At the heart of Night and the City is a master trope ; the urban labyrinth. Cities in Films Noir are not simply dangerous or bristling with iconographic menace - they are visualized as death traps, spaces from which there can be no escape. This common pattern finds summary expression in Dassin's film. Nearly every architectural setting is crammed with grids, frames, cul-de-sacs, narrow stairways, perspectives that choke off the mobility and freedom of human subjects.
Night and the City - In the Labyrinth
Paul Arthur 2015
Googie Withers - Night and the City