Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Exile Noir Series Opens Friday at UCLA

Another great series opens this Friday at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater: Exile Noir, featuring Hollywood films made by European directors. The series runs from August 22nd through September 28, 2014.

The Exile Noir series presents an interesting contrast with UCLA's Hollywood Exiles in Europe series which concluded on Sunday, August 17th. I was fortunate to see Jules Dassin's RIFIFI (1955) and NIGHT AND THE CITY (1950) in that series.

I've previously seen many of the films in the Exile Noir series -- several of them in big screen showings - and highly recommend this series. My past reviews are available at the title links below.

On August 22nd the opening night of the series features the classic DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), directed by Billy Wilder, paired with the very interesting Dick Powell film PITFALL (1948), directed by Andre de Toth. PITFALL finds a bored Powell sabotaging his marriage to Jane Wyatt when he becomes attracted to Lizabeth Scott. Unfortunately Scott has a mean stalker (Raymond Burr) who doesn't take kindly to another man showing interest in her.

August 23rd there's what might be an underrated film, HIGH WALL (1948), which contains one of Robert Taylor's best performances. Taylor plays an amnesiac veteran arrested for his wife's murder. Curtis Bernhardt directed. It plays with THE SCARF (1951) directed by E.A. Dupont, starring John Ireland.

September 13th is Otto Preminger's WHIRLPOOL (1950), starring Richard Conte and Gene Tierney, teamed with Fritz Lang's THE BLUE GARDENIA (1953). THE BLUE GARDENIA is another Richard Conte film, this time costarring Anne Baxter.

I particularly like the September 15th double bill of CAUGHT (1949) and THE LOCKET (1946). CAUGHT is a highly engrossing Max Ophuls film starring Robert Ryan, James Mason, and Barbara Bel Geddes; Ryan plays an ultra-controlling, sadistic multimillionaire whose young wife (Bel Geddes) leaves him and falls in love with a poor doctor (Mason). John Brahm's THE LOCKET, famed for its use of flashbacks within flashbacks within flashbacks, stars Laraine Day as a disturbed woman. Brian Aherne, Robert Mitchum, and Gene Raymond are the men she leaves in her wake.

Robert Siodmak's THE DARK MIRROR (1946), with Olivia de Havilland in a dual role, will be shown on September 19th. The other half of the double bill is JEALOUSY (1945) directed by Gustav Machaty, starring Jane Randolph. (Update: Here is a review of JEALOUSY.)

On September 22nd there's a screening of one of the most tragic movies I've ever seen, CHICAGO CALLING (1951), starring Dan Duryea. It has a moving Duryea performance and fantastic Bunker Hill location shooting but be prepared for an unrelentingly sad story. John Reinhardt directed. It plays with Anatole Litvak's SORRY, WRONG NUMBER (1948) starring Burt Lancaster and Barbara Stanwyck.

September 26th is Douglas Sirk's entertaining SLEEP, MY LOVE (1948), starring Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, and Robert Cummings. It's shown with John Carradine and Jean Parker in Edgar G. Ulmer's BLUEBEARD (1944). (Update: Here's a review of BLUEBEARD.)

Closing night on September 28th features John Auer's CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS (1953) with Gig Young, Mala Powers, William Talman, and Marie Windsor.  It will be shown with Paul Henreid in HOLLOW TRIUMPH (1948), also known as THE SCAR, directed by Steve Sekely. (Update: Here are my reviews of CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS and HOLLOW TRIUMPH.)

Most of the films will be shown in 35mm, with a couple shown in 16mm. Consult the schedule for complete details.

Schedule conflicts mean I won't see as many of these screenings as I'd like, but I hope to see at least a couple of these double bills! I highly recommend that those within driving distance of Westwood see as many of these films as possible.

The Exile Noir series will overlap with the Edith Head series which opened August 8th and runs through September 27th.


Blogger Blake Lucas said...

I caught up with CHICAGO CALLING sometime after you wrote about it. It was everything that you and other have said, a moving, unheralded work that indicated great talent of director John Reinhardt, someone I didn't know at all. We all love Dan Duryea doing flamboyant villainy in a way that is his alone, and that would assure our eternal affection for him, but I sometimes wish he had had more sympathetic roles like this one (there are a nice share of them anyway if one seeks them out) because he's just as good in them and was so great in this.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Wonderful to hear from you, Blake. I'm so glad you caught this film. Hard to watch yet a must for Duryea fans. I was impressed with how well he retained audience sympathy despite being such a troubled character.

I agree, I'd love to see Duryea in more sympathetic roles and in fact I made a list of such titles to seek out after they came up in a recent thread. I forgot to note who provided them but I think the suggestions came from you. :) They include BATTLE HYMN and KATHY O'.

Best wishes,

2:59 PM  
Blogger dfordoom said...

PITFALL and HIGH WALL are both great movies. Both very underrated. Robert Taylor deserves to be much more highly regarded as a film noir actor. Another great Robert Taylor film noir is THE BRIBE.

2:50 AM  
Blogger john k said...

Good to see Blake take up the case for John Reinhardt.
I first became aware of him from a review on Vienna's blog of
OPEN SECRET. This is a brave and powerful film tackling a
difficult subject:Anti-Semitism.
Made on a tiny budget film stars John Ireland and Jane Randolph.
I was impressed enough to track down THE GUILTY a dynamite Film
Noir that I have championed on various blogs.
Sadly this is one of those Monogram Pictures not owned by Warner
Archive.....this REALLY needs to get sorted out.
There are prints of THE GUILTY floating around in the "digital
underground" but sadly not of another Reinhardt Monogram Noir
HIGH TIDE. This one stars Lee Tracy,Julie Bishop and B Noir
standout Don Castle. HIGH TIDE would seem to be a "lost" movie
and that's such a shame because Reinhardt made so few American

5:51 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

I'm learning stuff here! Have to confess ignorance about Reinhardt but I will take notice in future.

I have not heard of "CHICAGO CALLING" either! This sounds like an absolute "must" for me.

I so agree with dfordoom about the talent of Robert Taylor. He was seriously under-rated, not as a star, but as an actor - and not least by himself! I really like "THE HIGH WALL".

There are some terrific double bills being shown in the program being covered by Laura.
I particularly like "CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS" and the relatively rare "HOLLOW TRIUMPH" (aka The Scar). I hope you get to see those two at least, Laura!

9:04 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I am so happy to have fellow Robert Taylor fans who appreciated his talent! He made some great noir films. I love THE BRIBE too, it's a personal favorite.

Jerry, CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS is the evening I hope to attend the most! I think that date will work out.

John, I saw HIGH TIDE at UCLA and really enjoyed it.

Best wishes,

11:31 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older