Saturday, May 20, 2017

The 2017 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival: Saturday

After a fantastic Friday at the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival, we were back at the theater bright and early on May 13th for the first film on Saturday's schedule, SPLIT SECOND (1953).

SPLIT SECOND was a "nuclear noir" introduced by Foster Hirsch, and it proved to be one of my favorite films of the weekend.

This terrific thriller directed by Dick Powell also prompted us to hit the internet research trail looking for the gas station location seen early in the film, which was located in Cinco, California. I'll have more on SPLIT SECOND in a separate post. (Update: Here it is!)

We had just seen the 1:00 film, ADDRESS UNKNOWN (1944) with Paul Lukas, at the Noir City Hollywood festival in late March. It's a terrific, memorable film, but the subject matter is quite heavy, so we opted instead for a leisurely lunch at Sherman's Deli and Bakery. Great food.

Sherman's is definitely a place to check out when in Palm Springs!

The 4:00 film was MEET DANNY WILSON (1951), starring Frank Sinatra, Shelley Winters, and Alex Nicol. The movie was introduced by Eddie Muller.

I had just seen this one at the 2016 Noir City Festival, but it's one I was definitely ready to watch again. You can't beat the blend of Sinatra standards with film noir, including Raymond Burr as the bad guy!

The last film of the day was CHARLEY VARRICK (1973), directed by Don Siegel and starring Walter Matthau, Andy Robinson, and a host of familiar character actor faces. Robinson was Alan Rode's special guest for a post-film interview.

Although I tend to shy away from '70s crime films due to the increased violence, I thoroughly enjoyed the intricately plotted CHARLEY VARRICK. It was also great to have the opportunity to meet Robinson, who I'd seen on stage in a play my parents took me to when I was a teen. Like SPLIT SECOND, CHARLEY VARRICK will also be the topic of a separate post. (Update: Here is my review of CHARLEY VARRICK.)

By Saturday night there were seven films down for me, with three still to come on Sunday!

Along with the films, it was great to have the chance to chat with several interesting people on Saturday, including Matt Patterson of the Warner Archive; film historian Jeremy Arnold, who has introduced films at the TCM Classic Film Festival and who did a terrific commentary track for Budd Boetticher's RIDE LONESOME (1959); and Victoria Mature, the daughter of Victor Mature, who was in the audience to enjoy the films. I love the way the festival brings together people who love movies in such a congenial and relaxed setting.

Coming soon: A recap of the final day of the festival, plus reviews of SPLIT SECOND, CHARLEY VARRICK, and THE BODY SNATCHER (1945), seen on Sunday with Sara Karloff in attendance.


Blogger Raquel Stecher said...

It sounds like this is a fun festival. Thanks for sharing this report. I know what you mean about '70s films!

8:38 AM  
Blogger KC said...

Interesting to read your comments on Charley Varrick. When I tried to watch that film, something in the opening scenes really bothered me and I stopped watching. I don't tend to be *that* sensitive; maybe I just wasn't in the mood for that kind of movie that day. You've got me wondering now if that was the case.

9:38 PM  

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