Entertainment Weekly - 06/10/2005
"ALLEY is strong on atmosphere and performances..."
USA Today - 06/10/2005
"[T]he movie widely regarded as Tyrone Power's acting peak..."
Uncut - 01/01/2006
"Director Edmund Goulding's 1947 swirl of shadows and fever is a borderline-insane entry in that strange subgenre, the carny-noir."
Sight and Sound - 01/01/2006
"Tyrone Power excels as a cheating scoundrel....It stands up as a particularly seedy and paranoid noir."
Total Film - 06/01/2013 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] cult post-war noir with a heart of darkness, it nukes Hollywood values from within."
This relatively little-known film is widely hailed by fans of the macabre. Truly ahead of its time, NIGHTMARE ALLEY is set in the gritty, surrealistic world of traveling carnivals, where eccentric people of all possible varieties interact on a daily basis. In a departure from his usual roles as the Hollywood leading man, handsome Tyrone Power plays a morally questionable circus apprentice determined to climb the carnival ladder no matter what the price. Powers shows immense range in what was arguably his finest role ever as the sometimes unrecognizably scruffy circus man with a liking for the bottle. Director Edmund Goulding (DARK VICTORY) gives the carnival setting a dark, somber feel that contradicts the film's more upbeat ending. In spite of this ending tacked on by the studio system, NIGHTMARE ALLEY remains with the viewer even after it's over, haunting them with its bleak images and melancholy mood.
The Ultimate Anti-Star Vehicle
Movie Lover: M. Mania from
Port Angeles, WA US -- April, 26, 2008
First of all - WOW! Give Tyrone Power credit - he begged to do this film, which provided him with the ultimate anti-star role. For a good looking, leading man actor, this film was like Kryptonite to Superman- potentially deadly. I've read the book this is based on, and, given the times and Production Code, the film is remarkably faithful to it. This is truly an astonishing film, and it is a wonderful thing that it is available on DVD.
Movie Lover: Film Flops Critic from
Trumbull, CT -- September, 21, 2005
Tyrone Power excels as a carnival shill who will stop at nothing for fame and fortune. He gets far more than he expects in this alternately creepy and sophisticated tale of a man with an angle who overplays his "power" (okay, bad pun) and descends into an abyss of geek creepitude. Top-notch cast makes this film a winner.