Alias Nick Beal
Alias nick beal.jpg
Directed byJohn Farrow
Written byJonathan Latimer
Mindret Lord
Produced byEndre Bohem
StarringRay Milland
Audrey Totter
Thomas Mitchell
George Macready
CinematographyLionel Lindon
Edited byEda Warren
Music byFranz Waxman
Paramount Pictures
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • March 4, 1949 (1949-03-04)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States

Alias Nick Beal is a 1949 American film noir mystery film retelling of the Faust myth[1] 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).



Critical response

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."[2] 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."[3]

Home media

Kino Lorber released a region A Blu-ray edition of the film through their Kino Lorber Studio Classics label on July 13, 2021.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Hedges, Ines (2009). Framing Faust: Twentieth-Century Cultural Struggles. SIU Press. pp. 159–160. ISBN 9780809386536. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  2. ^ P, T. M. (10 March 1949). "Movie Review - Morality Drama at the Paramount -". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Alias Nick Beal Review". Film4.
  4. ^ "Alias Nick Beal".