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

Click to Print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of April Schedule!
Series compiled by:  Dennis Bartok & Eddie Muller


Special Thanks to: Paul Ginsburg /UNIVERSAL DISTRIBUTION; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Eve Goldin/TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL; Mike Schlesinger/COLUMBIA PICTURES REPERTORY; Schawn Belston and Chip Blake/20th CENTURY FOX; Mike Mashon/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS; Alexandra Pizot/CLASSIC MEDIA; Gary Balaban; Mark Haggard.





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.
SCHEDULE (by series)
SCHEDULE (by date)
24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
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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 1 - 11, 2004 >>>

Side Streets and Back Alleys: The 6th Annual Festival of Film Noir

Writers never get enough credit in this town. That’s especially true where film noir is concerned. So this year we’re making things right: our 6th Annual Festival of Film Noir pays tribute to the wordsmiths who got this whole thing started, both novelists and screenwriters. We’re proud to present a roster of films from such influential masters of crime fiction as James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, Cornell Woolrich, W.R. Burnett, and Raymond Chandler, as well as lesser-known but equally prodigious talents such as Dorothy B. Hughes, William P. McGivern, Steve Fisher, John C. Higgins, and Harry Kleiner. Without these writers, and the legion of scribes they spawned, there’d be no plots to blow up in the hero’s face, no wisecracks to feed down the barrel of a gun, no twists to trip everyone up, no place for the shadows to fall. Without the writers, no film noir!


Thursday, April 1 – 7:30 PM

James M. Cain Tribute:

DOUBLE INDEMNITY, 1944, Paramount (Universal), 107 min. Dir. Billy Wilder. Script by Wilder & Raymond Chandler, from the novel by James M. Cain. Starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson. Why not start with the ne plus ultra of noir? Wilder’s cunning masterpiece helped spawn Hollywood’s dark renaissance in mordant murder thrillers. It still hasn’t been equaled. MILDRED PIERCE, 1945, Warner Bros., 111 min. Dir. Michael Curtiz. Script by Ranald McDougall, from the novel by James M. Cain. Cain’s great hardboiled California soap opera gets the A-list Hollywood treatment. Joan Crawford gives her signature (and an Oscar-winning) performance as the ultimate maternal martyr, in thrall to her own femme fatale daughter. The stellar supporting cast includes Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Ann Blyth, Eve Arden, and Bruce Bennett.

Opening the Film Noir series is San Francisco noir chanteuse Jill Tracy who will perform some sinister ballads to set the mood for murder and mayhem. "…a femme fatale for the Thinking Man." San Francisco Chronicle


Friday, April 2 – 7:00 PM

Dashiell Hammett Tribute:

THE GLASS KEY, 1942, Paramount (Universal), 85 min. Dir. Stuart Heisler. Script by Jonathan Latimer, from the novel by Dashiell Hammett. Alad Ladd and Veronica Lake star in this rough and tumble account of big city political corruption. Deftly capturing Hammett’s cold-eyed cynicism, Ladd plays a political "fixer" out to save his candidate from a murder charge. A complex, terse, and brutal examination of how the "system" works. With Brian Donlevy, William Bendix, and Joseph Calleia.


Friday, April 2 – 9:00 PM

Raymond Chandler Tribute:

MURDER MY SWEET, 1944, RKO (Warners), 95 min. Dir. Edward Dmytryk. Script by John Paxton, from the novel Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. This earns plenty of votes as the best Chandler adaptation ever. Dmytryk, aided by cameraman Harry Wild, presents a studio-lot Los Angeles through an Expressionistic filter, with memorable results. Crooner Dick Powell turned his career around as wisecracking Philip Marlowe, and the tempting Claire Trevor is an unforgettable femme fatale. With Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger, and Mike Mazurki as "Moose" Malloy.

THE BLUE DAHLIA, 1946, Universal, 96 min. Dir. George Marshall. Script by Raymond Chandler. Alan Ladd plays a returning war hero accused of murdering his two-timing wife. Luckily, Veronica Lake is around to help him navigate the twists and turns of Raymond Chandler’s Oscar-nominated original screenplay. As usual, Ladd is accompanied by faithful bulldog William Bendix. A time capsule of 40’s hardboiled style. With Hugh Beaumont, Doris Dowling, and Howard da Silva.


