Fallen Night: The Movie, “Night World”

In the 1932 Night World, there is an opening montage of night-life naughtiness wherein a shot of a young boy in prayer appears.  If the boy is praying for the adults who frequent Happy’s Nightclub, they need it.  Trouble, like depravity, rises in this spellbinding sphere; there is talk of hardship (Tim the doorman’s wife is in the hospital) and, later, more than talk.  A fellow named Michael Rand (Lew Ayres) is getting drunk after the murder of his father, and he himself is almost murdered (!), for all the comfort he receives from Mae Clark‘s friendly dancer.

In large measure it is blackly realistic if dramatically lean.  Richard Schayer did the screenplay, not at all flubbing the dialogue; and the appropriate direction is by Hobart Henley.  As usual with early ’30s American flicks, though, an antiquated song and dance number gets performed, something Scorsese never had to put up with.

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