TCM's Friday Night Spotlight series heads into its third month tonight, with Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation serving as the guest host for June.
As regular readers know, Eddie Muller hosts the annual Noir City Festival and also serves as a host for select screenings at the TCM Classic Film Festival.
Eddie's enthusiasm for all things noir is contagious, and his intros at film festivals are such fun that one can't help becoming interested in the films he describes. My appreciation of the genre has deepened immeasurably thanks to Eddie and his righthand man at the Film Noir Foundation, Alan K. Rode.
The series starts off tonight, June 7th, with an evening of films based on stories by Dashiell Hammett. Four films will be shown, including two movies I've reviewed quite recently, the original THE MALTESE FALCON (1931) and the Alan Ladd-Veronica Lake movie THE GLASS KEY (1942).
CITY STREETS (1931), starring Gary Cooper, and AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936) are also on this evening's schedule.
David Goodis with a lineup of four films, starting with Bogart and Bacall in DARK PASSAGE (1947) and continuing with NIGHTFALL (1957), THE BURGLAR (1957), and SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER (1960).
On Friday, June 21st, Eddie returns with two films based on books by Jonathan Latimer and then two by James M. Cain.
The Latimer films are particularly interesting to me: George Raft and Lynn Bari in NOCTURNE (1946) followed by Robert Young, Susan Hayward, and Jane Greer in THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME (1947).
The Cain movies are two classics of the genre, DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) and THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946).
Friday night the 28th is also split between two writers, Cornell Woolrich and Raymond Chandler.
If I see a movie is based on a Woolrich story, I know chances are great that I'm going to love it. (The Noir City Fest even had a marvelous Woolrich triple bill a couple of years ago.) The Woolrich films airing on the 28th are Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur's THE LEOPARD MAN (1943), followed by Susan Hayward and Bill Williams in DEADLINE AT DAWN (1946).
Those titles will be followed by two classics featuring Chandler's detective Philip Marlowe, MURDER, MY SWEET (1944) and THE BIG SLEEP.
The Friday night lineups are an appealing mix of well-known classics and relatively obscure films such as THE BURGLAR, starring noir fave Dan Duryea, and NOCTURNE and THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME, which were both produced by longtime Hitchcock associate Joan Harrison. Harrison also produced a handful of excellent films directed by Robert Montgomery and Jacques Tourneur.
I thought Illeana Douglas did a great job programming and hosting "Second Looks" on Friday nights last month, and based on experience, I'm sure this month will be equally enjoyable. I'd love to see both Eddie and Illeana playing larger roles at TCM in the future and return to host additional series.
Update: Here's a link for a nice TCM promo for this month's series.