|8th Annual Festival of Film
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Some films in this series will be presented at the Aero Theatre April 13 16.
No, your eyes are not decieving you! It may not seem like that much
time has passed, but its already our Eighth Annual Festival of Film Noir. As each
twelve months go by, we think that were going to be hard-pressed to still unearth
enough hard-to-see, suspenseful, doom-laden masterworks. Yet each year were
surprised at all the glittering, rare noir gems that were able to pry out of
forgotten vaults and warehouses (King Vidors RUBY GENTRY and BEYOND THE
FOREST, Vincent Shermans THE DAMNED DONT CRY, Jacques
Tourneurs NIGHTFALL, Mitchell Leisens NO MAN OF HER OWN and
Felix Feists ultra-rare THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF, to name but a few in
this seasons crop). And thats not even counting the endless, sought-after
noirs where just no screenable prints are available at least, not yet!
Miraculously, films that we once believed wed probably never be able to show are now
occasionally surfacing in new prints this time out, theres Gordon
Douglas BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN, Jean Negulescos NOBODY LIVES
FOREVER and Ted Tetzlaffs THE WINDOW (the latter two funded by The Film Noir Foundation). Well also be
showing Fay Lellios excellent documentary, THE LONG HAUL OF A.I.
BEZZERIDES, a celebration of the life of A.I. Bezzerides; novelist, screenwriter of
several noirs (including KISS ME DEADLY and THIEVES HIGHWAY),
contemporary of William Faulkner and John Fante, and the last of the proletariat poets.
Well also be welcoming hardboiled writer extraordinaire, James Ellroy (L.A.
CONFIDENTIAL) as our in-person guest to discuss the L.A.-based, opening night film, CRIME
WAVE, with moderator/ noir expert, Eddie
Muller. And at the Aero Theatre, a program of Noir Greatest Hits from our past
(including GUN CRAZY, CRISS CROSS and THE PHANTOM LADY). Pull up your
collar, hunker down in your seat and prepare to escape into another uneasy age as the
lights go down. For more on film noir from our series programmer Eddie Muller
Legendary tough guys and femme fatales
collide in The Film Noir Classic Colleciton Volume Three, debuting Summer 2006
from Warner Home Video. The Collection includes five classics, all new to DVD and all
digitally remastered: Border Incident, His Kind of Woman, Lady in the Lake, On
Dangerous Ground and The Racket. The American Cinematheque will be giving away
some of Warner Home Videos previous Noir DVD releases to new Cinematheque members!
Friday, April 7 7:30 PM
L.A. Noir Double Feature!
CRIME WAVE, 1954, Warner Bros., 74 min.
Dir. Andre de Toth. One of the best noir thrillers to come out of Hollywood in the
1950s stars Sterling Hayden as a righteously POd cop making life
miserable for a small-time ex-con who wants to go straight but cant shake his old
gang. Director de Toth and cameraman Bert Glennon work black magic with a tiny budget and
14-day shooting schedule, capturing noctural Los Angeles at the peak of its pulpish
allure. The colorful cast includes Gene Nelson, Phyllis Kirk, Ted de Corsia, Charles
Bronson, and Timothy Carey. NOT ON DVD.
Brand New 35mm Print!
BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN, 1950, Columbia
(Sony), 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, dealing 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! NOT
ON DVD. Discussion in between films with novelist, James Ellroy.
Saturday, April 8
Egyptian Theatre Historic Tour & FOREVER HOLLYWOOD
10:30 AM Behind The Scenes Tour
11:30 AM FOREVER HOLLYWOOD
Saturday, April 8 6:00 PM
THE DAMNED DONT CRY,
1950, Warner Bros., 103 min. Dir. Vincent Sherman. This one gets our vote as the
ultimate Joan Crawford noir. Ethel Whitehead (who else?) leaves behind her grubby
life in the oil fields to parade her shapely stuff in NYs garment jungle. After
hooking up with a mob accountant, theres no stopping her rise to power and glory
until she gets caught between the warring affections of gangsters David Brian and Steve
Cochran. The script is really a thinly-veiled noir version of Crawfords own
relentless climb to showbiz success!
Saturday, April 8 8:30 PM
King Vidor Double Feature:
RUBY GENTRY, 1952, Disney, 82 min.
Dir. King Vidor. Now that Douglas Sirks florid Fifties melodramas have been
canonized as great cinema, isnt it time to reconsider King Vidors even more
overheated noir-stained soap operas? The director pulls out all the stops in this
sexually-charged (nee hysterical) tale of a boondocks babe (Jennifer Jones)
bent on destroying all the men folk who have used her and cast her aside. "She
Wrecked a Whole Town
Man by Man
Sin by Sin!" Screenplay by Sylvia
Richards (Mrs. Buzz Bezzerides). With Charlton Heston and Karl Malden.
