Wednesday, April 01, 2015

17th Annual Noir City Festival Opens in Hollywood This Friday

The 17th Annual Noir City Hollywood festival opens at the Egyptian Theatre this Friday evening, April 3rd.

The Egyptian will be filled with glorious noir darkness for a dozen days, running through Sunday, April 19th. The schedule can be found on the Egyptian Theatre website, and a handy one-page flyer may be found here.

I'll be there on Opening Night when the Film Noir Foundation's Eddie Muller hosts an Ann Sheridan double bill, starting with a restored 35mm print of WOMAN ON THE RUN (1950), costarring Dennis O'Keefe and directed by Norman Foster. WOMAN ON THE RUN is paired with a 35mm print of THE UNFAITHFUL (1947), in which Sheridan starred with Zachary Scott, Lew Ayres, and Eve Arden, directed by Vincent Sherman.

I also have tickets for the following night, April 4th, when Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's son Stephen will be interviewed following a 35mm screening of his parents' film DARK PASSAGE (1947), directed by Delmer Daves. Attendees should note that this screening takes place earlier than usual, at 5:00 p.m. DARK PASSAGE will be followed by a new film, THIS LAST LONELY PLACE (2014).

A pair of "Brit noirs" will be featured this Sunday night, April 5th: THE HIDDEN ROOM (1949) stars Robert Newton and Sally Gray, directed by Edward Dmytryk, while Joseph Losey's THE SLEEPING TIGER (1954) stars Alexis Smith, Dirk Bogarde, and Alexander Knox. Both films will be shown in 35mm.

After a few days off, the series resumes on Thursday, April 9th, with Charles Laughton and Ella Raines in THE SUSPECT (1944), directed by Robert Siodmak, followed by Ida Lupino and Louis Hayward in LADIES IN RETIREMENT (1941), directed by Charles Vidor. Members of the late child actor Raymond Severn's family hope to attend to watch him in THE SUSPECT. Both films will once again be shown in 35mm.

I'm excited to see THE CHASE (1946) again on April 10th; I reviewed it after seeing it at the 2013 UCLA Festival of Preservation. It's a terrific dreamlike noir starring Robert Cummings, Michele Morgan, Steve Cochran, and Peter Lorre, directed by Arthur Ripley. It's paired with THE LEOPARD MAN (1943), directed by Jacques Tourneur, which I reviewed for the 2012 Val Lewton Blogathon. THE LEOPARD MAN stars Dennis O'Keefe, Jean Brooks, and Margo. THE CHASE and THE LEOPARD MAN will both be shown in 35mm.

I'm especially enthusiastic about a Gale Storm double bill on April 11th, featuring a brand-new 35mm print of THE UNDERWORLD STORY (1950) and then a 35mm print of ABANDONED (1949). THE UNDERWORLD STORY, directed by Cy Enfield, also stars Dan Duryea and Herbert Marshall, while ABANDONED costars noir stalwarts Dennis O'Keefe and Raymond Burr, directed by Joseph M. Newman.

There's another great night scheduled for Sunday, April 12th, which features a Barbara Stanwyck double bill consisting of 35mm prints of WITNESS TO MURDER (1954) and JEOPARDY (1953). I've never seen either film and really look forward to seeing them. WITNESS TO MURDER was directed by Roy Rowland and shot by the great John Alton; it costars George Sanders. JEOPARDY was directed by John Sturges and costars Barry Sullivan and Ralph Meeker.

Wednesday, April 15th, there's a terrific 35mm double bill of two Jacques Tourneur films, CIRCLE OF DANGER (1951), which I reviewed in 2012, and BERLIN EXPRESS (1948). CIRCLE OF DANGER stars Ray Milland, Patricia Roc, and Marius Goring, while BERLIN EXPRESS stars Merle Oberon, Robert Ryan, and Paul Lukas.

I'm very excited by the prospect of seeing actress Patricia Morison interviewed on Thursday, April 16th. Morison, who just turned 100 years old in March, stars in THE FALLEN SPARROW (1943) along with John Garfield and Maureen O'Hara. It's teamed with Robert Montgomery's RIDE THE PINK HORSE (1947), which I reviewed in 2011; maybe I'll understand that one more this time around! RIDE THE PINK HORSE costars Wanda Hendrix, Andrea King, and the Oscar-nominated Thomas Gomez.

