Thursday, April 25, 2019

2019 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival Opens in Palm Springs on May 9th

The 2019 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival opens in Palm Springs two weeks from today!

The festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary, begins on Thursday evening, May 9th, and runs through Sunday afternoon, May 12th.

The festival is presented by the Palm Springs Cultural Center at the Camelot Theatres located at 2300 East Baristo Road in Palm Springs.

I'm delighted to say that I'll be covering the festival again this year, providing ongoing coverage and photographs on Twitter throughout the festival, then following up with a detailed recap here at the blog once the festival has concluded.

I really enjoy the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival and highly recommend it. As much as I love other festivals throughout the year, there's definitely something to be said for the Arthur Lyons Festival's relaxed vibe, with all films shown in a single (very comfortable!) theater, no lines, and ample time for meals in between movies. A fun promo reel celebrating the festival is on YouTube.

As always, festival programmer and host Alan K. Rode will be on hand to introduce many of the films. This year Alan will be joined in presenting the movies by Foster Hirsch and Victoria Mature.

The festival will also feature some special guests, described in the festival overview which follows. Click any hyperlinked title in this post for my past review.

The 20th anniversary will kick off on opening night with a screening of THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955), starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, and Lillian Gish, directed by Charles Laughton and filmed by Stanley Cortez.

The opening night guest will be former child actress Kathy Garver, who had a small role in the movie. Garver, best known for her role as Cissy on TV's FAMILY AFFAIR (1966-71), was at the Noir City Film Festival earlier this month and was delightful. A reception follows the screening.

I'm especially looking forward to the first film Friday morning, SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT (1946), shown in 35mm. I really enjoyed this movie when I saw it on DVD about eight years ago and look forward to seeing it on a big screen for the very first time. John Hodiak, Lloyd Nolan, Richard Conte, and Nancy Guild star, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

I'm delighted that the next film on the schedule is THE SCARLET HOUR (1956), a little-known film directed by Michael Curtiz. I missed out on a couple opportunities to see it last year so am glad to finally be catching up with it, shown in a new 35mm print. It stars Carol Ohmart and quite an array of familiar faces, including Nat King Cole as a nightclub singer.

Next up will be a film I last saw about a decade ago, FIVE FINGERS (1952) starring James Mason and Danielle Darrieux, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. It's a WWII spy thriller I remember being quite interesting.

Burt Lancaster's daughter Joanna will be the special guest at a Friday night screening of ALL MY SONS (1948), starring her father and Edward G. Robinson, directed by Irving Reis.

Saturday morning starts off with the newly restored 35mm print of TRAPPED (1950) starring Lloyd Bridges, Barbara Payton, and John Hoyt, directed by Richard Fleischer. I thoroughly enjoyed this one on opening night of the Noir City Hollywood Festival and will happily watch it again!

Another favorite, CALCUTTA (1947), will be shown early on Saturday afternoon. It stars Alan Ladd, Gail Russell, and William Bendix, directed by John Farrow. I saw it in a great digital print at the Noir City Fest in 2017 and look forward to seeing it again. You can never see too much Alan Ladd, as far as I'm concerned!

Later on Friday is the new-to-me ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1959), starring Robert Ryan, Harry Belafonte, Shelley Winters, and Gloria Grahame, directed by Robert Wise. The film includes a score by John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet. (Fun fact: I wrote a report on the MJQ in sixth grade.)

The Saturday evening film is a movie I've wanted to see for some time now, KING CREOLE (1958), starring Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, Dolores Hart, and Walter Matthau. The festival will be hosting the world premiere of a new 4K digital restoration, with supporting cast member Jan Shepard scheduled to be in attendance.

The final day will kick off with SHAKEDOWN (1950), a Universal Pictures film with a great cast including Howard Duff, Peggy Dow, Brian Donlevy, Bruce Bennett, and Lawrence Tierney. It was directed by Joseph Pevney, whose name has turned up on so many Universal films I've enjoyed at festivals in recent years, most recently PLAYGIRL (1954) and THE MIDNIGHT STORY (1957); I'll be reviewing the latter film soon.

