Night Falls on Manhattan (1996) [ARROW VIDEO LIMITED EDITION] 

Out on Blu-ray on May 7, 2024, from Arrow Video   

Manhattan, mid-1990s, a young district attorney suddenly finds himself in the middle of a case that could make or break his career. This case will affect those around him just as much as himself, adding to the pressure. 

Written by Sidney Lumet, based on Robert Daley’s novel, and directed by Lumet, the film has the pedigree of a masterpiece, and it is quite near one. The writing here is solid with a great story, and director beyond well by Lumet. The film here brings to the screen police corruption, complex plots, and the city of Manhattan together to create a film that keeps the viewer involved. The story here is solid, as expected, proving why this film is one that is still remembered close to three decades later. The story here works on all fronts, giving plenty of elements throughout that give it depth, but also up the rewatchability factor, creating a film that is both powerful and fascinating.  

The cast here is possibly even better than the story and direction. Starting with Andy Garcia in the lead, his performance sells the whole movie and makes it what it is basically. Ian Holm as his father does great work, and so do James Gandolfini, Lena Olin, Colm Feore, Richard Dreyfuss, and the rest of the stacked cast. Because that is what is happening here, back then, this was already a stacked cast, nowadays, it’s a miraculously put together cast. The cast as a whole works fantastically well with the material and show what a true ensemble cast does, where there is a star yes, but the overall group performance is possibly more important than any single one on its own.  

On the visual side of things, the cinematography by David Watkin looks great if a bit dated in style. The film is shot with a direct approach to things, less stylized and more to the point than many films lately, giving the film the right look for its story and giving Manhattan a co-starring role. The editing here is solid as well, with work by Sam O’Steen giving the cinematography an assist.  

Night Falls on Manhattan is a modern-day classic with solid writing, direction, acting, cinematography, and just about everything else, making for a very well-rounded film that is easy to rewatch this many years later.  

In terms of this new release on Blu-ray disc, the transfer looks and sounds great, giving the story and the film the right upgrade to keep it current in this day and age. The extras here are fun and really make it a disc worth picking up with some extras rising about the rest including the behind-the-scenes footage from back in the day as well as on-set interviews with director Sidney Lumet as well as members of the cast including Andy Garcia, Ian Holm, and Lena Olin. The addition of The Directors: Sidney Lumet, an archival documentary from 2002 is a welcome one. The audio commentaries on this release are fantastic while being archival ones, one with director Lumet and one with Andy Garcia and co-star Ron Leibman was well as producers of the film. There are a few other goodies here, including new artwork and a new collector’s booklet. Overall, a solid release for a solid film.