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Nightmare Alley Review

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A carny 'mind reader' (Power) gets mixed up with three dames - a fortune teller, the love of his life, and a gold digger, who gradually send him on a downward spiral of booze and self destruction.

★★★★

This carnival-set noir is the kind of cult movie once found only on late-night TV or in rundown fleapits — environments best suited to its sleazy charms — but now available to a wider audience via the rather less romantic format of DVD. Tyrone Power excels as an amoral grifter, and the carny atmosphere is brilliantly evoked as the camera prowls the shadows while dialogue crackles to gloomily poetic effect. A suitably eccentric detour involving a spiritualist con only adds to the strange and heady brew.

A dark, rough and grubby - but enjoyable nonetheless - slice of doomsaying from the ascendent years of film noir.

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