American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

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Series compiled by Dennis Bartok, Eddie Muller, Chris D.
Special Thanks to: Lloyd E. Rigler; Marvin Paige; John Hersker, Barry Allen and Amy Lewin/PARAMOUNT PICTURES REPERTORY; John Kirk, Latanya Taylor and Irene Ramos/MGM-UA; Michael Schlesinger and Grover Crisp/COLUMBIA PICTURES REPERTORY; Mike Mashon/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS – Film Archive; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL DISTRIBUTION; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Todd Wiener/UCLA FILM & TELEVISION ARCHIVE; Fritz Herzog/ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS & SCIENCES – Film Archive; Anne Goodman/CRITERION PICTURES; Marc Dolezal.

Photo: From WOMAN ON THE RUN, courtesy of Eddie Muller.

 

 

 

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< April 4 - 16, 2003 >>>

Side Streets and Back Alleys: The 5th Annual Festival of Film Noir

Sponsored by the Lloyd E. Rigler - Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation

Media Sponsors: FEMME FATALES Magazine & LA WEEKLY

More than 60 years after it began in the pulp magazines and expressionistic, doom-laden thrillers and crime movies of the 1930’s and 1940’s, 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. The Festival kicks off with a special in-person Tribute to one of the most acclaimed actors of the noir era, Farley Granger, who’ll be making a very rare Los Angeles appearance with screenings of the Alfred Hitchcock classics STRANGERS ON A TRAIN andROPE, Nicholas Ray’s superb THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, and Mark Robson’s elusive EDGE OF DOOM.Edge_of_Doomweb.jpg (15963 bytes)

Photo: Farley Granger (left) in EDGE OF DOOM. Courtesy of Eddie Muller.

Other highlights of the series include brand-new 35 mm. prints of William Dieterle’s DARK CITY, Rudolph Mate’s UNION STATION, Frank Tuttle’s THE GLASS KEY and Abraham Polonsky’s FORCE OF EVIL, screenings of long-lost crime gems STRANGER ON THE THIRD FLOOR,Woman_Run_2web.jpg (25035 bytes) WOMAN ON THE RUN, BLACK TUESDAY, FOURTEEN HOURS and ABANDONED, plus a special Hugo Haas double-header of the delirious, low-rent melodramas BAIT and PICKUP and much more!

We’re thrilled to welcome as guests for this year’s Noir Festival actresses Coleen Gray, Patricia Hitchcock O’Connell, Julie Adams, Joan Evans, Jan Sterling and Nancy Olson, actors Peter Graves and Kevin McCarthy, writer A.I. Bezzerides, composer David Raksin, and long-time Fest favorite, director Joseph Newman - ! Festival co-programmer Eddie Muller will also be joining us for a special booksigning of his new crime novel Shadow Boxer and his poster book The Art Of Noir.

 

Friday, April 4 - 7:00 PM

Farley Granger and Patricia Hitchcock O’Connell In Person!!

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, 1951, Warner Bros., 101 min. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. A chance encounter on a train triggers an unstoppable race toward double-murder. Hitchcock’s classic thriller is a finely-tuned engine of suspense, taking barely a breath as it steams through a spine-tingling story of fate, coincidence, guilt and psychopathy -- favorite themes of noir writer Patricia Highsmith, whose novel is adapted by the legendary Raymond Chandler. Discussion following with actor Farley Granger. Actress Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell will not be able to attend. (schedules permitting).

 

Friday, April 4 - 9:45 PM

Proto-Noir Double Header:

New 35 mm. Print! THE GLASS KEY, 1935, Paramount (Universal), 80 min. Dir. Frank Tuttle. Our excavation of "proto noir" offers this rare screening of the first version of Dashiell Hammett’s novel of corrupt big city politics. This one features several highly evocative passages that presage the 1940’s shadowy evocation of hardboiled detective fiction. Tight-lipped George Raft fits right into Hammett’s cynical and sinister world. Look for Ray Milland in one of his earliest roles!

STRANGER ON THE THIRD FLOOR, 1940, RKO (Warners), 64 min. Dir. Boris Ingster. A newspaper reporter plunges into a nightmare of guilt, fearing that his "evidence" has sentenced the wrong man to death. A stunning example of cinematic expressionism, cited by many as the first studio film shot in a completely noir style. Featuring the astounding art direction of Van Nest Polglase and the brilliant photography of Nicholas Musuraca. Don’t miss this chance to see one of the rarest of all film noirs on the big screen!

