I was speaking with Ben (@dissolvedpet) of the new podcast Cinecultania on Twitter last night a little further about my review of Night and the City. He said perhaps I should have delved a bit deeper into the role of professional wrestling in a film noir as opposed to focusing as much as I did on the look of the film itself.
I will be the first to admit that my knowledge of film noir is near-zero. I know what it is technically, but just haven't seen enough to work it all out for myself. Hence the newbish noir review I suppose.
But further on this, I would have moved more into the role of wrestling in the film had it actually played a bigger part. The wrestling that was there, but as I said to Ben last night, I felt as though the story could have been the same regardless of the sport involved. Harry Fabian is the main focus, and his constant running from something as a result of his shady practices, and wrestling works here because of its history of being a little shady itself, and the face that it was a sport for adults at this time. But any sport in which individuals are the focus I believe could have worked in this story.
Which brings me to the comment left on my generic review by Samuel Wilson, who writes a fine film blog called mondo 70. Samuel mentioned a remake of Night and the City with Robert DeNiro. Honestly, my ignorant ass didn't even realize there was a remake, even though I read up on the original!
Anyway, in the remake, DeNiro plays Harry Fabian who is now a lawyer instead of just a con-man, and the sport has been changed to boxing as opposed to wrestling. The short wikipedia entry for the film says that the sport was changed to boxing because by that time wrestling had become marketed more for children instead of adults. I have obviously not seen this version, but this kind of shows I think that the sport could indeed be changed.
I wish the film had gone a little deeper into the old school vs. new school of wrestling conflict, but I realize that is the wrasslin fan in me speaking. The film is a great work.
So chalk my review up to both lack of noir experience on my part and a wish that there was just more wrestling involved.
Thank you both Samuel and Ben for the added discussion on it!