As I said above, you can't ever have too much Alan Ladd, and I'm excited to see THE GLASS KEY (1942) on a big screen for the first time. THE GLASS KEY costars Veronica Lake, Brian Donlevy, and William Bendix. Dashiell Hammett's granddaughter, Julie Rivett, will be interviewed. I was interested to learn in an Orange Coast interview that she lives just a few minutes away from me.

Sunday the 12th is Mother's Day, so what better way to wrap up the festival that afternoon than with Joan Crawford in Michael Curtiz's MILDRED PIERCE (1945)? Sounds pretty perfect to me. Last year the festival concluded with Joan in FLAMINGO ROAD (1949) so it's fun that she'll star in the festival finale for a second straight year.

Please visit the festival website for ticket information. In addition to the festival's "all access pass," tickets may also be purchased for individual screenings.

For those unfamiliar with Palm Springs, I've enjoyed staying at the Courtyard By Marriott or the Best Western Plus Las Brisas, which are both five minutes -- probably less -- from the theater.

Whether visiting for a day or the entire weekend, the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival is most definitely worth the trip to the desert!

Links for my complete coverage of previous Arthur Lyons Festivals: 2015, 2017, and 2018.

Update: The 2019 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Review.


Blogger Margot Shelby said...

This is a great lineup. Palm Springs is one of my favorite town. We usually go there for Mid Century Modern Week.

The Scarlet Hour I saw once on youtube in a mediocre print. Would love to see a cleaned up version. It's a 40s Noir straight up, made in the 50s.
Five Fingers is fantastic. Calcutta is fun but again I only saw a crappy print on youtube once. I'd love to see this restored.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Jerry Entract said...

What a great lineup, Laura! Once again, my envy knows no bounds!!

I recently bought the DVD of "ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW" because I haven't seen it in decades and because it stars a terrific Robert Ryan. I will be interested though to read your review after you see it.

I have tickets to see the London West End theatre production of "ALL MY SONS" incidentally in coming weeks. It stars Bill Pullman and Sally Field. Can report back if anyone interested.....

The two films that would draw me to this lineup the most perhaps are "THE SCARLET HOUR" & "SHAKEDOWN" especially - what a cast! And I've never seen either. "SHAKEDOWN" has proven impossible to track down.

9:57 AM  
Blogger mel said...

You wrote a report on the MJQ when you were in the 6th grade, Laura? How prodigious! I would love to have read it. I didn't become a jazz lover and wasn't acquainted with this great group until I was in the 10th grade...

I must pull out my copy of Odds Against Tomorrow and have another look at it.

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, that movie "Shakedown" sounds VERY interesting to me. I'd love to see that one. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available anywhere. Couldn't find it on Utube either. You will sometimes find these unheard of movies there, but not Shakedown. I'm a big fan of Howard Duff and this is the whole reason to watch Shakedown for me. I'm on a mission.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Margot, I agree, it's a wonderful lineup! You definitely need to see CALCUTTA restored, I've seen it in both a bad print and a great print and great is better! LOL. I really enjoy our annual trips to Palm Springs. Mid Century Modern Week sounds like a lot of fun!!

Jerry, how I wish you were able to visit this fest someday, it would be such fun! I would *love* to know about that production of ALL MY SONS. Fun memory, my high school English class read the entire play aloud and I got to read the role of Ann, so I've always had a little extra fondness for that play. Have heard good things about the new production.

Mel, I can thank my dad for having plenty of MHQ materials and thus helping me to do a project that was really unique. Thanks to doing it I always perk up when I hear a vibraphone. :) I'm looking forward to checking out ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW!

SHAKEDOWN should be great fun to see, what an amazing cast!!

Best wishes,

7:12 PM  

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