Courtesy of Alan K. Rode's Facebook page:
NOIR CITY: HOLLYWOOD, 13TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF FILM NOIR
April 1 – 20, 2011, at the Egyptian Theatre
Presented in collaboration with The Film Noir Foundation
This is an Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!
The venerable NOIR CITY film festival returns for its 13th year, presenting an astonishing array of rarities, most available ONLY on the big screen. We’ve scoured studio archives to assemble a feast of film noir that can only be consumed in its original 35mm format, in the glorious darkness of a vintage movie palace!
This year’s program features several new prints preserved by the Film Noir Foundation and the UCLA Film & Television Archive, including rare gems HIGH WALL, LOOPHOLE, THE HUNTED, STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT and THE DARK MIRROR. In fact, 23 of the 28 films in the series are not on DVD! This may be the last chance to ever see these extraordinary films on a big screen - don’t miss a single one!
Series compiled by Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode, with the assistance of Gwen Deglise. Program notes by Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode.
Friday, April 1 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
Rare Noir Preserved! Double Feature: New 35mm Print! HIGH WALL, 1947, MGM [Warner Bros.], 99 min. Dir. Curtis Bernhardt. Brain-damaged vet Robert Taylor confesses to murdering his unfaithful wife and is sentenced to a sanitarium. His doctor (sexy Audrey Totter) gradually realizes he might not be guilty.
New, Restored 35mm Print! STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT, 1944, Republic [Paramount], 56 min. Dir. Anthony Mann. Brand new 35mm print restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive! A WWII veteran comes to a California town to meet the woman who was his cherished wartime pen pal. The girl’s peculiar mother claims she’s away - perhaps far, far away.
Saturday, April 2 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
Noir Behind Bars! Double Feature: BRUTE FORCE, 1947, Universal [rightsholder], 98 min. Dir. Jules Dassin. Intense, violent and nihilistic in the extreme, this Mark Hellinger-produced prison drama may well be the bleakest, most despairing film noir of them all. Burt Lancaster plots a breakout for the inmates of Cell R-17 so they can escape the sadism of fascistic bully Hume Cronyn.
HOUSE OF NUMBERS, 1957, MGM [Warner Bros.], 92 min. Dir. Russell Rouse. What’s more ominous than a jugged Jack Palance doing hard time? How about Jack in a dual role as look-alike brothers … with Timothy Carey as a cellmate! In a unique twist, the Palance on the outside schemes to free his twin by breaking into maximum security! NOT ON DVD!
Sunday, April 3 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
Rarities on the Run! Double Feature: WHIPLASH, 1948, Warner Bros., 91 min. Dir. Lewis Seiler. Artist/boxer Mike Angelo (Dane Clark) falls for a mystery woman, pursues her to the Big Apple, and ends up fighting for the middleweight championship. Alexis Smith is his sexy siren, and, best of all, Zachary Scott is a sadistic, wheelchair-bound fight manager!
New 35mm Print! THE HUNTED, 1948, Allied Artists [Warner Bros.], 88 min. Steve Laura Mead (Belita) has served her time for robbery and still claims her innocence. She returns to the city where her former cop lover (Preston Foster) sent her up. Was she guilty - or was he just jealous? Is she back for a fresh start - or revenge?
Wednesday, April 6 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
Superstars Gone Mad! Double Feature: THE TWO MRS. CARROLLS, 1947, Warner Bros., 99 min. Dir. Peter Godfrey. Humphrey Bogart gives one of his strongest - if barely known - performances as a mentally disturbed painter whose second wife (sensational Barbara Stanwyck) gradually realizes her husband’s preferred medium is… murder!
THE DARK MIRROR, 1948, Universal, 85 min. Dir. Robert Siodmak. Witnesses place Ruth Collins (Olivia de Havilland) at the scene of a grisly murder. When it’s discovered she has a twin, Dr. Elliot (Lew Ayres) is brought in to psychologically evaluate them both. When the doc falls for one of them, the other becomes murderously jealous. Noir master Robert Siodmak deftly directs. NOT ON DVD!