 

Saturday, April 5 – 4:00 PM

Special Booksigning!

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Photo: Author Eddie Muller with noir chanteuse Jill Tracy in a sinister situation. Photo: Jim Ferreira 2003.

Please join Noir Festival co-programmer Eddie Muller for a special booksigning of his acclaimed new crime novel Shadow Boxer and his superb poster book The Art Of Noir!

In the Egyptian Theatre Lobby.

 

Saturday, April 5 - 5:00 PM

Brand New 35 mm. Print!!

DARK CITY, 1950, Paramount, 98 min. The deaths of several gambling cohorts leads a small time racketeer (Charlton Heston, in his first leading role) to suspect a serial killer bent on vengeance. A complex tale roaming from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, evocatively directed by William Dieterle (PORTRAIT OF JENNIE, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME). Featuring film noir’s favorite thrush, the lovely Lizabeth Scott. Unfortunately there will not be a discussion following with actress Lizabeth Scott as was previously announced.

 

Saturday, April 5 - 7:45 PM

Double Feature -- Actor Farley Granger In Person!!

THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, 1949, RKO (Warners), 92 min. Nicholas Ray’s directorial debut is a deeply-felt tale of young love struggling to survive in a cruel, unforgiving world. Farley Granger and Cathy O’Donnell are memorable as star-crossed lovers Bowie and Keechie in this darkly romantic and melancholy adaptation of Edward Anderson’s depression-era crime classic Thieves Like Us. In Ray’s hands, it’s Romeo and Juliet for the film noir era.

ROPE, 1948, Universal, 80 min. This startling Alfred Hitchcock film was doubly daring for 1948: first, it risked depicting the Leopold & Loeb-like tale of homosexual lovers committing murder solely for the thrill. If that wasn’t enough, it told the tale in a series of long, 10 minute takes, unlike anything any director had previously attempted. Having passed over the heads of most audiences when originally released, the film is a revelation by today’s standards. With James Stewart, Farley Granger, John Dall. Discussion between films with actor Farley Granger (schedule permitting).

 

Sunday, April 6 - 4:00 PM

Composer David Raksin In Person! New 35 mm. Print!

FORCE OF EVIL, 1948, Paramount, 78 min. One of the most distinctive and revelatory works of the classic film noir era, Abraham Polonsky’s directorial debut is both a detailed exposť of the numbers racket (based on Ira Wolfert’s jormalistic novel, Tucker’s People), and a riveting tale of a fallen man’s search for his soul (John Garfield, who also produced, burns up the screen in one of his best roles). An innovative and superlative film in every respect, including an unusual, highly evocative score by David Raksin. Discussion following with composer David Raksin (schedule permitting).

 

Sunday, April 6 - 6:30 PM

Mark Robson Double Feature – Farley Granger and Joan Evans In Person!!

EDGE OF DOOM, 1950, MGM/UA, 99 min. Dir. Mark Robson. A young New York slum-dweller (Farley Granger) kills the parish priest in a rage when the church denies his devout mother a lavish funeral. Suspected by the cops and tormented by his guilty conscience, he flees into the pitiless urban catacombs (dynamically lensed by Harry Stradling). The only crime drama ever produced by Samuel Goldwyn is a bleak and bitter depiction of urban loneliness and despair. With Dana Andrews, Paul Stewart, Joan Evans, Mala Powers. (Note: This, the only surviving 35 mm. print, has French subtitles – but dialogue in English!)

THE 7TH VICTIM, 1943, RKO (Warners), 71 min. Dir. Mark Robson. A young woman (Kim Hunter) searching for her missing sister in New York’s Greenwich Village wanders into a society of devil-worshippers. One of the first of producer Val Lewton’s legendary series of mysterious RKO horrors, this brilliant B-movie is actually closer to film noir than the supernatural. Stunning visuals by master cameraman Nicholas Musuraca make this a genuinely creepy film, with a spooky, unforgettable finale. An absolute must see in 35mm! Introduction to screening by actor Farley Granger and actress Joan Evans (EDGE OF DOOM), (schedules permitting).

