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Kenneth Turan's DVD picks of the week: 'Day for Night' and 'Night and the City'

In the old days of repertory cinema, films would sometimes be linked by a common word: Robert Aldrich's "The Big Knife," for instance, might be on a double bill with Roman Polanski's "Knife in the Water." In that spirit, I want to highlight two fine films linked only by the word "Night" — and the fact that both are newly available in fine Criterion editions.

Francois Truffaut's 1973 "Day for Night" is much the warmer of the two, a delightful valentine to the filmmaking process with Truffaut himself playing the part of a beleaguered director working with actors played by Jean-Pierre Leaud, Valentina Cortese and Jacqueline Bisset.

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Bleaker by far is Jules Dassin's classic 1950 British noir "Night and the City," starring Richard Widmark in one of his signature roles as an ambitious hustler who learns more than he wants to about the dark end of the street.

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