Alias Nick Beal
|Alias Nick Beal|
|Directed by||John Farrow|
|Produced by||Endre Bohem|
|Written by||Jonathan Latimer|
|Music by||Franz Waxman|
|Edited by||Eda Warren|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Alias Nick Beal is a 1949 film noir mystery film retelling of the Faust myth directed by John Farrow and starring Ray Milland, Audrey Totter and Thomas Mitchell (although third-billed, Mitchell plays the leading role). The picture is also known as Dark Circle, Strange Temptation and Alias Nicky Beal.
Joseph Foster (Thomas Mitchell) an honest district attorney wants to run for governor in order to clean up the criminal underworld but can't catch their leader Frankie Faulkner (Fred Clark) no matter how hard he tries. One day a smooth talking stranger named Nick Beal (Ray Milland) visits him at a café beside the docks and he makes a deal with him. Joseph begins his rise to power in the company of prostitute Donna Allen (Audrey Totter) who is sent by Nick to seduce him. But he gets out of his contract with the help of his loving wife Martha, (Geraldine Wall) and his friend Reverend Thomas Garfield (George Macready).
- Ray Milland as Nick Beal
- Audrey Totter as Donna Allen
- Thomas Mitchell as Joseph Foster
- George Macready as Reverend Thomas Garfield
- Fred Clark as Frankie Faulkner
- Geraldine Wall as Martha Foster
- Henry O'Neill as Judge Ben Hobbs
- Darryl Hickman as Larry Price
- Nestor Paiva as Karl
- King Donovan as Peter Wolfe
- Charles Evans as Paul Norton
- Ernö Verebes as Mr. Cox
- Arlene Jenkins as Aileen
- Pepito Pérez as Poster Man
- Joey Ray as Tommy Ray
- Frank Mayo as Committee Man (uncredited)
A 1949 review of the film in The New York Times notes that, "Due to the fine acting and the wily direction, the story plays exceptionally well, but the script tends to be somewhat wobbly and indecisive upon reflection." Film4 commented on the leading man's performance, "Milland is outstanding as the personification of evil—a talent often obscured by his charm and early juvenile good looks."
A 35mm print recently struck from a studio vault print was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art on November 2, 2013. For a time, as of that date, the film could not be shown on television or released as a DVD due to legal complications and could only be seen during individual theatrical exhibitions of that print. Turner Classic Movies aired the film as part of its 2017 Summer Under The Stars tribute to Ray Milland.
- Hedges, Ines (2009). Framing Faust: Twentieth-Century Cultural Struggles. SIU Press. p. 159-160. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- "Movie Review - Morality Drama at the Paramount - NYTimes.com". movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Alias Nick Beal Review". Film4.