 

Wednesday, April 9 - 7:30 PM

Double-Feature:

WOMAN ON THE RUN, 1950, 77 min. Dir. Norman Foster. Part thriller, part poignant love story, this exceptional film had been feared lost. We proudly present it in a rediscovered 35mm archival print!! A fearful wife (Ann Sheridan) teams with a charming reporter (Dennis O'Keefe) to locate her missing husband (sole witness to a gangland killing) before the killer does. This tightly-wrought script is as good as it gets in packing a thoroughly satisfying thriller into a scant 78 minutes. Be here for the resurrection of a lost classic!

SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT, 1946, 20th Century Fox, 111 min. Dir. Joseph Mankiewicz. An amnesiac vet (John Hodiak) prowls through the Los Angeles underworld searching for the mysterious "Larry Cravat," the lone clue to his true identity. Mankewicz’s vastly underrated noir is a timeless trip through the noir netherworld, a place where no one can be trusted. With Richard Conte, Lloyd Nolan, Nancy Guild, and a rogue's gallery of familiar faces lending vivid support.

 

Friday, April 11 - 7:00 PM

New 35 mm. Print! Actresses Jan Sterling and Nancy Olsen In Person!!

UNION STATION, 1950, Paramount, 80 min. Dir. Rudolph Mate. This taut thriller is more policier than noir, but it features plenty of memorable set pieces in the underground tunnels surrounding Chicago’s major throughfare. Lyle Bettger plays a desperate man whose kidnapping of a young blind girl turns him into a frothing psychopath. William Holden and Barry Fitzgerald are the dogged cops who must flush out the kidnapper without causing a rush-hour panic. Featuring Nancy Olson and Jan Sterling. Discussion following with actresses Jan Sterling and Nancy Olson (schedules permitting).

 

Friday, April 11 - 9:30 PM

Double Feature – Actor Peter Graves In Person!!

BLACK TUESDAY, 1954, 80 min. Dir. Hugo Fregonese. In this unjustly overlooked thriller, Edward G. Robinson and Peter Graves are fantastic as convicts who pull off a daring prison escape on the day of their planned execution. An absolutely first-rate script by noir scribe Sydney Boehm, one of his best. Robinson’s maniacal gangster, Vincent Canelli, leaves "Little Caesar" in the shade!

FOURTEEN HOURS, 1951, 20th Century Fox, 92 min. Dir. Henry Hathaway. Based on the true 1938 story of John Warde, who held Manhattan spellbound for 14 hours as he threatened to jump from the eighth story ledge of the Gotham Hotel. Writer John Paxton and director Hathaway flesh out the tension with myriad backstories, including one that features Grace Kelly in her debut role. Terrific turns from Richard Basehart, Paul Douglas, Agnes Moorehead and Debra Paget. The discussion between films with actor Peter Graves (BLACK TUESDAY) will not take place due to a schedule conflict for Mr. Graves. (schedule permitting).

 

Saturday, April 12 - 4:00 PM

Double Feature -- Screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides In Person!!

KISS ME DEADLY, 1955, MGM/UA, 106 min. Dir. Robert Aldrich. Many critics see it as the apotheosis of film noir style. Others regard it as the definitive statement on American paranoia in the Atomic Age. Still others see it as a proto-feminist send-up of author Mickey Spillane’s hugely popular macho fantasies, brilliantly adapted here by screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides. You’ll just have to watch it and decide for yourself, as Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) bounces his thick head around Los Angeles in search of "The Great Whatsit."

ON DANGEROUS GROUND, 1951, RKO (Warner Bros.), 82 min. Dir. Nicholas Ray. A violent, embittered metro cop (Robert Ryan) gets sent upstate to cool off and help with a small town murder probe. The search leads him into a fateful confrontation with his own black heart. Sterling contributions all around: writer A.I. Bezzerides’ savvy script, Ray’s vigorous direction, Bernard Herrmann’s magnificent, brassy score, and Ryan’s ferocious performance make this one of the genre’s most affecting statements about anger and alienation in the big city. Discussion in between films with screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides (schedule permitting).

 

Saturday, April 12 - 8:30 PM

Tony Curtis/Joe Pevney Double Header – Actress Julie Adams In Person!

SIX BRIDGES TO CROSS, 1955, Universal, 96 min. The factual story of Boston’s legendary Brink’s heist is given its first cinematic treatment by director Joe Pevney in this character-driven caper. Noir maestro Sydney Boehm’s screenplay delves into the psychology of the perpetrators, as well as the intricate mechanics of the hold-up. Tony Curtis heads a terrific cast that includes Julie Adams, George Nader, J.C Flippen, and, in his movie debut, Sal Mineo.