BEYOND THE FOREST, 1949,
Warner Bros., 96 min. Dir. King Vidor. As legend has it, Bette Davis begged not
to play the role of Rosa Moline, the restless hellcat wholl do anything to get out
of her miserable hometown. But, trapped like Rosa, she chooses the same coursetear
the place apart. Conventionally considered a "camp classic," but actually a much
better movie than its given credit for. Love her, hate her, laugh at her or cry for
herDaviss Rosa Moline is one of the most memorable characters in Hollywood
history. Also starring Joseph Cotten, David Brian, and Ruth Roman. NOT ON DVD.
Sunday, April 9
Egyptian Theatre Historic Tour & FOREVER HOLLYWOOD
10:30 AM Behind The Scenes Tour
11:30 AM FOREVER HOLLYWOOD
Sunday, April 9 4:30 PM
Dark Vision Of A Bygone Los Angeles!!
ANGELS FLIGHT, 1965, 77
min. Dirs. Raymond Nassour and Ken Richardson. A Super Rarity! Listen up lovers of
Los Angeles Noir! Be here for an unprecedented screening of this long-lost, locally-made
feature. This oddball noir-horror-crime hybrid concerns a psychically scarred stripper
(Indus Arthur) who turns homicidal whenever she gets horny. The real attraction is the
seedy splendor of pre-development Bunker Hill and the focus on the famed funicular trolley
that gives the film its title. Shown off of digital format, as 35mm and 16mm prints no
longer exist! Starring and produced by the original "Marlboro Man," William
Thourlby. NOT ON DVD. Discussion following film with
writer, Dean Romano.
Sunday, April 9 7:00 PM
Anne Bancroft Double Feature:
THE NAKED STREET, 1955, Columbia
(Sony), 84 min. Dir. Maxwell Shane. Heres one you wont see anywhere
else a virtually forgotten mid-Fifties crime meller, never on VHS or DVD. Crime
boss Anthony Quinn wont allow his pregnant sister (Anne Bancroft) to
give birth while her no-count boyfriend (Farley Granger) languishes in stir on a
murder rap. So he strong arms witnesses into recanting their testimony and gets Lothario
sprung, so as to make an honest woman out of little sis. Dont worry, things
turn desperate, not domestic. NOT ON DVD.
DONT BOTHER TO KNOCK,
1952, 20th Century Fox, 76 min. Dir. Roy Ward Baker. Marilyn Monroe
has perhaps her finest dramatic role in this "one night in the big city" drama.
A lovelorn airline pilot (Richard Widmark) hopes to reunite with his chanteuse
girlfriend (Anne Bancroft) at a Manhattan hotel. Once jilted, he blithely decides
to rebound with a comely babysitter (MM) working in the hotel. Uh oh, this babysitter is
buggy not surprising, when your uncle is played by Elisha Cook, Jr.
Wednesday, April 12 7:30 PM
THE LONG HAUL OF A.I.
BEZZERIDES, 2005, 61 min. Dir. Fay Lellios. Filled with humor and defining
experiences in both his own life and in the lives of some of his closest friends, William
Faulkner and Robert Aldrich, as well as on his late wife, screenwriter Silvia Richards,
Mr. Bezzerides offers colorful reflections as to why he and his typewriter unabashedly
need to keep creating honest characters, worlds, and stories. Through recently discovered
boxes of photographs, film clips, the haunting music by Fugazi, interviews (including
Jules Dassin, Mickey Spillane and Barry Gifford) and testaments to his progressive
creativity from other writers, Fay Lellios straight-ahead documentary gives us a
start in discovering this 97-year-old proletariat storyteller, and the meaning of his
favorite phrase by Carl Jung, "There can be no birth of consciousness without
THIEVES HIGHWAY, 1949, 20th
Century Fox, 94 min. Tough-as-nails Richard Conte returns from the war to find his
trucker-father crippled by a shady "accident" and heads for San Francisco to
take his revenge on corrupt produce broker Lee J. Cobb. Complicating matters even
more, he must choose between cool blonde WASP Barbara Lawrence and earthy European refugee
Valentina Cortese. Director Jules Dassins leftist leanings (which
would lead to his ouster from Hollywood) found their most subtle outlet in this fabulous
noir, written by A.I. Bezzerides (ON DANGEROUS GROUND, KISS ME DEADLY). Discussion in between films with director Fay Lellios.
