Vince Keenan and I have been trading a few letters about Richard Widmark in the astoundingly good Night and The City. I made the point that it's rarely included on Top Twenty noir lists because it doesn't employ any of the standard noir conventions.
Vince followed up with a savvy little review of the picture:
"I think you nailed it, Ed. Night and the City may be the perfect distillation of noir's mood, but without the staples. There's not much real crime on display, for instance. Just the petty betrayals of everyday life, the lies we tell ourselves and our loved ones.
"On the splendid Criterion DVD of the film, there's an interview with director Jules Dassin that includes a fact that always amazes me. The film was rushed into production before Dassin could be blacklisted. It came together so quickly that Dassin didn't read Kersh's novel before he started shooting. He claims he still hasn't read it."