal Pictures on January 15, 1953, the film stars Harvey Lembeck, Joyce Holden and Glenda Farrell.[1][2] The film revolves around a family whose efforts to move into a better neighborhood are suddenly hampered when their son is accused of killing a blind man.

Girls in the Night
Movie poster
Directed byJack Arnold
Screenplay byRay Buffum
Produced byAlbert J. Cohen
StarringHarvey Lembeck
Joyce Holden
Glenda Farrell
Leonard Freeman
Narrated byJeff Chandler
CinematographyCarl E. Guthrie
Edited byPaul Weatherwax
Color processBlack and white
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • January 15, 1953 (1953-01-15) (New York City)
  • February 19, 1953 (1953-02-19) (Los Angeles)
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited States

Plot edit

Hannah Haynes, a pretty girl who competes in a beauty contest, dreams of moving away from her New York slum neighborhood. Her older brother Chuck, who has a chance to land a new job on Long Island, is hit by a car and needs to recover first.

Hannah frustrates her boyfriend by agreeing to a date with a hoodlum named Irv Kellener, which causes a fight between the men and makes the evil schemer Vera Schroeder jealous. Chuck and his girlfriend Georgia, who does seductive dances to entice men to throw coins to her, become so desperate that they steal from a beggar who is pretending to be blind.

Anticipating their plot, Irv arrives there first but is caught by the beggar and shoots him. Vera hides the gun and provides an alibi. Chuck and Georgia later execute their plan and steal more than $600, unaware that their victim is dead. Vera blackmails them, demanding $2,000 to prevent her from snitching to the police.

The principals confront each another in a warehouse, where Irv kisses Hannah and infuriates Vera. The police arrive, Irv runs and he is accidentally electrocuted. Chuck and Georgia are set free after returning the stolen money.

Cast edit

Critical reception edit

François Truffaut wrote that the film "leaves us in an intermediary state between surprise and delight," that "each scene [...] makes us think that it was the one that the author treated the most lovingly," and that "the directing of the actors (all newcomers) is perfect."[3] Writing in AllMovie, critic Hal Erickson described the film as a "misleadingly titled [...] potboiler" in which "Glenda Farrell delivers the film's best performance."[4] Critic Mike Bear wrote in Letterboxd that the film was an "unusual noir" that "combines juvenile delinquency, family values, yearning for a better life, murder, robbery, and blackmail [and] a homely girl they all call 'Ugly.'"[5]

References edit

  1. ^ "Girls in the Night". Moviefone. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  2. ^ "Girls in the Night (1953)". TCM. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  3. ^ Truffault, François. "The early film criticism of François Truffaut". Internet Archive. Indiana University Press. Retrieved 2023-11-06.
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal. "Girls in the Night (1953)". AllMovie. Netaktion, LLC. Retrieved 2023-11-06.
  5. ^ Bear, Mike. "Girls in the Night (1953)". Letterboxd. Letterboxd Limited. Retrieved 2023-11-06.

External links edit