Though the taurine Ray was never the most spellbinding performer, his occasional stiffness in Nightfall nicely enhances his wrong man's weariness as he tries to stay ahead of two sociopaths convinced that he's run off with the bundle they've stolen.
NIGHTFALL—it's hard to think of a better title for Jacques Tourneur's film. It's as perfect for him as SUNRISE is for Murnau. The titles don't describe the films, but rather the sensation of watching them (though really isn't that the same thing?): Murnau's film is full of shadows, but every minute of it seems to bring you closer to some dawn; Tourneur's is almost free of them, but with every reel, the world itself seems to get darker, even as the film seems to come closer and closer to daytime.
All of this builds to a finale in the snowy Wyoming plains that anticipates Fargo in its evocation of an icy moral reckoning, with a final image offering a devastating sense of wider perspective to all this wrestling over mere money.