I like our city. Louisville is great. The weather is weird, sure, but it's a nice place to live. I like the people, I like the creative vibe, I like the good food. I could go on. It's a nice, friendly city. But imagine the dark underside. Do we have a dark underside? Who can say? Let's imagine it, though: shady deals going down in smoky alleyways, grizzled detectives in fedoras and trench coats catching the bad guys (sometimes they are the bad guys), beautiful ladies caught in the middle of it all. Could we set a film noir in our city? I like to think so. It lends an air of diabolical romance to juxtapose the happy, carefree mainstream.
This month, the Kentucky Opera is showcasing a production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, and the Louisville Film Society presents Film Noir Wednesdays at the Dreamland Film Center in conjunction with this. It kicks off tomorrow with Panic in the Streets and Act of Violence.
Panic in the Streets, directed by Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront, East of Eden), deals with a murder: a man is killed on the waterfront, and he is found to be infected. A doctor (Richard Widmark) and a police officer (Paul Douglas) only have a short time to find the killer, not just to bring him to justice, but to prevent an outbreak of the pneumonic plague. Panic in the Streets screens at 7:00.
This is followed at 9:00 by Act of Violence, directed by Fred Zinnemann (High Noon, From Here to Eternity). Van Heflin stars as Frank Enley, presumably the only survivor from a German POW camp, who has finally returned home. However, his former friend Joe (Robert Ryan) also survived, unbeknownst to Frank – and Joe knows that Frank collaborated with the Germans, and is determined to have vengeance.
Cost of admission is $8 per film or $10 for the double feature. LFS members get in free. The Dreamland Film Center is located at 810 E. Market Street. Complete information can be found at the LFS website.
Image: Internet Movie Database