Thursday, April 7 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
Felix Feist Double Feature: THE THREAT, 1949, RKO [Warner Bros.], 66 min. Ruthless killer Red Kluger (Charles McGraw) escapes from prison, vowing vengeance on the cop and D.A. who sent him up. His kidnapping plot culminates in a Mojave hideout - call it “The Petrified Desert” - where the gang waits for a plane to take them to freedom. Director Felix Feist steers the action at a breakneck pace. NOT ON DVD!
THIS WOMAN IS DANGEROUS, 1952, Warner Bros., 100 min. Joan Crawford called this her “worst” film; we respectfully contend that Joan is a poor judge of her own work. In her last film for Warner Bros. (could that have something to do with her bitterness?), Crawford plays a hardened gangster going blind, who desperately needs an operation to save her sight.
Friday, April 8 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
Backlot Exotica! Double Feature: JOURNEY INTO FEAR, 1943, RKO [Warner Bros.], 68 min. Dirs. Orson Welles and Norman Foster. Orson Welles reunited his Mercury Theatre colleagues for this shadowy and stylish adaptation of Eric Ambler’s tale of wartime intrigue. Joseph Cotton - who wrote the screenplay - plays an engineer pursued by a murderous Nazi agent, for reasons unknown, throughout the Near East. A uniquely Wellesian exercise in cinematic style, dripping with atmosphere. NOT ON DVD!
THE BRIBE, 1949, MGM [Warner Bros.], 98 min. Less a coherent drama than a sweaty fever-dream of ’40s film noir, THE BRIBE features an all-star cast (Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, John Hodiak) trapped on the steamy Caribbean isle of “Carlota,” perspiring through a convoluted tale of romance, disease and WWII contraband.
Saturday, April 9 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
More Pristine Preservations! Double Feature: New 35mm Print! LOOPHOLE, 1954, Allied Artists [Warner Bros.], 80 min. Dir. Harold Shuster. An innocent bank clerk (Barry Sullivan), made the fall guy in an embezzlement scheme, is pursued to the brink of insanity by a scarily righteous insurance investigator (merciless Charles McGraw, in a signature performance). NOT ON DVD!
KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE, 1950, Warner Bros., 102 min. In this brutal, hard-as-nails noir, a handful of battered survivors recount in court the violent saga of criminal Roy Cotter, from his prison breakout to his fateful double-dealings with women (Barbara Payton and Helena Carter, both terrific). Tremendously tough direction by Gordon Douglas. NOT ON DVD!
Sunday, April 10 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
Buried Secrets Revealed! Double Feature: THEY WON’T BELIEVE ME, 1947, RKO [Warner Bros.], 95 min. Robert Young is brilliantly cast against type as a married Lothario whose sexual antics lead to tragedy. Director Irving Pichel elicits superb, nuanced performances from Susan Hayward (his latest lover), Jane Greer (his former lover) and Rita Johnson (his beleaguered wife). NOT ON DVD!
A WOMAN’S SECRET, 1949, RKO [Warner Bros.], 88 min. Dir. Nicholas Ray. A famous singer (Maureen O’Hara) who’s lost her voice shoots her protégé (Gloria Grahame) in a fit of rage. As the young woman lies dying, flashbacks recount the tawdry saga of their backstage relationship. With a script by Herman Mankiewicz (CITIZEN KANE). NOT ON DVD!
Wednesday, April 13 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
The Women Rule Tonight! Double Feature: FEMALE ON THE BEACH, 1955, Universal, 100 min. Dir. Joseph Pevney. Moving into her late husband’s Malibu beach house after the previous tenant committed suicide, Joan Crawford finds her neighbors incredibly accommodating - especially the hunky beachcomber who becomes her lover (Jeff Chandler). NOT ON DVD!
