Nightfall (1956) and Aldo Ray Recommends?

Aldo Ray Men In War Nightfall
Sergeant Montana in Men In War

This is the second film I’ve seen with Aldo Ray in the last few months and I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of him before. The first was Men In War (1957) with Robert Ryan.  He played a Sergeant called Montana who was looking after a battle worn, shell shocked officer known only as The Colonel. Aldo Ray’s performance really stood out in film, he came across as a strong willed maverick but also filled with passion and kindness as he cared for his Colonel. Intrigued to see more from Aldo I stumbled upon Nightfall.

Tagline – THE BLACK BAG…with $350,000 in loot! THE BLACK DRESS…with a beautiful pick-up girl inside! THE BLACK NIGHT…made for lovers…and killers!

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir

Nightfall is an excellent suspenseful film noir drama which races along at a cracking pace, not adding any fluff to its short runtime of just under an hour and twenty minutes. Our star and hero Aldo plays James Vanning a graphic design artist who has a story to tell as he wanders around the city with a heavy heart.

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir Anne Bancroft

He’s been involved in a murder and accused of a bank robbery which resulted in the disappearance of the cash. He finds himself on the run as he is hunted not only by two psychotic gangsters, John (Brian Keith) and Red (Rudy Bond) but he’s also being tracked by an insurance investigator called Ben Fraser (James Gregory).

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir James GregoryNightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir Rudy Bond Brian Keith

Losing himself in the bars of the city he meets a young lady called Marie Gardner (Anne Bancroft) who fills the film noir femme fatale role. Can James Vanning find a way out of all this mess? Can anyone be trusted? Can he escape from those dastardly thugs? It’s well worth seeking out for a watch or have you seen it? What did you think?

Nightfall (1956) - Aldo Ray film noir intro credit titles

What striked me again with Aldo Ray was with character’s portrayal, with his kind gentle nature even through his big stocky frame. Not sure how I had missed this actor before but its great to be catching up with his films now.

So what the hell happened?

Looking through his filmography I couldn’t help but notice things look like they just fell apart for him after the mid 60’s with a ton of dodgy B-movies. Have to say the titles are amazing and I’m intrigued to check some of these out, like The Dynamite Brothers (1974) Suicide Commandos (1968) Riot on Sunset Strip (1967) Psychic Killer (1975) The Man Who Would Not Die (1975) The Lucifer Complex (1978) and even a Western Adult film! called Sweet Savage (1979.

We're No Angels (1955) aldo ray

I’ve been recommended We’re No Angels (1955) with Peter Ustinov and Humphrey Bogart which sounds much fun but what else should I be looking out for?

Movies are ace, keep on viewing.  Mikey Wolfman.

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3 thoughts on “Nightfall (1956) and Aldo Ray Recommends?

  1. Glad to see you discovered this “lovable bear” type of actor. Did you know then that Brad Pitt portrayed Lt. Aldo Raine in the Basterds? It’s Tarantino’s tribute to the gruff Sarge that Ray was so good at. He could also play light which was nice in some George Cukor films, Pat and Mike and The Marrying Kind (look for Bronson in both films). So I checked the library here at home. 29 Ray films. Recommended are, The Naked and The Dead, I second We’re No Angels, Miss Sadie Thompson (Bronson again), Three Stripes in the Sun, Battle Cry…. most of these are fifties war flicks and yes things fell apart. Men In War and Nightfall really good. Duke Wayne tried to bring that Aldo touch back in 68’s Green Berets but the film is a notorious embarrassment to Duke though I think history a bit tough on it. Even a rumor of seventies porn films if I recall that he was duped into appearing in minus the sex scenes. Guy had a great voice. Man’s gotta work so plenty of low budget horror in the 70’s and 80’s. OK, that’s it for now….lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that’s what I’m talking about, you hit the ball straight out the park buddy. How amazing to hear Bronson has popped up in fair few. I have noted all your recommendations down and can’t wait to get stuck in. “Three Stripes in the Sun” and “The Naked and the Dead” sounds practically good.

      I’ve been toying with “The Green Berets” but the reviews and the runtime have put me off some I admit. But I’m intrigued to see George Takei in a different outfit “OOooh My” 🙂
      Hehe I read the trivia on the naughty film that he says he filmed his part and went home only to find out a double had been added for the kinky stuff. I assume only his lady friends will know if he’d been telling the truth lol. Brilliant stuff Mike. Well chuffed thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

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