GenreMystery, Drama, Thriller ScreenplayJonathan Latimer CountryUnited States
Release dateMarch 4, 1949 (1949-03-04) WriterJonathan Latimer (screenplay), Mindret Lord (original story) CastRay Milland (Nicholas 'Nick' Beal), Audrey Totter (Donna Allen), Thomas Mitchell (Joseph Foster), George Macready (Rev. Thomas Garfield), Fred Clark (Frankie Faulkner), Geraldine Wall (Martha Foster) Similar moviesThank You for Smoking, Limitless, The Third Man, The Big Sleep, The Night of the Hunter, The Adjustment Bureau
TaglineNo man ever held more terrible power over women than this tall dark handsome stranger from nowhere!
Screen directors playhouse alias nick beal
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
Stuart Holmes as Minister (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."