|Side Streets & Back
Alleys: The 7th Annual Festival of Film Noir
series will screen at the Egyptian March 31 - April 13,
More than 60 years after it began in the pulp magazines and expressionistic,
doom-laden thrillers and crime movies of the 1930s and 1940s, Film Noir
continues to cast its wicked spell on us. This year, we continue our quest to bring
renowned classics back to the big screen, and to unearth obscure delights that have
slipped beneath the radar screen of even the savviest noir fans.
Highlights of the series include brand-new 35 mm. prints of such mouth-watering noir
rarities as William Castles long-unseen JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON, Ken
Hughess aptly titled WICKED AS THEY COME, Michael Gordons wildly
expressionistic THE WEB, and the insanely obscure BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN from
director Gordon Douglas. Were also bringing in print of two films from the British
Film Institute, just for this series: William Cameron Menziess jaw-dropping,
ultra-paranoid THE WHIP HAND, and Edward Dmytryks crackling British crime
drama THE HIDDEN ROOM.
Noir Fest programmer, film historian and crime novelist Eddie Muller will
present a special Double Bill of two classic Boxing Noirs, CHAMPION and THE
HARDER THEY FALL, with a special lecture featuring anecdotes and stories from the
great age of pugilism (Mullers father was a noted sportswriter for many years in San
Francisco.) Were thrilled to welcome acclaimed crime novelist and screenwriter Barry
Gifford (WILD AT HEART) to this years Festival, for a special evening featuring
the hallucinogenic modern noir LOST HIGHWAY, which he wrote with director David Lynch, and
one of Giffords own favorite noirs, DARK PASSAGE.
Friday, April 8 7:30 PM
Boxing Noir Double Feature - New 35 mm. Prints!!
CHAMPION, 1949, Republic (Paramount), 99 min. Dir. Mark
Robson. Maybe the most brutal and uncompromising boxing film ever made and
were counting RAGING BULL. Kirk Douglas gives a volcanic, Oscar-nominated
performance as meglomaniacal fighter Midge Kelly, wholl thrash anyone who gets in
the way of his quest for the title. The great supporting cast includes Arthur Kennedy,
Ruth Roman and Paul Stewart. Harry Gerstads brilliant editing won an Oscar, and has
influenced virtually every boxing film made since 1949.
THE HARDER THEY FALL, 1956, Columbia, 109
min. In this adaptation of Budd Schulbergs controversial bestseller, Humphrey
Bogart plays burned-out sportswriter Eddie Willis, employed by a crooked promoter (Rod
Steiger) to sell his freakish heavyweight as a legitimate contender. Based on the true
story of boxer Primo Carnera, director Mark Robson crafts an oddly fitting finale
to Bogarts legendary career, and lands a few devastating shots at the reputation of
the "Sweet Science." With Boxing Noir
presentation/intro by Eddie Muller.
>> Both films also playing at the Egyptian Theatre on April 7.
Saturday, April 9 5:00 PM
New Restored 35 mm. Print!!
WICKED AS THEY COME (aka PORTRAIT IN SMOKE), 1954,
Columbia, 94 min. Arlene Dahl (SLIGHTLY SCARLET) is terrific as a femme fatale with
a dark past, wholl stop at nothing to rise above her miserable origins. Based on Portrait
in Smoke, the breakout 1950 novel by hardboiled scribe Bill Ballinger, this is the
best in a series of fifties crime thrillers made by British director Ken Hughes.
>> Also playing at the Egyptian Theatre on April 3.
Saturday, April 9 7:30 PM
Noir Rarities from the British Film Institute
THE WHIP HAND, 1951, RKO (Warners), 82 min. A vacationing
journalist ends up stumbling across a dreadful plot unfolding in the wilds of Wisconsin.
This is a completely ridiculous but vastly entertaining curio from the Cold
War era, designed and directed by the legendary William Cameron Menzies (who worked
on everything from GONE WITH THE WIND to INVADERS FROM MARS) and wonderfully shot by
THE HIDDEN ROOM, 1949, Eagle Lion, 98 min. From the
ridiculous to the sublime. We proudly present one of the great forgotten masterpieces of
film noir, written by Alec Coppel (screenwriter of VERTIGO) and directed, in England, by
then-blacklisted Edward Dmytryk (CROSSFIRE.) Robert Newton gives a memorable
performance as a cuckolded husband who decides to take revenge on his wife (the stunning
Sally Gray) by making her latest lover disappear literally. Shrewd, suspenseful,
and long overdue for revival, this is one of Dmytryks finest films imported
here in a super-rare 35 mm. print from our friends at the British Film Institute, along
with the equally rare THE WHIP HAND!
>> Both films also playing at the Egyptian Theatre on April 2.
Sunday, April 10 5:30 PM
Los Angeles Noir - Double Feature:
HOLLOW TRIUMPH (aka THE SCAR), 1948, Eagle Lion
(Paramount), 83 min. Dir. Steve Sekely. A gangster (Paul Henreid) usurps the
identity of a psychiatrist, with stunning results. The clever script will keep you
guessing, but the real attraction here is the amazingly evocative look at 1940s Los
Angeles, photographed by the great John Alton! Dont miss the revival of this
essential film noir classic! With Joan Bennett.
Due to an unforeseen problem
with the print of this film, it will not be shown. In its place, SCANDAL SHEET (1952),
Phil Karlson's Sensational adaptation of Sam Fuller's Novel will be shown. SCANDAL SHEET
is the story of a ruthless, rising New York newspaper editor who is confronted with his
past. His young protege unwittingly latches onto a story that could bury editor Michael
Chapman, Chapman has to go along with the story or blow his cover. New Restored 35 mm. Print!
BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN, 1950, Columbia, 89 min.
Dir. Gordon Douglas. Noir stalwarts Edmond OBrien and Mark Stevens
portray a pair of LAPD prowl car cops hoping for an easy night in the City of Angels,
faced with nothing more serious than sparring over the affections of sexy-voiced radio
dispatcher Gale Storm. Guess again. Before sun-up there will be a prison break, a murder,
numerous beatings, and an incredibly tense climax with a kid used as a human shield. The
model for just about every TV cop show ever made!
>> Both films also playing at the Egyptian Theatre on April 3.
Wednesday, April 13 7:30 PM
Noir Abroad Double Feature:
A LADY WITHOUT PASSPORT, 1950, MGM (Warners),
72 min. Dir. Joseph Lewis. Gorgeous Hedy Lamarr craves a passport out of
pre-Castro Cuba, so she lets herself be used by undercover agent John Hodiak who
wants to bust up a smuggling ring. Always reliable Joe Lewis (GUN CRAZY) leapt out of the
"B" trenches to helm this rugged thriller for high-toned MGM, creating a steamy
vision of Havana from a combination of backlots sets, process shots, and on-location
SINGAPORE, 1947, Universal, 79 min. Smuggler Fred
MacMurray (DOUBLE INDEMNITY), who lost his lover in a Japanese air attack, returns to
post-WW2 Singapore to recover a hidden cache of pearls. He discovers his old flame (Ava
Gardner, at her sexiest) is still alive, but suffering from amnesia! Can he outwit her
husband, the law, and rival gangsters? Director John Brahm (HANGOVER SQUARE) lays
on the atmosphere in this gorgeously photographed piece of noir exotica.
>> Both films also playing at the Egyptian Theatre on April 2.
Thursday, April 14 7:30 PM
Novelist/Screenwriter Barry Gifford In Person!
LOST HIGHWAY, 1997, Focus Features, 135 min. Dir. David
Lynch. Did jazzman Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) murder his wife? Drawing on many
of noirs most familiar themes the crumbling of a guilty psyche, the distrust
between men and women, the erotic allure of the dark side LOST HIGHWAY brazenly
deconstructs a noir narrative and reconfigures it all as balls-to-the-walls cinematic
poetry. With Rosanna Arquette, Balthazar Getty. Discussion
after the film with acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Barry Gifford (LOST HIGHWAY, WILD
AT HEART), followed by a screening of one of Barrys favorite noir films:
SUDDEN FEAR, 1952, Douris Corporation, 110 min. Dir. David
Miller. Joan Crawford gives an Oscar- nominated performance as a San Francisco
playwright who marries a virile actor (Jack Palance) she¹d rejected for one of her
plays. Little does she know, he plans to drop the final curtain on her. Stylish and
suspenseful, this is one of Crawford¹s very best movies. With Gloria Grahame.
.>> LOST HIGHWAY also playing the Egyptian Theatre on April 13
>> SUDDEN FEAR is an Aero Theatre exclusive!
Thursday, April 21 7:30 PM
2 x Anthony Mann
BORDER INCIDENT, 1949, MGM (Warners), 94 min.
Mexican cop Ricardo Montalban teams up with American agent George Murphy to stop a
gang who are killing illegal immigrants on the U.S./Mexico border. Filled with dark,
brutal set pieces (the tractor murder is arguably the most unsettling in all film noir)
and played with an almost psychotic intensity, BORDER INCIDENT ranks with T-MEN and RAW
DEAL as one of director Anthony Manns finest noirs. Brilliant cinematography
by the great John Alton.
