David Goodis was an underrated purveyor of hard boiled crime fiction in the 1940’s and 1950’s. His best-known novel, Dark Passage,was turned into a movie starring Bogie, Bacall, and Agnes Moorehead. Agnes walks away with the movie: it’s grand fucking larceny.
In many ways, Nightfall is a better book and movie adaptation than Dark Passage. Let’s begin with the original paperback and hard cover editions side-by-side:
If you’ve never seen the 1957 movie, seek it out immediately. It was directed by Jacques Tourneur of Cat People and Out of the Past fame. The cast is excellent and the movie is chock-full-o-thrills:
Here’s the trailer: