March 31 – April 23, 2000

American Cinematheque presents...  Side Streets and Back Alleys:

2nd Annual Festival of FILM NOIR


Bring your ticket stub for a refund.


Saturday, April 22 - 7:15 pm - 9:15 pm

Gangsters, Gumshoes and Molls, step out on the town for an evening of Italian dining and dancing to the strains of Chester Whitmore's Big Band quartet at the Cinematheque’s recreation of the "Rendezvous Club," in our own Egyptian Theatre Courtyard! Fabulous 40’s & 50’s fashion parade and dance exhibition, plus a trivia contest and prizes for the best dressed film noir guy and gal. Vegetarian food available. Sponsored by Alizé de France, a luxurious blend of cognac and passion fruit juices. $15 per person. (Does not include a film screening.) Tickets for this event must be purchased in advance at the box office or by fax (323.461.9737) by Friday, April 21 at 3:00 PM. $1 handling charge on fax orders.

Muller, Dennis Bartok and Chris D, with the special assistance of Marvin Paige.

Heidi Kuebler, Leslie Fenady & Bill Rush/WARNER BROS.; Linda Evans-Smith & Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; John Kirk/ MGM-UA; Mike Schlesinger/ COLUMBIA PICTURES REPERTORY; Marc Bovee & Rick Griffith/20TH CENTURY FOX; Ed Zeier/ UNIVERSAL PICTURES; Charles Hopkins/UCLA FILM & TELEVISION ARCHIVE; Cathy Clark and Clark Woods/PARAMOUNT PICTURES; Joe Dante; Paul Adair; Joshua Tager/IVY FILMS; Steffen Pierce/HARVARD FILM ARCHIVE; Alan Howdon/BBC WORLDWIDE; Mike Hyatt; Brian Claussen/SWANK MOTION PICTURES.


Can't get enough film noir? Click here to go to NOIR CITY!

photos courtesy of Eddie Muller. Sidebar image, Ricardo Montalban and Sally Forrest in MYSTERY STREET. Intro Image, Raymond Burr (back), Dick Powell and Lizbeth Scott in PITFALL.

Last year someone asked if it would be appropriate to wear forties vintage finery to the noir series. By all means... Vintage wear is always encouraged at the Egyptian!!







This April join us at the Egyptian Theatre for a month-long marathon of "all things dark and dangerous/ shifty grifters cheap and small/dirty deals raw and rotten/saps and sirens/victims all - !!"

The mysteries deepen and the darkness shows no sign of lifting … It's time for the Cinematheque's Second Annual Festival of Film Noir!! We invite all those who prefer their cinema sexy and sinister to revisit the haunts and hovels of the classic noir era. This year’s Festival features gorgeous prints of noir favorites like KISS OF DEATH, THE BIG CLOCK, LADY IN THE LAKE, and GUN CRAZY, as they were first seen more than 50 years ago, oozing monochrome menace. Rediscover lost treasures like THEpitfall.gif (35537 bytes) SPIRITUALIST, PLUNDER ROAD, 711 OCEAN DRIVE and THE PROWLER. And help us push the boundaries of noir with esoteric offerings ranging from the Cinemascope mayhem of I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES to the hellacious hepness of GUNS, GIRLS & GANGSTERS.

A highlight of this year’s Festival will be in-person appearances by some of the legendary names in film noir, including femmes fatale Janet Leigh, Jean Simmons, Mamie van Doren, Shelley Winters, Jane Wyatt, Lizabeth Scott, Audrey Totter, Rhonda Fleming, Evelyn Keyes, Barbara Hale, Coleen Gray, Jeanne Cooper, Laraine Day, Jean Porter and Lori Nelson, two-fisted tough-guys Jack Palance, Ricardo Montalban, Turhan Bey, Earl Holliman and Richard Erdman, and master-directors Hubert Cornfield, Andre de Toth and Joseph Newman.

Friday, March 31 - 7:00 PM

Jack Palance Tribute - In Person!! As of 3/28, Mr. Palance has informed us that he may not be able to attend tonight's screening.

I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES, 1955, Warner Bros., 109 min. Dir. Stuart Heisler W.R. Burnett (LITTLE CAESAR, THE ASPHALT JUNGLE) adapted his novel, High Sierra, for this classic crime thriller. Jack Palance is ferocious as paroled convict Roy Earle, considering straight time after a final heist at a mountain resort. Shelley Winters is the fallen woman who loves him; Lori Nelson the good girl he hopes will redeem him. Lee Marvin and Earl Holliman lend loutish support. Pulpier, coarser and less schmaltzy than the Bogart version. Discussion following with actors Jack Palance, Lori Nelson and Earl Holliman.

Friday, March 31 - 9:45 PM

Overlooked & Underrated - Monogram Noirs!! Brand New 35mm prints!

WHEN STRANGERS MARRY, 1944, Monogram (Warners), 67 min. Dir. William Castle. A small town girl (Kim Hunter) searches for her missing husband in the big city – could he be the killer at large? Brilliantly directed melodrama that helped launch Robert Mitchum to prominence. Orson Welles raved about it, and ended up hiring director Castle to work on LADY FROM SHANGHAI - !

DECOY, 1946, Monogram (Warners), 76 min. Dir. Jack Bernhard. With Edward Norris, Herbert Rudley. If you've never seen this derelict delight, you're in for a nasty, absurd, sadistic treat. Jean Gillie gives a jaw-dropping performance as the femme fatale leader of a gang that revives a man from the gas chamber (!) to lead them to buried loot. This is 76 minutes of pure squirm-inducing Poverty Row pleasure. Cheap, tawdry and unforgettable …

Saturday, April 1 - 5:30 PM

Turhan Bey Tribute - In Person!

THE SPIRITUALIST aka THE AMAZING DR. X, 1948, Eagle-Lion, 78 min. Dir. Bernard Vorhaus. With Lynn Bari, Cathy O'Donnell, Richard Carlson. A phony medium (Turhan Bey, in a supremely slippery performance) convinces a gullible widow that he can communicate with her late husband. Hugely entertaining thriller (the lighter side of NIGHTMARE ALLEY) that is one of the least-seen and under-appreciated of cinematographer John Alton's many noir masterworks. Discussion following with actor Turhan Bey (schedule permitting.)

Saturday, April 1 - 8:00 PM

Audrey Totter Tribute - In Person!! 2 x Robert Montgomery!

THE LADY IN THE LAKE, 1947, MGM (Warner Classics), 105 min. With Lloyd Nolan, Leon Ames A chance to see director/actor Robert Montgomery's wild "subjective camera" on the big screen. He tells Raymond's Chandler's mystery entirely from Philip Marlowe's POV - which gives Audrey Totter the chance to carry the whole picture, playing directly to the camera. Truly a one-of-a-kind moviegoing experience.

RIDE THE PINK HORSE, 1947, Universal, 101 min. With Thomas Gomez, Wanda Hendrix, Andrea King. A surly vet (director/actor Robert Montgomery again!) ventures into a New Mexico resort town during fiesta to settle a score with a vacationing mobster. A strange, oddly-paced film that plays as much like a Japanese samaurai movie as film noir. Discussion between films with actress Audrey Totter (LADY IN THE LAKE.)

Sunday, April 2 - 5:00 pm

Ricardo Montalban Tribute - In Person!!

MYSTERY STREET, 1950, MGM (Warner Classics), 94 min. With Elsa Lanchester, Jan Sterling, Bruce Bennett. Ricardo Montalban plays a Mexican homicide detective working the death of a prosititute in blue-blood Boston, in this tremendously atmospheric thriller from director John Sturges (BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK.) Evocative John Alton camerawork, and a super script by Sydney Boehm and Richard Brooks that pushed the limits of the Production Code. An undiscovered classic policier. Discussion following with actor Ricardo Montalban.

Sunday, April 2 - 7:30 pm

2 x Phil Karlson!

PHENIX CITY STORY, 1955, Allied Artists (Warners), 100 min. Dir. Phil Karlson Phenix City, Alabama was so rife with vice it wasn't policed - it was quarantined. Cult favorite Phil Karlson (99 RIVER STREET, KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL) directed this ersatz "exposé" of the city's liberation from gangsters with all the raucous energy and startling brutality of his best noir potboilers. Be warned - while you're smirking at the corny crimebusters speeches, this film will smack you right between the eyes …

TIGHT SPOT, 1955, Columbia, 101 min. Dir. Phil Karlson. A mobster's moll (Ginger Rogers) is escorted from prison to testify against her former flame. Can the prosecuting attorney (Edward G. Robinson) and a surly cop (Brian Keith) keep the sexy stoolie alive long enough to sing? One of Karlson's most suspensful movies, with a couple of plot twists that still pull a gasp. We guarantee you've never seen this Ginger Rogers before...

 Thursday, April 6 - 7:00 pm

Janet Leigh Tribute - In Person!!

ACT OF VIOLENCE, 1949, MGM (Warner Classics), 81 min. Dir. Fred Zinnemann. With Mary Astor. Little-shown classic that could be called a "perfect" example of film noir: vengeful thug Robert Ryan torments war hero Van Heflin and drives him from a suburban oasis into the hellish netherworld of Los Angeles. Great performances, fantastic cinematography – and stunning young Janet Leigh in one of her earliest roles! Discussion following with actress Janet Leigh.

Thursday, April 6 - 9:15 pm

2 x Noir Master Cornell Woolrich! Barbara Hale In Person!!

THE WINDOW,1949, RKO (Warner Classics), 73 min. Dir. Ted Teztlaff. With Arthur Kennedy, Ruth Roman, Barbara Hale, Paul Stewart. The best adaptation of Cornell Woolrich ever, and a classic suspense film: a young boy (Bobby Driscoll) with a hyperactive imagination witnesses a murder in the apartment upstairs, but can't get anyone to believe him. The killers close in. Suspense stretched to the limit!

DEADLINE AT DAWN, 1946, RKO (Warner Classics), 83 min. A sad-sack sailor (Bill Williams) has until sunrise to clear himself of a murder charge -- a talkative cabbie and a salty taxi dancer are his only allies. A classic Cornell Woolrich set-up is given a liberal spin by writer Clifford Odets and director Harold Clurman, the only film ever directed by the Group Theater stalwart. Featuring Susan Hayward at her snarling, sexy best. Discussion between films with actress Barbara Hale (THE WINDOW), schedule permitting.

Friday, April 7 - 7:00 pm

Hubert Cornfield Tribute - In Person!!

PLUNDER ROAD, 1957, Paramount/Republic, 82 min. Dir. Hubert Cornfield. With Wayne Morris, Elisha Cook, Jr. From the awesome, rain-drenched opening as a crew of hooded robbers heist a huge haul of gold bullion from a train, PLUNDER ROAD never stops moving – smashing down the interstate, as gang-leader Gene Raymond and his truck-driving cohorts try to get away with the score of a lifetime. Breathless, pulse-pounding excitement, a cross between WAGES OF FEAR and Melville’s SECOND BREATH. Discussion following with director Hubert Cornfield and actress Jeanne Cooper.

Friday, April 7 - 9:15 pm

Hubert Cornfield Tribute - Continued!

THE THIRD VOICE, 1960, 20th Century-Fox, 80 min. Dir. Hubert Cornfield. Fabulous, brain-teasing murder yarn with noir-stalwart Edmond O’Brien in easily his finest performance, as an anonymous chump hired by scheming secretary Laraine Day to kill her boss/lover – and assume his identity at a Mexican fishing resort!! Co-starring lovely songbird Julie London in a breathtaking example of black-and-white Cinemascope noir. Discussion following with director Hubert Cornfield and actress Laraine Day.

Saturday, April 8 - 5:30 pm

Coleen Gray Tribute - In Person!!

KISS OF DEATH, 1947, 20th Century-Fox, 98 min. Dir. Henry Hathaway. With Brian Donlevy. Petty crook Victor Mature is released from stir to help the law bag psycho-at-large Tommy Udo – Richard Widmark's astounding debut role. Best of the "semi-documentary" school of noir, with a taut script by Ben Hecht. In her "introductory" role, Coleen Gray stars and provides rare distaff narration. Discussion following with actress Coleen Gray.

Saturday, April 8 - 8:00 pm

Overlooked and Underrated - John Farrow

THE BIG CLOCK, 1948, Paramount (Universal), 93 min. Dir. John Farrow. With Maureen O'Sullivan. Terrific suspense yarn about magazine editor Ray Milland framed for murder by his empirical boss Charles Laughton. Milland must clear himself while locked inside the magnate's skyscraper. A suspense classic, reworked with Kevin Costner in the 80’s as NO WAY OUT.

ALIAS NICK BEAL, 1949, Paramount (Universal), 80 min. Dir. John Farrow. A true noir rarity! The Faust legend is played out as a supernatural noir thriller, with Ray Milland as the suave devil tempting ambitious DA Thomas Mitchell and fallen woman Audrey Totter in this dark and devious doppelgänger of Capra's IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

Sunday, April 9 - 5:00 pm

Jane Greer Tribute!

THE BIG STEAL, 1949, RKO (Warner Classics), 81 min. Dir. Don Siegel. Everybody's after a stolen Army payroll south of the border. Robert Mitchum's comeback film after his notorious pot bust is more a fast-paced caper than a brooding noir, but one never passes up the chance to see him and lovely Jane Greer swap sass. In one of his earliest films as director, Don Siegel keeps it rolling at a breakneck pace.

Sunday, April 9 - 7:00 pm

Overlooked and Underrated - Director Irving Pichel

THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME, 1947, RKO (Warner Classics), 95 min. Dir. Irving Pichel With Susan Hayward. Lovely Jane Greer again, playing one of Robert Young's harem of seduced beauties. Unusual story for the period about a married Lothario whose sex addiction leads to murder and an attempted cover-up. A shattering climax, literally.

QUICKSAND, 1950, UA, 79 min. Dir. Irving Pichel. With Peter Lorre. Mickey Rooney's a glib grease monkey who lifts twenty bucks from the garage till to pay for a hot date with Jeanne Cagney (Jimmy’s sister!) The minor theft turns into a full-scale noir nightmare. Shot on location at the long-defunct Pike amusement park in Long Beach.

Friday, April 14 - 7:00 pm

Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt & Andre de Toth Tribute – In Person!!

PITFALL, 1948, Paramount/Republic, 86 min. Dir. Andre de Toth. Insurance agent Dick Powell, facing a mid-life crisis, falls for hard-luck model Lizabeth Scott -- but brutish private eye Raymond Burr already has designs on her. The men wage war for her charms … and she already has her hands full with a convict lover about to be sprung from jail. Who'll survive this guilt-sodden affair? A downbeat, compelling classic. Discussion following with actresses Lizabeth Scott and Jane Wyatt and director Andre de Toth.

Friday, April 14 - 9:30 pm

Ultra-Noir Double-Feature -- Brand New 35mm Prints!!

GUN CRAZY, 1950, Warner Bros., 87 min. Dir. Joseph H. Lewis. A young man (John Dall) infatuated with firearms gets in way over his head when he falls for a reckless woman (Peggy Cummins) with a craving for armed robbery. Arguably the most hyper-charged, adrenaline-fueled B-movie of all time. Celebrate the 50th Anniversay of this quintessential noir classic with a Brand New 35mm print!

THE SCARF, 1951, MGM/UA, 93 min. Dir. E. A. DuPont. With John Ireland, James Barton, Emlyn Williams. An escapee from a desert asylum enlists the aid of a crusty turkey farmer and an itinerant saloon singer to discover whether or not he's really a murderer. Practically a parody of genre cliches, featuring an uproarious performance by Mercedes McCambridge as the sharp-tongued chanteuse - !!

Saturday, April 15 - 5:30 pm

Evelyn Keyes Tribute - In Person!!

THE PROWLER, 1950, UA (Ivy Films), 92 min. Dir. Joseph Losey.

Perverse, provocative film about a corrupt cop (Van Heflin) who sexually dominates a married woman (Evelyn Keyes) for material gain. Oh yeah, he murders her husband in the process - then marries her. And she ends up giving birth in a Nevada ghost town. Hands down, Evelyn's best performance. Not to be missed. Discussion following with actress Evelyn Keyes.

Saturday, April 15 - 8:00 pm

Rossen and Rowland - Double-Feature! Evelyn Keyes In Person!

JOHNNY O'CLOCK, 1947, Columbia, 95 min. Dir. Robert Rossen. Innocent Evelyn Keyes ventures to the big city when her sister winds up dead. Soon she's up to her chin in a tangle of gamblers, gangsters and surly cops - and under the spell of charismatic casino owner Johnny O'Clock (Dick Powell). Rossen's debut as a director offers the full range of noir iconography, and is played to the hilt by a colorful cast.

WITNESS TO MURDER, 1954, MGM/UA, 83 min. Dir. Roy Rowland This distaff version of REAR WINDOW (released before the Hitchcock classic) stars Barbara Stanwyck as an independent career woman who watches neighbor George Sanders strangle a victim in his swanky digs. It's the word of a single woman against that of a renowned author (and closet Nazi) - so guess who the LAPD believes?? Featuring the chiaroscuro camerwork of noir shadow-meister John Alton. Actress Evelyn Keyes (JOHNNY O’CLOCK scheduled to introduce screening.

Sunday, April 16 - 5:00 pm

Joseph M. Newman Tribute - In Person!! Brand-New 35mm Print!

711 OCEAN DRIVE, 1950, Columbia, 102 min. A penny-ante electronics expert (Edmond O'Brien) starts climbing the ladder in a West Coast gambling syndicate - and doesn't stop until he's "Mr. Big." One of the best of the "racket-buster" noirs from acclaimed director Joseph Newman (THIS ISLAND EARTH), featuring a memorable climax shot on location at Hoover Dam. Discussion following with director Joseph Newman.

Sunday, April 16 - 7:30 pm

Hard-Boiled Rarities!

THE BURGLAR, 1957, Columbia, 90 min. Dir. Paul Wendkos. With Dan Duryea, Jayne Mansfield, Martha Vickers. Writer David Goodis' guilt-laden caper yarn is given a fully stylized visual workout by whiz-kid director Wendkos. One of the last films of the 1950’s to capture to fatalistic feel of classic noir.

HIGHWAY 301, 1950, Warner Bros., 83 min. Dir. Andrew Stone. With Virginia Grey, Gaby Andre, Robert Webber. Steve Cochran was one of our favorite noir tough guys -- here he's a cold-blooded outlaw leading the "Tri-State Gang" on a robbery and murder spree. The film combines the popular early-1950’s "documentary" approach with flashes of wildly stylized and (for the time) graphic violence.

Friday, April 21 - 7:00 pm

Rhonda Fleming Tribute - In Person!!

SLIGHTLY SCARLET, 1956, RKO, 99 min. Dir. Allan Dwan. With Rhonda Fleming, John Payne, Arlene Dahl, Ted DeCorsia. The most-requested film at last year's Noir Festival - ! An oddly stylized adaptation of James Cain's "Love's Lovely Counterfeit," which combines a cynical take on big city politics with lots of bizarre sexual neuroses. Memorable for John Alton's incredible color photography, which sustains the stark shadows of his best work while adding saturated 1950’s Technicolor and Superscope. Discussion following with actress Rhonda Fleming.

Friday, April 21 - 9:30 pm

2 x Dick Powell - ! Rhonda Fleming, Jean Porter & Richard Erdman In Person!!

CRY DANGER, 1951, Paramount/Republic, 79 min. Dir. Robert Parrish. With Richard Erdman, William Conrad. A double dose of Rhonda Fleming, here playing the duplicitous dame that dallies with paroled con Dick Powell -- who, needless to say, is back in town to settle an old score. Highlighted by excellent L.A. location photography.

SPLIT SECOND, 1953, RKO (Warner Classics), 85 min. With Steven McNally, Alexis Smith, Jan Sterling. Dick Powell directed this demented tale of an escaped criminal holding hostages on a A-bomb test site. One of the first movies to graft Atomic Age paranoia onto a classic noir premise.  Actors Rhonda Fleming, Jean Porter and Richard Erdman (CRY DANGER) scheduled to introduce screening.

Saturday, April 22 - 5:30 pm

Mamie Van Doren Tribute - In Person!!

GUNS, GIRLS & GANGSTERS, 1959, MGM/UA, 70 min. Dir. Edward L. Cahn. The title says it all. We admit stretching the boundaries of noir to include this rambunctious caper film, but offer no apologies. Don't miss this chance to pay tribute to the most enduring of blonde bombshells, majestic Mamie Van Doren - !! Discussion following with actress Mamie van Doren.

Saturday, April 22 - 7:15 pm - 9:15 pm

Gangsters, Gumshoes and Molls, step out on the town for an evening of Italian dining and dancing to the strains of a Big Band quartet at the Cinematheque’s recreation of the "Rendezvous Club," in our own Egyptian Theatre Courtyard! Fabulous 40’s & 50’s fashion parade and dance exhibition, plus a trivia contest and prizes for the best dressed film noir guy and gal. Vegetarian food available. Sponsored by Alizé de France, a luxurious blend of cognac and passion fruit juices. $15 per person. (Does not include a film screening.) Tickets for this event must be purchased in advance at the box office or by fax (323.461.9737) by Friday, April 21 at 3:00 PM. $1 handling charge on fax orders.

Saturday, April 22 - 8:30 pm

Overlooked & Underrated - Gerd Oswald

A KISS BEFORE DYING, 1956, MGM/UA, 104 min. Dir. Gerd Oswald. With Joanne Woodward, Mary Astor. Ladykiller college student Robert Wagner is determined to marry into money -- even if he has to commit murder to do it. Injects a lethal dose of psychosis into its colorful depiction of squeaky-clean American life in the Eisenhower era. Another rare noir in color.

CRIME OF PASSION, 1957, MGM/UA, 85 min. Dir. Gerd Oswald. With Raymond Burr. Rarely-screened gem that bristles with fledgling 1950’s feminism. San Francisco newspaper columnist Barbara Stanwyck falls for virile-but-passive L.A. cop Sterling Hayden, and abandons her career for a life of suburban ennui. She puts a homicidal spin on keeping-up-with-the-Joneses.

Sunday, April 23 - 5:00 pm

Jean Simmons Tribute - In Person!!

ANGEL FACE, 1953, RKO (Warner Classics), 91 min. Dir. Otto Preminger. With Herbert Marshall, Mona Freeman. Spooky spider-woman Jean Simmons casts her sexy and sinister spell on supreme sap Robert Mitchum. This one has a undeniable hypnotic quality that makes it a cult favorite. Discussion following with actress Jean Simmons (schedule permitting.)

Sunday, April 23 - 7:15 pm

2 x Otto Preminger & Dana Andrews!

FALLEN ANGEL, 1945, 20th Century-Fox, 98 min. Dir. Otto Preminger. With Charles Bickford. Scheming drifter Dana Andrews marries rich girl Alice Faye while plotting to run away with wanton waitress Linda Darnell. But lovely Linda turns up dead. Complications ensue. Anger boils. Then come the bullets …

WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS, 1950, 20th Century-Fox, 95 min. Dir. Otto Preminger With Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill, Craig Stevens. Embittered cop Dana Andrews accidentally kills a suspect, then tries to frame a hated mobster for the murder -- but his frame-up entraps an innocent man. Strong screenplay by Ben Hecht, directed with grit and style by the legendary Otto Preminger!


 Stay Tuned for next year...