Guardian film editor Andrew Pulver, the author of the BFI Film Classics monograph on Jules Dassin’s Night and the City, has distilled his appreciation of the film into a column for the paper. “It’s the title that gets you first—so elemental and sinewy,” he begins. “In four short words it yokes together two key 20th-century fetishes: the black swamp of the night (with the moral terrors it summons up) and the concretized urban jungle that has taken on a brutal life of its own.” Pulver goes on to discuss the Gerald Kersh novel on which the film was based, a “high-minded pulp thriller”; the protagonist, Harry Fabian, as “arguably the most finely drawn sharp-suited hoodlum of inter-war England” and as a “potent” Jewish icon; and Fabian’s real-life counterparts, street toughs who ran London’s West End in the thirties and forties. You can read the keenly written piece on the Guardian’s website.
A Sound for Love and Loss: Bo Harwood on A Woman Under the Influence
With just piano and guitar, longtime Cassavetes collaborator Bo Harwood created a score that highlights the melancholy in the director’s acclaimed domestic drama.