THE MIDNIGHT STORY, 1957, Universal, 89 min. Dir. Joe Pevney. A San Francisco traffic cop (Tony Curtis) is obsessed with solving the murder of his mentor, a popular North Beach priest. Not allowed to follow his suspicions, he gives up his badge and becomes an undercover vigilante. His prime suspect, Italian patriarch Gilbert Roland, ends up loving him like his own son. But is he guilty of murder? In atmospheric black and white Cinemascope. Actress Julie Adams (SIX BRIDGES TO CROSS) will not be able to appear for discussion between films. Argentine Brunetti (MIDNIGHT STORY) will introduce the film (schedule permitting).

 

Sunday, April 13 - 4:30 PM

Director Joseph Newman In Person!

ABANDONED, 1949, Universal, 79 min. Another missing noir classic resurrected! Long-time Noir Fest favorite, director Joseph Newman (711 OCEAN DRIVE) takes the audience on a down and dirty tour of the seamier side of late 1940’s Los Angeles, as a reporter (Dennis O’Keefe) pursues a missing girl into the bowels of a black market baby racket. Grim and relentless, but enlivened considerably by the wit of writer Bill Bowers. Don’t miss your chance to see this long-lost noir gem, and to hear legendary 93-year-old director Newman (who was at the Egyptian Theatre the night it opened in 1922!) speak in person. Discussion following with director Joseph Newman (schedule permitting).

 

Sunday, April 13 – 7:00 PM

Actress Coleen Gray In Person!!

NIGHTMARE ALLEY, 1947, Criterion, 110 min. Dir. Edmund Goulding. One of the most unjustly neglected films of the 1940’s returns to the Film Noir Festival for an encore performance! Based on a classic cult novel by William Lindsay Gresham, NIGHTMARE ALLEY tells the rags-to-riches-to-ruin story of carnival mentalist Stanton Carlisle (Tyrone Power, in a daring and inspired performance). Superb supporting turns by Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, and Helen Walker, as the women in Stan’s life. Discussion following with actress Coleen Gray (schedule permitting). As an added attraction, noir chanteuse Jill Tracy will perform several songs after the screening, including her signature song "Let’s Spend An Evil Night Together" - !

 

Tuesday, April 15 - 7:30 PM

Hugo Haas Double Feature!

Never let it be said that the Festival of Film Noir shies away from the esoteric and eccentric! Once again we push wide the boundaries of "noir" to present a pair of films from one of the oddest cinema artists of the 1950’s, Hugo Haas. A comic star in his native Czechoslovakia in the 1930’s, Haas fled to Hollywood with the rise of the Nazis, worked as a character actor in the 1940’s -- and then found his niche making weird, downbeat noir melodramas in the 1950’s, in which he invariably cast himself as a middle-aged loser having his life turned inside out by a young temptress! First, a brand-new 35 mm. print of:

BAIT, 1954, Columbia, 79 min. Dir. Hugo Haas. A platinum-haired vixen (Cleo Moore) leads a middle-aged miner (played by Haas himself) to ruin, in this ultra-tawdry examination of unrequited love. Followed by:

PICKUP, 1951, Columbia, 78 min. Dir. Hugo Haas. A platinum-haired vixen (Beverly Michaels) leads a middle-aged railroader (Haas again) to ruin. Does anyone see a pattern here?!?

 

Wednesday, April 16 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature – Actor Kevin McCarthy In Person!!

NIGHTMARE, 1956, MGM/UA, 89 min. Director Maxwell Shane remakes his own 1948 film FEAR IN THE NIGHT, based on a Cornell Woolrich short story. Jazz musician Kevin McCarthy dreams of a murder, only to find his nightmare coming true. Is his helpful level-headed pal Edward G. Robinson really on the level? Highly evocative use of the New Orleans setting, and terrific performances by McCarthy and Robinson.

BLAST OF SILENCE, 1961, Universal, 77 min. This engrossing independent production from late in the classic noir era, shot entirely in New York, tracks a stoic hitman (played by director Allen Baron himself, who also wrote the script) returning to his home turf for what’s meant to be a quick, efficient assigment. Fate, guilt, and double-crosses intervene. Like Kubrick’s THE KILLING and Wendkos’ THE BURGLAR, this film represents the transition from studio noir to independently produced "neo-noir." Discussion between films with actor Kevin McCarthy (NIGHTMARE), (schedule permitting).