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Clash by Night (RKO 1952, Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas)



In Clash by Night, bruised by city life, Mae Doyle (Barbara Stanwyck) returns to the safe haven of her hometown, a small fishing community. There she finds comfort in the arms of a loving fisherman whom she marries; but before too long Mae has thrown herself into another, more passionate affair with a bitter, angry man. She willingly abandons her husband and child to pursue this romance, only to discover that her homecoming has permanently altered her view of the world and finds she would gladly return to her husband if he can ever forgive her.

Steamy potboiler based on Clifford Odets’s play abetted by director Fritz Lang and terrific performance by Stanwyck.

The Clifford Odets play that became Clash by Night was staged on Broadway ten years earlier with Tallulah Bankhead in the Barbara Stanwyck role. Robert Ryan, who appears in the film as Earl Pfeiffer, played the Joe Doyle role on Broadway.

production details
USA | Universal | 105 minutes | 1952
Director: Fritz Lang
Script: Clifford Odets, Alfred Hayes,

Robert Ryan as Earl Pfeiffer
Marilyn Monroe as Peggy
Paul Douglas as Jerry D’Amato
Barbara Stanwyck as Mae Doyle D’Amato
J. Carrol Naish as Uncle Vince
Keith Andes as Joe Doyle
Silvio Minciotti as Papa D’Amato
Tony Martin as Singer of ‘I Hear a Rhapsody’ (voice)