Monday, May 13, 2024

The 2024 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Review

I had another wonderful "weekend in the dark" at the annual Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs!

The festival opened on Thursday evening, May 9th, running through Sunday, May 12th. As always, it takes place at the Palm Springs Cultural Center's Camelot Theatre.

A dozen films were screened between Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon; most were shown in a digital format, while ESCAPE IN THE FOG (1945) was shown in 35mm. Prior to the festival, the festival's producer and host Alan K. Rode discussed the increasing difficulty of obtaining 35mm prints with the Palm Springs Post and Variety.

As Rode stated in interviews, the important thing, regardless of format, is seeing the movies theatrically, shown on a big screen with an enthusiastic crowd. And I certainly found that to be the case last weekend. It was a wonderful experience watching a mix of old favorites and new-to-me films with the large crowds gathered at the Camelot.

Rode is seen below with his Film Noir Foundation colleague Eddie Muller, who joined Rode introducing films over the course of the weekend.

The opening night movie was BODY AND SOUL (1947), a very good John Garfield movie I'd never seen before. The evening's special guest for a post-film conversation was writer-actor Jim Beaver, seen below with Alan Rode.

The beautiful BODY AND SOUL poster seen here is from the collection of Brian Light. His posters were on display throughout the weekend.

Three of the films shown on Friday were also new to me: The Sherlock Holmes film THE SCARLET CLAW (1944), Anthony Mann's BORDER INCIDENT (1949), and ACROSS THE BRIDGE (1957) starring Rod Steiger.

There was one more film I'd never seen before shown on Sunday, and THE ENFORCER (1951) proved to be a huge favorite for me. It's a procedural with Humphrey Bogart as a district attorney going after the mob, and I thought it was terrific. Look for reviews of these films here in the coming days.

Six of the eleven films I saw over the weekend I'd seen before; I especially loved revisiting NO MAN OF HER OWN (1950) and CRIME WAVE (1954), a pair of absolutely marvelous movies I highly recommend.

I also enjoyed seeing DEAD RECKONING (1946), WOMAN IN HIDING (1950), DAY OF THE OUTLAW (1959), and ESCAPE IN THE FOG (1945) again, especially the brisk, engaging "B" mystery ESCAPE IN THE FOG featuring Nina Foch in the lead.  The only film we missed was SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943), in order to beat weekend traffic home from Palm Springs.

Here's a photo of Eddie Muller introducing WOMAN IN HIDING:

The Sunday afternoon showing of ESCAPE IN THE FOG was preceded by an interview with film historian-screenwriter Kirk Ellis on the movie's director, Budd Boetticher. Ellis, who incidentally cowrote the new TV miniseries BEN FRANKLIN (2024), wrote a very good book on Boetticher's RIDE LONESOME which I reviewed last year at Classic Movie Hub.

Former child actor turned TV writer (THE WALTONS) Michael McGreevey was the special guest at the Saturday evening showing of DAY OF THE OUTLAW, which he appeared in when he was ten. We heard him speak a few years ago at the Lone Pine Film Festival and enjoyed hearing his stories at this fest as well.

I was particularly tickled by McGreevey's comment that all of the movie "bad guys" he worked with over the years were "the nicest people"; he mentioned that Jack Lambert, so scary in DAY OF THE OUTLAW, was "the sweetest man."

Author Luis Reyes, who was scheduled to be interviewed after BORDER INCIDENT, was a last-minute cancellation due to illness; I was very sorry to hear that and hope all is going well for him.

Along with reviews of new-to-me films, I'll have a post on this year's "drive-by" visits to classic film stars' Palm Springs homes. As always, I'll be adding links for all of this year's coverage below so that all of my 2024 festival coverage may be easily found in one place.

Additional festival post: Border Incident (1949) at the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival. [More reviews coming soon!]

Coverage of previous Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festivals: The 2015 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Review; The 2017 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Review; The 2018 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Review; The 2019 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Review; The 2021 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Review; The 2022 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Review; The 2023 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Review.


Blogger Vienna said...

All sounds fabulous.
So glad you liked The Enforcer which I’ve been a fan of for some time.. the title is a tad misleading but it’s a great script.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Aubertarn said...

Kirk Ellis actually co-wrote Franklin the new Apple TV miniseries not John Adams.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Vienna, THE ENFORCER was just great! I was glad to see the other day that Kino Lorber will be bringing it out in the U.S. soon.

Aubertam, thank you for noticing my "slip of the fingers" so I could correct it -- BEN FRANKLIN was in 2024, but Ellis did also write John Adams, just a number of years ago! I had the wrong show listed as being the new one LOL.

For those interested, here is Kirk Ellis's IMDb page:

Best wishes,

9:02 PM  

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