Monday, April 09, 2018

20th Annual Noir City Festival Opens in Hollywood April 13th

The 20th Annual Noir City Hollywood festival opens at the Egyptian Theatre this Friday evening, April 13th.

The festival will follow the format of the past two years, taking place over ten consecutive days, concluding on Sunday, April 22nd. The Film Noir Foundation's Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode will again be hosting.

In honor of the festival's 20th anniversary, all of the movies in this year's festival are set in and around Los Angeles. All films screened at the festival are being shown in 35mm, with the exception of a brand-new digital print of THE TURNING POINT (1952). Some of the films aren't on DVD, so the festival provides a rare opportunity to see them.

In 2016 I was able to attend eight nights of the festival, and last year I was able to make it through the freeway traffic from Orange County to attend all ten nights! That's a feat I'm not sure I'll be able to equal, as it took considerable planning and effort to pull it off, but it was certainly worth it!

This year for various reasons my schedule isn't quite so ambitious, but I anticipate being at the festival for at least half of the evenings, and as always, I'll be reporting here on each of the films seen.

This will mark the eighth year in a row I've attended the festival's opening night, and the ninth year I've attended overall. I'm especially anticipating the double bill of THE BLUE DAHLIA (1946) and I LOVE TROUBLE (1948). I think this is the third opening night I've attended which features an Alan Ladd film, and there are no complaints from me, especially as this will be my first time to see THE BLUE DAHLIA on a big screen.

I've wanted to see I LOVE TROUBLE for many years; it was the first screenplay by Roy Huggins, later known for two favorite James Garner TV series, MAVERICK and THE ROCKFORD FILES. The cast includes Franchot Tone, Janet Blair, Janis Carter, Adele Jergens, Glenda Farrell, and way down in the credits, Raymond Burr. (Carter, Blair, and Tone are seen here.) Sounds fun to me!

Here's a rundown on the rest of the festival's lineup; click any hyperlinked title for my past reviews.

On April 14th writer James Ellroy will be honored at a screening of L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997), based on his novel. I've never seen this one and can't think of a better place to give it a try!

The films screening on Sunday, April 15th, are KISS ME DEADLY (1955) and CITY OF FEAR (1959). I frankly had a strong dislike for KISS ME DEADLY, though it's greatly loved by many, so as the saying goes, "your mileage may vary!" CITY OF FEAR is a relatively minor film but I found it great fun; anyone who likes low-budget fare should give it a try.

I expect to attend on April 16th to see Charlton Heston and Lizabeth Scott in a new-to-me title, DARK CITY (1950), along with one of my all-time top favorite noir titles, ARMORED CAR ROBBERY (1950), starring Charles McGraw, Adele Jergens, and William Talman.

Another all-time favorite film noir, HE WALKED BY NIGHT (1948), is playing on April 17th. It's accompanied by Broderick Crawford and Ruth Roman in the solid DOWN THREE DARK STREETS (1954)

Ann Robinson is scheduled to appear in person at the screening of DRAGNET (1954) on April 18th. That's another one I hope to attend, especially as it's playing with LOOPHOLE (1954), which I've not seen in a theater. LOOPHOLE stars Barry Sullivan, Charles McGraw, and Dorothy Malone. Casts don't come any better!

On April 19th William Holden, Edmond O'Brien, and Alexis Smith star in THE TURNING POINT (1952), which incidentally features a nice sequence on L.A.'s Angels Flight Railway. THE TURNING POINT will also be shown at the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in May, and I will probably wait and see it there. However, that means missing the chance to see an ultra-rare Michael Curtiz film, THE SCARLET HOUR (1956). Decisions, decisions!

PITFALL (1948) and JEALOUSY (1945) will be shown on April 19th. PITFALL is a terrific film which I saw several years ago at the Million Dollar Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles; it stars Dick Powell, Jane Wyatt, Lizabeth Scott, and Raymond Burr. JEALOUSY, which I saw a few years ago in UCLA's "Exile Noir" series, stars Jane Randolph and John Loder.

A triple bill of films directed by Joseph Losey will be featured on Saturday night, April 21st: THE PROWLER (1951) with Van Heflin and Evelyn Keyes; the excellent M (1951), starring a host of great character actors -- and L.A.'s Bradbury Building!; and THE BIG NIGHT (1951) with Preston Foster and John Barrymore Jr. THE PROWLER is one I'd love to see for the first time in a theater, but needing to be back in Los Angeles early the next morning will probably mean I don't attempt it.

Along with friends arriving in town early for the TCM Classic Film Festival, I'll be at closing night on Sunday, April 22nd, for Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh, and Van Heflin in ACT OF VIOLENCE (1948), which I've never seen. It's playing with longtime favorite NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES (1948) which I was fortunate to see last summer in nitrate at UCLA. It stars Gail Russell, John Lund, and Edward G. Robinson (seen at right) and is highly recommended!

Noir City is always a fantastic festival, as attested to by my enthusiastic attendance over many years, despite the challenges of commuting through traffic for a number of days in a row. I strongly recommend attending as many nights as possible.

As a postscript, in the next few days I anticipate posting my picks from the TCM Classic Film Festival schedule, which was announced last week. That festival opens Thursday, April 26th. Then later in the month I'll have a preview of the schedule for the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs; that schedule was also announced last week, and it's terrific! Opening night in Palm Springs is Thursday, May 10th.

It's going to be an amazing month for this classic film lover attending not one, not two, but three top-drawer film festivals. Stay tuned for complete coverage.

Key posts on past Noir City Hollywood 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); 17th Annual Noir City Film Festival Opens in Hollywood This Friday; A Visit to the 17th Annual Noir City Film Festival (2015); 18th Annual Noir City Film Festival Opens in Hollywood This Friday; A Visit to the 18th Annual Noir City Film Festival (2016); 19th Annual Noir City Film Festival Opens in Hollywood March 24th; A Visit to the 19th Annual Noir City Film Festival (2017).

Update: A Visit to the 20th Annual Noir City Film Festival.


Blogger Kristina said...

Great lineup! I was so into LA CONFIDENTIAL when it came out and it got me wanting to see classic noir, hope you like that one. DOWN THREE DARK STREETS is a good one not to many people seem to know about. Fun time, look forward to reading your reviews!

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dragnet and Armored Car Robbery alone make that one of the coolest festival lineups I've ever seen. Sure wish I could attend!

12:40 PM  
Blogger Jerry Entract said...

To have THREE Film Noir festivals to attend is fantastic, Laura, and I know you know how much I would love to be able to attend the lot!
I've still never seen "NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES" and you've never seen "ACT OF VIOLENCE"....That's a surprise and I hope to read your review once you've seen that interesting film (fabulous cast).
Also, I recently saw "THE TURNING POINT" for the first time and liked it enormously. There are some terrific titles on offer.... and lots of great reading right HERE to follow!!

2:46 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Wish I could have seen DOWN THREE DARK STREETS at the fest, Kristina! I enjoyed L.A. CONFIDENTIAL even though it's not my "usual" kind of thing.

Toby, DRAGNET and ARMORED CAR ROBBERY on a big screen were amazing!!

Jerry, we're very lucky here in terms of the big screen experiences! Really looking forward to ACT OF VIOLENCE tomorrow night, and THE TURNING POINT in Palm Springs next month.

And thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words! Lots to share this month, blogging as fast as my fingers will type! LOL.

Best wishes,

7:41 PM  

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