SIDE STREET, 1950, MGM (Warners), 83 min. Farley
Granger and Cathy ODonnell re-teamed from Nick Rays THEY LIVE BY
NIGHT for this rarely-seen noir about a frustrated postman who steals a packet of
blackmail money and finds himself plunged into a coffin-like Manhattan of narrow
streets and swirling overhead crane shots. About his early crime films, director Anthony
Mann said: "It was a good school, the roughest but the best: the maximum
performance with the minimum means."
>> Both films also playing at the Egyptian Theatre on April 8.
Friday, April 22 7:30 PM
Lucille Ball Noir Double Feature:
THE DARK CORNER, 1946, 20th Century Fox, 99 min. Dir.
Henry Hathaway. Wrongly convicted private eye Bradford Galt (Mark Stevens) is sprung
from prison, but bad luck sticks to his gummed shoes: whos the mystery man in the
white suit, and why wont he leave Galt alone? Whats his connection to the big
money boys on the Upper East Side? Galts no Marlowewithout his loyal gal
Friday, Lucille Ball (!), he wouldnt make it out from behind the 8-ball
alive. "Im backed up in a dark corner," he grouses, "and I dont
know whos hitting me." Co-starring Clifton Webb, William Bendix.
LURED, 1947, Douris Corp., 102 min. Dir. Douglas Sirk.
If you only know Lucille Ball from "I Love Lucy" you owe it to yourself
to see her in her gorgeous youth, being used by Scotland Yard as bait to catch a serial
killer. More a series of character sketches then a flat-out thriller, this moody
atmospheric drama features a stellar supporting cast: George Sanders, Charles
Coburn, Alan Mowbray, Sir Cedrick Hardwicke, George Zucco, and, in one of the most vivid
roles of his career, an astonishingly creepy Boris Karloff.
>> Both films also playing at the Egyptian Theatre on April 9.
Saturday, April 23 5:00 PM
Brand New 35mm Print!!
POSSESSED, 1947, Warner Bros., 108 min. Dir. Curtis
Bernhardt. Joan Crawford scored yet another Oscar nomination portraying a woman driven
to madness by obsessive, unrequited love. Van Heflin (THE PROWLER, ACT OF VIOLENCE)
is the lover who spurns her, Raymond Massey the man who tries to save her, and
Geraldine Brooks the stepdaughter who drives her over the edge. Bernhardt used very
effective subjective camera techniques to depict Joans gradual descent into
darkness. One of Crawfords best, but most rarely-screened films.
>> Also playing at the Egyptian Theatre on April 10.
Saturday, April 23 7:30 PM
2 x Ida Lupino
THE MAN I LOVE, 1946, Warner Bros., 96 min. Dir. Raoul
Walsh. As flinty torch singer Petey Brown, Ida Lupino offers a radiantly
romantic vision of the post-WWII American woman able to settle everybodys
hash but her own. Set in a world of nightclubs, tenements, and backlot streets, this
majestic melodrama is part-noir, part-soap opera, and pure Hollywood magic. Reportedly the
film that inspired Martin Scorsese to make NEW YORK, NEW YORK.
DEEP VALLEY, 1947, Warner Bros., 104 min. Dir. Jean
Negulesco. Proving her incredible range, Ida Lupino followed up the glossy
romance of THE MAN I LOVE by playing a miserable, stuttering country girl who shelters,
and falls in love with, an escaped convict (Dane Clark, in perhaps his finest
role). It may not truly be a noir, but we cant pass up the chance to show this
wonderfully dark drama.
>> Both films also playing at the Egyptian Theatre on April 10.
Sunday, April 24 6:30 PM
2 x Dan Duryea:
New 35 mm. Print! JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON, 1949, Universal, 76 min. Dir. William
Castle. Everybodys favorite noir sleazeball, Dan Duryea, gets a juicy
role in this exposé-style thriller about heroin smuggling. Heroin? In 1949? You bet, and
narc Howard Duff needs to spring shady Dan in order to crack the smuggling ring
thats taking hold all over the western U.S. Sexy Shelley Winters complicates
their already-endangered lives. One of the rarest of all "lost" noirs, finally
LARCENY, 1948, Universal, 89 min. Dir. George Sherman.
As if unearthing the long-lost JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON wasnt enough for Dan Duryea
fans heres another of his most obscure titles, also notable for being crooner
John Paynes (of 99 RIVER STREET and KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL fame) first
foray into film noir. The two slicks play hustlers trying to bilk a war widow (Joan
Caulfield) out of her money. Uh oh, guess whos back for more? Pistol-packing Shelley
Winters, who Duryea cant seem to get rid of. Wisecracking scriptwriter Bill
Bowers has a field day with all the slang-spewing sass.
>> Both films also playing at the Egyptian Theatre on April 9.