Although the title 'Nightmare Alley' is really not the best, this movie is a very striking and unusual noir, as it takes place mostly in the seedy carnival world of the 1940s. Tyrone Power is excellent, and proves here that he wasn't just a pretty face; his role as the carny turned mentalist con artist is excellent, and worth the somewhat cliched ending. Strong supporting actors abound as well. The atmosphere is somewhat reminiscent of "Freaks" or any other of Todd Browning's films of the 30s. Rewatchable, even after you know the twist ending.
Featuring Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne at the peak of their careers, this John Ford western is perhaps the great director's finest. Superb performance by Lee Marvin as the title villain. The storyline offers a great commentary on legends and the West.