April 17th features an evening of 35mm Argentinian films, EL VAMPIRO NEGRO (1953), aka THE BLACK VAMPIRE, and NO ABRAS NUNCA ESA PUERTA and SI MUERO ANTES DE DESPERTAR (NEVER OPEN THAT DOOR and IF I SHOULD DIE BEFORE I WAKE), a 1952 anthology. THE BLACK VAMPIRE is a "reimagining" of M (1931) -- I saw the 1951 remake at Noir City last year -- while the anthology is based on stories by Cornell Woolrich. Once upon a time I would have thought that double bill too "exotic" for my tastes, but I had such a good experience seeing another Argentinian film, HARDLY A CRIMINAL (1949), at last year's festival that I'm definitely open to trying these movies.

On April 18th there's a screening of UCLA's 35mm restoration of THE GUILTY (1947), which I reviewed at last month's UCLA Festival of Restoration. THE GUILTY stars Bonita Granville, Don Castle, and Regis Toomey, directed by John Reinhardt. THE GUILTY will be followed by a "closing weekend" party.

The festival draws to a close on Sunday, April 19th, with a four-film "proto-noir" marathon beginning at 5:00 p.m. The marathon consists of four films which run between 63-73 minutes, all in 35mm, which influenced the later genre we now call film noir. The movies are THE NINTH GUEST (1934) with Donald Cook and Genevieve Tobin, directed by Roy William Neill; LET US LIVE (1939) with Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Sullivan, directed by John Brahm; HEAT LIGHTNING (1934), with Ann Dvorak, Aline MacMahon, Preston Foster, and Lyle Talbot, directed by Mervyn LeRoy; and William Wellman's SAFE IN HELL (1931), starring Dorothy Mackaill and Donald Cook. I'm especially interested in the last two films; I saw SAFE IN HELL a couple years ago at the TCM Classic Film Festival but was tired and don't remember that one very well.

As has been the case for the last few years, I plan to attend as many Noir City screenings as possible, and I'll be reporting on them here! The festival is always a wonderful experience, and I highly encourage anyone who's able to attend to get tickets.

Key posts on past Noir City Festivals: A Visit to the Noir City Film Festival (2010); A Visit to the 13th Noir City Film Festival (2011); First Preview of 14th Annual Noir City Film Festival; Schedule Announced for Noir City 14 in Hollywood; Final Week of Noir City 14 Schedule Announced; A Visit to the 14th Annual Noir City Film Festival (2012); Schedule Announced for Noir City 15 in Hollywood; A Visit to the 15th Annual Noir City Film Festival (2013); Schedule Preview of Noir City 16 in Hollywood; A Visit to the 16th Annual Noir City Film Festival (2014).

Update: A Visit to the 17th Annual Noir City Film Festival (2015).


Blogger Jerry E said...

Hi Laura,
Boy, there are some terrific programs lined up for your delectation! What a great and diverse selection.
The Tourneur double-bill is a dandy, "Berlin Express" long being a favourite of mine.
I will be really interested to read your reviews of the two, as yet unseen, Stanwycks. I like both films and especially "Jeopardy". It co-stars Barry Sullivan (always a plus) but really it is Stanwyck and Meeker's movie all the way. Watch for the way her character develops and grows as the movie progresses. A class in great movie acting.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was unfortunate that I had to miss the TCMFF. It is even more unfortunate that I am going to miss the Ann Sheridan double feature.

But I am so glad they are doing this! Anything that brings attention to Ann's work is a good thing.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Jerry, isn't it an amazing lineup! I hope to be there most evenings. :) My only "problem" is trying to keep up with writing about both the TCM Fest and Noir City while Noir City is ongoing, and work too! LOL. But this is a really great problem to have.

The Ann Sheridan films on opening night were marvelous, especially WOMAN ON THE RUN. What great dialogue! Hope you can attend TCMFF in the future. :)

Best wishes,

12:53 PM  

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