New 35mm Print! HAZARD, 1948, Paramount [Universal], 95 min. Dir. George Marshall. Paulette Goddard plays a gambler who antes herself up as the prize in a game against a professional card shark (Fred Clark). Upon losing, she takes it on the lam, pursued cross-country by a private dick (Macdonald Carey) hired to haul her back to the altar. NOT ON DVD!
Thursday, April 14 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
Robert Ryan, Rich and Poor Double Feature: CAUGHT, 1949, MGM [Warner Bros.], 88 min. Robert Ryan gives a towering performance as psychotic billionaire Smith Ohlrig, who gives impressionable young Leonora Eames (Barbara Bel Geddes) everything she ever wanted. Leonora suffocates from the security, and soon falls for an altruistic doctor (James Mason). Superbly directed by Max Ophuls. NOT ON DVD!
BEWARE, MY LOVELY, 1952, RKO [Warner Bros.], 77 min. Dir. Harry Horner. The incredible Ida Lupino plays a lonely war widow who employs a penniless drifter (Robert Ryan) as a household handyman, only to learn - too late - precisely why he has no references on his résumé. NOT ON DVD!
Friday, April 15 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
William Castle Exposés! Double Feature: THE HOUSTON STORY, 1956, Columbia [Sony Repertory], 79 min. Dir. William Castle. Gene Barry stars as an amoral and ambitious wildcatter who presents Midwest gangster Edward Arnold with a plan for siphoning off millions of dollars worth of Gulf oil and selling it at a huge profit on the black market. NOT ON DVD!
NEW ORLEANS UNCENSORED, 1955, Columbia [Sony Repertory], 76 min. Dir. William Castle. Discharged Navy vet Arthur Franz (THE SNIPER) quickly learns things on the docks are crooked as hell. When his buddy is killed in a suspicious accident, Franz decides to go undercover for the cops to take down local crime boss Michael Ansara. NOT ON DVD! Discussion between films with actress Barbara Hale (schedule permitting).
Saturday, April 16 EGYPTIAN THEATRE HISTORIC TOUR
Saturday, April 16 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
Tribute to Glenn Ford! Double Feature: FRAMED, 1947, Columbia [Sony Repertory], 82 min. Dir. Richard Wallace. Glenn Ford barrels his broken-down truck into a rural California town and is quickly engulfed in adultery, embezzlement and murder. Janis Carter is the long, tall drink of delicious poison he can’t resist, a frosty sample of pure ’40s film noir femme fatale. NOT ON DVD!
MR. SOFT TOUCH, 1949, Columbia [Sony Repertory], 93 min. Dirs. Henry Levin, Gordon Douglas. Glenn Ford plays a returning WWII vet who knocks over the Frisco nightclub he used to own. When the gangster owners come gunning for him, Ford finds sanctuary by getting arrested for a misdemeanor - only to find himself back in hot water when he’s sprung by a do-gooder social worker Evelyn Keyes for the holidays. NOT ON DVD! Discussion between films with Peter Ford, with a book signing in the Egyptian lobby from 6:30 – 7:15 PM of Ford’s new book Glenn Ford: A Life.
Wednesday, April 20 – 7:30 PM FILM NOIR FESTIVAL
They’re Driving Me Crazy! Double Feature: GASLIGHT, 1944, MGM [Warner Bros.], 114 min. Dir. George Cukor. Ingrid Bergman’s Oscar-winning performance dominates this Victorian-era thriller. After 10 years abroad, Paula Alquist (Bergman) returns with her groom (Charles Boyer) to the house where her aunt was murdered. The unsolved crime haunts her to the edge of madness.
MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS, 1945, Columbia [Sony Repertory], 65 min. Dir. Joseph H. Lewis. Unemployed Julia (Nina Foch) gets a dream job working for a wealthy widower, only to awaken in a nightmare - living with a schizo husband and a scheming mother-in-law (George Macready and Dame May Whitty), neither of whom she’s ever seen before! NOT ON DVD!