Saturday, April 3 – 5:00 PM

Dorothy B. Hughes Tribute:

THE FALLEN SPARROW, 1943, RKO (Warners), 94 min. Dir. Richard Wallace. Script by Warren Duff, from the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. This convoluted but compelling story, told in creepy Val Lewton style, stars John Garfield as a Spanish Civil War veteran being driven crazy by stateside fascists. Is porcelain-gorgeous Maureen O’Hara his only ally… or his enemy? Stunning photography by RKO’s in-house noir master, Nicholas Musuraca. With Walter Slezak, Patricia Morison, Martha O’Driscoll.

New 35mm Print! IN A LONELY PLACE, 1950, Columbia, 94 min. Dir. Nicholas Ray. Script by Edmund H. North and Andrew Solt, from the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. Brilliant, moody drama of a screenwriter (Humphrey Bogart) accused of murder, and the starlet (Gloria Grahame) afraid to trust him. On one level, a poisonous rejection of all things Hollywood; on another, a love triangle of almost demonic intensity between the director and his two stars. Discussion between films with THE FALLEN SPARROW actress Patricia Morison (schedule permitting).


Saturday, April 3 – 9:15 PM

Cornell Woolrich Tribute:

THE CHASE, 1946, 86 min. Dir. Arthur Ripley. Script by Philip Yordan, from the novel The Black Path of Fear by Cornell Woolrich. Finally, after five years of searching, we’re thrilled to present this hallucinatory Woolrich adaptation! Robert Cummings plays a drifter hired by two Florida crooks (Steve Cochran and Peter Lorre). He falls for Cochran’s dishy wife (Michelle Morgan) with dire, unpredictable results. As close to Lynch-like as movies got in the 1940’s.

I WOULDN’T BE IN YOUR SHOES, 1948, 70 min. Dir. William Nigh. Script by Steve Fisher, based on the novel by Cornell Woolrich. With Don Castle, Elyse Knox, and Regis Toomey. As rare as they come! A virtually forgotten film, brought to light for the first time in decades! An insomniac throws a pair of shoes at a wailing cat and ends up spiraling into a noir nightmare. Poverty Row trash or undiscovered gem? Only one way to find out… see it for yourself!


Sunday, April 4


Sunday, April 4        

Egyptian Theatre Historic Tours & FOREVER HOLLYWOOD

10:30 AM Behind the Scenes Tour

11:30 AM, 2:00 PM & 3:30 PM FOREVER HOLLYWOOD


Sunday, April 4 – 5:00 PM

W.R. Burnett + Harry Kleiner Tribute – Double Feature:

HIGH SIERRA, 1941, Warner Bros., 100 min. Dir. Raoul Walsh. Script by John Huston and W.R. Burnett, from the novel by Burnett. The quintessential gangster romance, from the pen of one of America’s most important crime writers. Humphrey Bogart plays Mad Dog Earle, an outlaw looking for one last score, sidetracked by love, hounded by inescapable fate. With the incomparable Ida Lupino and Joan Leslie, under Walsh’s typically rugged direction. Remade twice, as COLORADO TERRITORY and I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES.

FALLEN ANGEL, 1945, 20th Century Fox, 98 min. Dir. Otto Preminger. Scr. Harry Kleiner, from the novel by Marty Holland. Kleiner’s long Hollywood writing career began with this quirky thriller that was Preminger’s follow-up to the hugely successful LAURA. Grifter Dana Andrews marries rich heiress Alice Faye, but plots to run off with sexbomb waitress Linda Darnell… until one of them turns up dead! Much anger, many twists, then the bullets… With Charles Bickford, John Carradine, and Bruce Cabot. Discussion between films with HIGH SIERRA actress Joan Leslie (schedule permitting).


Friday, April 9 – 7:00 PM

Eric Ambler Tribute:

MASK OF DIMITRIOS, 1944, Warner Bros., 95 min. Dir. Jean Negulesco. Script by Frank Gruber, from the novel A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler. A mystery writer (Peter Lorre) becomes obsessed with unraveling the life story of recently deceased master criminal, Dimitrios. Will he live to tell the tale? Negulesco brings superb noir stylings to Ambler’s patented brand of international intrigue. With Sydney Greenstreet, Zachary Scott, Faye Emerson, and George Tobias.


Friday, April 9 – 9:15 PM

John C. Higgins Tribute:

RAW DEAL, 1948, Classic Media, 79 min. Dir. Anthony Mann. Script by Leopold Atlas and John C. Higgins, based on a story by Arnold B. Armstrong and Audrey Ashley. "I want to breathe... all I want is a breath of fresh air," croaks loser jailbird/hero Dennis O’Keefe, just before he busts out of prison – to find himself chased by the cops and his own gang, led by double-crossing Raymond Burr. The script by Leopold Atlas and John C. Higgins is as fatalistic as it gets in noir, with dazzling photography by the great John Alton. With Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt.

