Clash by Night [1952]

Barbara Stanwyck plays a hardened woman returning from big-city life to her northern fishing village in this 1952 film noir. After deciding to settle down, she marries a simple man (Paul Douglas) but is wooed by another (Robert Ryan), a circumstance that turns what had been her choice into her trap. Director Fritz Lang (Metropolis, M, The Big Heat), working from a Clifford Odets story, teases out his pet themes about human beings ensnared in fate by their own impulses and in search of redemption. This is not one of Lang's masterpieces, but it is very good in an Anna Christie way. Stanwyck and Ryan, two indispensable figures in the noir genre, are tough as nails. --Tom Keogh

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