Entertainment Weekly - 09/06/1996
"...This black-and-white beauty remains grow-up after all these years." -- Rating: B+
USA Today - 10/18/1991
"...[The films] teams a fascinating array of creative principals....It's fascinating to see Monroe here, right on the cusp; a year later, she'd star in three major movies..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Mae Doyle is a good-time girl, but now times are bad. Weary of too much booze and too many men, she returns to her girlhood home, the fishing village of Monterey, California. There she finds security as the wife of a devoted and dull fisherman...and passion in the arms of his provocative best friend.
Film noir master Fritz Lang (The Big Heat, Ministry of Fear) directs four towering talents - Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan and rising star Marilyn Monroe - in a stark tale of lives burnished by human emotion and shattered by human failings. Intense and powerfully realistic, Clash By Night (from a Clifford Odets play) is about many towns, many families. Serene on the surface. Roiling with desperation underneath.
Barbara Stanwyck and Marilyn Monroe star in Fritz Lang's CLASH BY NIGHT, based on a play by Clifford Odets. Lang (M, METROPOLIS, THE BIG HEAT) stays true to form with this disturbing yet subtle portrait of the dangerous undercurrents of everyday life and the push and pull of greed and loyalty in modern relationships. The film begins with Mae Doyle (Stanwyck) returning to the safe haven of her hometown, a small fishing community in Monterey, California. Upon her arrival, she is befriended by a newly married young woman working in the canneries, played by Monroe. Mae also finds a friend in a kindhearted fisherman whom she quickly marries. But before too long Mae has thrown herself into a tumultuous affair with another man.
In the second half of the movie, which takes place a year after the first, Mae willingly abandons her husband and child to pursue her affair. But she quickly learns that her new lover is a bitter, angry man. With him she's not the person that she used to be. She regrets her decision terribly and wishes that she could return to her husband--that is, if he could ever forgive her. Stanwyck's performance as a world-weary vamp is compellingly juxtaposed with Monroe's performance as a sassy, naive newlywed, as each character offsets the other's personal struggles. The storms that batter the coast of the gritty, realist locale mirror the storms that rage within each character as they search for the meanings of their lives.
CLASH BY NIGHT was filmed in Hollywood, California in 1951.
Marilyn Monroe played one of her first major motion picture roles in CLASH BY NIGHT.
David Dortort contributed to the screenplay.
Additional cast members include Diane and Deborah Stewart (Twin Babies); Roy D'Armour and Gilbert Frye (Men); Nancy Duke, Sally Yarnell, Irene Crosby, Helen Hansen, Dan Bernaducci, Dick Coe (Guests); Julius Tannen, William Bailey (Waiters); Bert Stevans, Mario Siletti (Bartenders) Bill Stack, Art Dupuis (Customers); Frank Kreig (Art) and Tony Dante (Fisherman).