T-MEN, 1947, Classic Media, 92 min. Dir. Anthony Mann. Script by John C. Higgins, based on a story by Virginia Kellogg. Half-documentary, half-pulp comic book, Mann’s crackling L.A. noir never stops moving, tailing two undercover treasury men (Dennis O’Keefe and Alfred Ryder) through a sleazy canvas of cheap hotels, Turkish baths and backroom gambling parlors. Flat out amazing, with a tense script by frequent Mann collaborator John C. Higgins, and superb camerawork by cinematographer John Alton. This is almost NEVER seen in 35mm – so don’t miss it here!! Introduction to RAW DEAL by actress Marsha Hunt (schedule permitting).


Saturday, April 10        

Egyptian Theatre Historic Tours & FOREVER HOLLYWOOD

10:30 AM Behind the Scenes Tour

11:30 AM, 2:00 PM & 3:30 PM FOREVER HOLLYWOOD


Saturday, April 10 – 5:00 PM

David Goodis Tribute:

New 35mm Print! THE BURGLAR, 1956, Columbia, 90 min. Dir. Paul Wendkos. Script by David Goodis, based on his novel. 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 1950s to capture the fatalistic feel of classic noir.


Saturday, April 10 – 7:30 PM

Stanley Rubin Tribute In-Person:

MACAO, 1952, RKO (Warners), 81 min. Dirs. Josef von Sternberg and Nicholas Ray (uncredited). Script by Bernard Schoenfeld and Stanley Rubin, story by Bob Williams. An on-the-lam ex-GI (Robert Mitchum) gets mixed up with Far East racketeers (bad) and sexy Jane Russell (good). Throw in our favorite twisted sister, Gloria Grahame, and you won’t care that it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. This is high style as it just can’t be done anymore. With William Bendix, Thomas Gomez, and Brad Dexter.

DECOY, 1946, Warner Bros., 76 min. Dir. Jack Bernhard. Script by Ned Young, based on the story by Stanley Rubin. With Sheldon Leonard, Edward Norris, Herbert Rudley. If you've haven’t seen this derelict delight at our previous Noir Fest screenings, 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 – with one of the great kiss-offs in screen history. Cheap, tawdry, and unforgettable…

Discussion between films with screenwriter Stanley Rubin.


Sunday, April 11 – 4:00 PM

Steve Fisher + William P. McGivern Tribute:

I WAKE UP SCREAMING, 1941, 20th Century Fox, 82 min. Dir. H. Bruce Humberstone. Script by Dwight Taylor, from the novel by Steve Fisher. A Broadway promoter (Victor Mature), wrongly accused of murder, escapes to find the real killer of his glamorous protegé (Carole Landis). Originally called THE HOT SPOT, this rarely-screened early noir has all the visual flourishes soon to be synonymous with the style. Betty Grable may be the female lead, but noirheads will go wild for supporting players Laird Cregar and Elisha Cook Jr., in juicy character roles.

SHIELD FOR MURDER, 1954, 82 min. Dirs. Howard Koch and Edmond O’Brien. Script by John C. Higgins and Richard Alan Simmons, from the novel by William P. McGivern. When is a "cop movie" a film noir? When its cop is dirty, dirty, dirty. Flatfoot Edmond O’Brien dreams of retiring to a simple suburban life, and he’s not above taking some short cuts: theft and murder. Seminal pulp, from William P. McGivern, the author of The Big Heat, Rogue Cop, and Odds Against Tomorrow. The poster’s tagline says it all: "Dame Hungry Killer Cop Runs Berserk!" With Marla English, John Agar, and Carolyn Jones.

Followed by the L.A. Premiere of a New Noir Short, "Lonely Place," 2004, 30 min. Dir. Kevin Ackerman. Script by Kevin Ackerman based on the story by C.B. Gilford. A terrific example of a film noir that combines something old and something new, "Lonely Place" is based on a short story by C.B. Gilford that originally appeared in "Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine" in 1965. Kurtwood Smith and Tess Harper deliver excellent performances as a farming couple in Fresno, 1949, whose airless marriage is interrupted by the arrival of sinister drifter Tomas Arana. Heartland noir! With music by John Ottman (X-MEN 2, THE USUAL SUSPECTS.)