This relatively little-known film is widely hailed by fans of the macabre. Truly ahead of its time, NIGHTMARE ALLEY is set in the gritty, surrealistic world of traveling carnivals, where eccentric people of all possible varieties interact on a daily basis. In a departure from his usual roles as the Hollywood leading man, handsome Tyrone Power plays a morally questionable circus apprentice determined to climb the carnival ladder no matter what the price. Powers shows immense range in what was arguably his finest role ever as the sometimes unrecognizably scruffy circus man with a liking for the bottle. Director Edmund Goulding (DARK VICTORY) gives the carnival setting a dark, somber feel that contradicts the film's more upbeat ending. In spite of this ending tacked on by the studio system, NIGHTMARE ALLEY remains with the viewer even after it's over, haunting them with its bleak images and melancholy mood.