The Big Night

Watch The Big Night

"Love! Hate! Murder!"
  • Approved
  • 1951
  • 1 hr 15 min
  • 6.3  (1,065)

The Big Night is a 1951 film noir directed by Joseph Losey and starring John Drew Barrymore, Preston Foster and Joan Lorring. The film tells the story of a young boy named Tony (Barrymore) who becomes involved in a heist planned by a group of criminals in order to steal a large sum of money from a wealthy businessman. The film begins with Tony, a young boy who is living with his mother in a run-down apartment. Tony is a troublemaker, often getting into fights and causing problems for those around him. One day, he meets a man named Jerry (Foster) who offers him a job as a lookout for a group of criminals who are planning a heist. Tony agrees to the job, hoping to make enough money to help his mother.

As the plan unfolds, Tony becomes more and more involved in the operation, eventually realizing that the heist is not simply for money but for revenge against the businessman (Edward Pawley). The stakes grow higher and higher as Tony becomes caught in a web of violence and deceit, and he must decide between loyalty to his criminal cohorts or the safety of himself and his loved ones.

Throughout the film, Losey expertly builds tension and suspense, using light and shadow to create an atmosphere of danger and intrigue. The characters are complex and nuanced, with all their motivations and desires hidden beneath the surface; the audience is never quite sure who to trust or believe.

Barrymore, in one of his early roles, gives a standout performance as Tony, the conflicted anti-hero caught between his own desires and the pressure of his criminal associates. His portrayal is nuanced and empathetic, bringing to life the complexity of his character.

Foster, too, delivers a strong performance as the seasoned criminal mastermind Jerry, playing his character with a cool detachment that masks his true motivations. Lorring brings depth to her role as Jerry's lover and accomplice, a woman torn between her love for Jerry and her distrust of their criminal enterprise.

The film's score is also noteworthy, featuring tense, brooding music that adds to the film's ominous atmosphere. The cinematography is stunning, with Losey using shadows and darkness to create a film noir style that is both haunting and striking.

Overall, The Big Night is a gripping, darkly atmospheric tale of crime and betrayal that still holds up today. It is an expertly crafted film noir that is both stylish and substantive, with strong performances from its talented cast and a sharp script that keeps the audience on the edge of their seat until the very end.

The Big Night is a 1951 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 15 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3.

The Big Night
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 15 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (1,065)