Thursday, April 13 7:30 PM
Alternative Screen - Modern Noir
Sneak Preview! DARK ARC, 2005, 99 min. Dan Zukovic follows up his
tremendous 1998 debut, THE LAST BIG THING, with a mysterious comedy about love, lust, art
and the power of the charged image (those that burn into your minds eye) that is
equal parts film noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain-teaser and visual feast. "A
bizarre blend of art, sex and opium... plays like a candy-colored version of David
Lynch." -- IFC News Discussion to follow with
writer/director/actor Dan Zukovic.
Friday, April 14 7:30 PM
Brand New 35mm Print!
NOBODY LIVES FOREVER, 1946, Warner Bros., 100
min. Dir. Jean Negulesco. John Garfield is a shady ex-GI hooked up in a plot
to bilk a war widow (gorgeous Geraldine Fitzgerald). When he falls for her, the gang wants
them both dead. Director Negulesco ladels atmospherics onto the script by crime specialist
W. R. Burnett (LITTLE CEASAR, THE ASPHALT JUNGLE), who here turns in one of his
lighter, more romantic efforts. Featuring a terrific supporting cast that includes Walter
Brennan, Faye Emerson, and George Tobias. Presented in a brand new 35mm print funded by
The Film Noir Foundation. NOT ON DVD.
THE HOUSE ON TELEGRAPH HILL,
1951, 20th Century Fox, 93 min. Dir. Robert Wise. A WWII refugee (Valentina
Cortese) steals the identity of a dead camp-mate so she can escape to an affluent life
in San Francisco. But in no time, suspicions mount and things take a dark and deadly turn
in her mansion overlooking the bay. Has she stumbled into a vipers nest or is
her war-scarred mind playing tricks on her? Evocative art direction and great location
filming highlight this "woman in jeopardy" thriller. With Richard Basehart
and William Lundigan.
Saturday, April 15 6:00 PM
UNDERWORLD U.S.A., 1961,
Columbia (Sony), 99 min. Dir. Samuel Fuller. One of Samuel Fullers toughest
pictures, this is a crime thriller that feels more like a war movie. Released from prison,
career crook Tolly Devlin (Cliff Robertson) vows revenge on the three hoods who
years earlier beat his father to death. To enact his vengeance, Tolly works both sides of
the law, a lone wolf playing his own angles in the battle between the mob and the FBI. One
of Fullers most airtight scripts provides the blueprint for this unrelenting
masterpiece. Spot-on performances from Beatrice Kay, Dolores Dorn, Roger Ehmhardt, and
Richard Rust. NOT ON DVD.
Saturday, April 15 8:30 PM
NIGHTFALL, 1956, Columbia (Sony), 78
min. Dir. Jacques Tourneur. One of the last true noirs of the classic era, this
often-overlooked gem, based on a novel by noir legend David Goodis, features terrific
direction from Tourneur and stunning cinematography by Burnett Guffey. Aldo Ray
plays an artist whose life goes permanently haywire when fate interrupts a winter hunting
trip. From then on its life on the run, dozens of double-crosses, psychotic killers
on his trail, lots of de rigeur flashbacks, and a young Anne Bancroft decked out in
sequins and lace. NOT ON DVD.
NO MAN OF HER OWN, 1950,
Paramount, 98 min. Dir. Mitchell Leisen. Were proud to present the
resurrection of one of the best "soap noirs" of all time. You know,
"womens pictures" that are really 100-proof noir at the core. In this, the
first adaptation of Cornell Woolrichs classic novel, I Married A Dead Man, Barbara
Stanwyck survives a train wreck and decides to impersonate an affluent young newlywed
killed in the crash. But can she dupe her new mother-in-law (the superb Jane Cowl) and her
rotten-to-the-core ex-lover (Lyle Bettger)? Hokey and melodramatic, yes, but Stanwyck and
director Leisen will make you believe every second of it. NOT ON
Sunday, April 16 6:30 PM
THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF,
1950, 20th Century Fox, 81 min. Dir. Felix Feist. Unscreened for more
than 50 years! San Francisco cop Lee J. Cobbs fling with a married society
dame (Jane Wyatt) goes to hell when he covers up her husbands killing. Things get
even more complicated when Cobbs brother (John Dall), an inquisitive rookie dick,
starts fishing around. A nifty thriller from underrated director Felix Feist, shot on
location in San Francisco. 20th Century Fox, print courtesy of UCLA Film &
Television Archive. NOT ON DVD.
NIGHT EDITOR, 1946, Columbia (Sony),
68 min. Dir. Henry Levin. A cop and his married socialite lover witness a brutal
murder while necking in Lovers Lane. He gets a guilty conscience. She gets turned
on. Theyre doomed. One of the best and raunchiest "B" noirs ever,
featuring several strange and unforgettable set pieces. Starring redoubtable William
Gargan as the libidinous lawman, and hot-to-trot Janis Carter as one of the frostiest
femme fatales of the forties. NOT ON DVD.