Sunday, May 26, 2019

The 2019 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival: Sunday

How is it even possible that it's already been two weeks since the final day of the 2019 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival?

After a great four-film Saturday, which included a pleasant pasta dinner at Giuseppe's Pizzeria, it was time for the last day of the festival.

The Universal Pictures film SHAKEDOWN (1950) was introduced by Victoria Mature, who pointed out that its story of a ruthless news photographer predated the better-known ACE IN THE HOLE (1951) by a year.

SHAKEDOWN was directed by Joseph Pevney. The movie was an interesting surprise inasmuch as I had expected Howard Duff to be a heroic leading man, and his character was anything but that; I found it rather brave of Duff to play a character so reprehensible that when he finally "got his" the audience applauded! The movie had a wonderful supporting cast, including Brian Donlevy, Peggy Dow, and Bruce Bennett. More on that movie here soon.

After lunch it was time for Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, and Brian Donlevy in THE GLASS KEY (1942). Although I'd seen it a couple of times over the years on VHS or DVD, it was such a treat to see this film on a big screen! Ladd made my list of "20 More Favorite Actors a few years ago, and as the years pass I continue to appreciate him more with every film I view.

After the movie Alan K. Rode interviewed Julie Rivett, who is not only Dashiell Hammett's granddaughter but an expert on his life and career. Rivett -- who coincidentally lives just a few minutes away from me -- was an articulate and interesting speaker, giving an overview of Hammett's career as well as placing THE GLASS KEY in context. (I don't think I'd realized there was a 1935 film version with George Raft, Edward Arnold, and Claire Dodd.) Watch for this interview to show up in the future at the Film Noir Foundation website.

I didn't get a chance to sample it, but I loved that the cafe upstairs in the Camelot Theatres had a "themed" meal available all weekend!

The final film of the festival was MILDRED PIERCE (1945), which I would have loved to see again -- what could be a more perfect Mother's Day film?! -- but our schedule necessitated that we regretfully get on the road to head home after the interview with Julie Rivett.

One more lovely picture of our friend Victoria Mature before leaving!

The Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival is consistently a highlight of my movie viewing year, with great movies and wonderful people in a relaxed setting. The 21st edition of the festival will take place from May 7th to 10th, 2020. Hope to see you there!

Coming soon: An individual review of SHAKEDOWN, as well as reviews of ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1959)and KING CREOLE (1958). (Update: Here is the review of SHAKEDOWN.)


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