Clash By Night Movie Review
The setting is always good for a noir, and throwing Barbara Stanwyck in as the lead doesn't hurt. Here Stanwyck plays a woman who didn't quite make it in the big city, so she's moved back home to figure out what to do next.
Stanwyck's Mae hooks up with Jerry (Paul Douglas) after repeated badgering. But it's the younger Earl (Robert Ryan) -- whom Mae initially hates -- that ends up snagging her attentions in the end.
Clash by Night isn't terribly creepy or even that moody, but Stanwyck carries the bulk of the movie with a turmoil-ridden performance, and Douglas's sad sack loser is a marginally interesting character. Ryan's smarmy Earl is the kind of guy you love to hate, but ultimately the way this love triangle plays out isn't very satisfying, despite the momentary appearance of Marilyn Monroe, which offers a glimmer of hope that an interesting twist might erupt. It unfortunately does not.
Directed by Fritz Lang, Clash is for the most part an also-ran in the noir genre.