American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for Over 80 Years!

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Series compiled by:Eddie Muller, Dennis Bartok & Chris D.

 

Special Thanks to:

Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL DISTRIBUTION; Fleur Buckley/BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE; Michael Schlesinger and Grover Crisp/COLUMBIA PICTURES REPERTORY; Amy Lewin/PARAMOUNT REPERTORY; Todd Wiener/UCLA FILM & TV ARCHIVE; Tim Lanza/DOURIS CORP.; Anne Goodman/CRITERION PICTURES; Susan Robertson/FOCUS FEATURES.

 

SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

 

 

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< March 31 - April 13, 2005 >>>

Side Streets & Back Alleys: The 7th Annual Festival of Film Noir

Screenings of these films will take place at the Aero April 8 - 24, 2005.

 

 

More than 60 years after it began in the pulp magazines and expressionistic, doom-laden thrillers and crime movies of the 1930’s and 1940’s, Film Noir continues to cast its wicked spell on us. This year, we continue our quest to bring renowned classics back to the big screen, and to unearth obscure delights that have slipped beneath the radar screen of even the savviest noir fans.

Highlights of the series include brand-new 35 mm. prints of such mouth-watering noir rarities as William Castle’s long-unseen JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON, Ken Hughes’ aptly titled WICKED AS THEY COME, Michael Gordon’s wildly expressionistic THE WEB, and the insanely obscure BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN from director Gordon Douglas. We’re also bringing in prints of two films from the British Film Institute, just for this series: William Cameron Menzies’ jaw-dropping, ultra-paranoid THE WHIP HAND, and Edward Dmytryk’s crackling British crime drama THE HIDDEN ROOM.

Noir Fest programmer, film historian and crime novelist Eddie Muller will present a special Double Bill of two classic Boxing Noirs, CHAMPION and THE HARDER THEY FALL, with a special lecture featuring anecdotes and stories from the great age of pugilism (Muller’s father was a noted sportswriter for many years in San Francisco.) We’re thrilled to welcome acclaimed crime novelist and screenwriter Barry Gifford (WILD AT HEART) to this year’s Festival, for a special evening featuring the hallucinogenic modern noir LOST HIGHWAY, which he wrote with director David Lynch, and one of Gifford’s own favorite noirs, DARK PASSAGE.

 

 

Thursday, March 31 – 7:30 PM

Noir Abroad Double Feature:

A LADY WITHOUT PASSPORT, 1950, MGM (Warners), 72 min. Dir. Joseph Lewis. Gorgeous Hedy Lamarr craves a passport out of pre-Castro Cuba, so she lets herself be used by undercover agent John Hodiak who wants to bust up a smuggling ring. Always reliable Joe Lewis (GUN CRAZY) leapt out of the "B" trenches to helm this rugged thriller for high-toned MGM, creating a steamy vision of Havana from a combination of backlots sets, process shots, and on-location footage.

SINGAPORE, 1947, Universal, 79 min. Smuggler Fred MacMurray (DOUBLE INDEMNITY), who lost his lover in a Japanese air attack, returns to post-WW2 Singapore to recover a hidden cache of pearls. He discovers his old flame (Ava Gardner, at her sexiest) is still alive, but suffering from amnesia! Can he outwit her husband, the law, and rival gangsters? Director John Brahm (HANGOVER SQUARE) lays on the atmosphere in this gorgeously photographed piece of noir exotica.

>> Both films also playing at the Aero on April 13.

 

 

Saturday, April 2 - 6:00 PM

New Restored 35 mm. Print!!

WICKED AS THEY COME (aka PORTRAIT IN SMOKE), 1954, Columbia, 94 min. Arlene Dahl (SLIGHTLY SCARLET) is terrific as a femme fatale with a dark past, who’ll stop at nothing to rise above her miserable origins. Based on Portrait in Smoke, the breakout 1950 novel by hardboiled scribe Bill Ballinger, this is the best in a series of fifties crime thrillers made by British director Ken Hughes.

>> Also playing at the Aero on April 9.

 

Saturday, April 2 -- 8:15 PM

Noir Rarities from the British Film Institute – Double Bill:

THE WHIP HAND, 1951, RKO (Warners), 82 min. A vacationing journalist ends up stumbling across a dreadful plot unfolding in the wilds of Wisconsin. This is a completely ridiculous — but vastly entertaining — curio from the Cold War era, designed and directed by the legendary William Cameron Menzies (who worked on everything from GONE WITH THE WIND to INVADERS FROM MARS) and wonderfully shot by Nicholas Musuraca.

THE HIDDEN ROOM, 1949, Eagle Lion, 98 min. From the ridiculous to the sublime. We proudly present one of the great forgotten masterpieces of film noir, written by Alec Coppel (screenwriter of VERTIGO) and directed, in England, by then-blacklisted Edward Dmytryk (CROSSFIRE.) Robert Newton gives a memorable performance as a cuckolded husband who decides to take revenge on his wife (the stunning Sally Gray) by making her latest lover disappear — literally. Shrewd, suspenseful, and long overdue for revival, this is one of Dmytryk’s finest films – imported here in a super-rare 35 mm. print from our friends at the British Film Institute, along with the equally rare THE WHIP HAND! Stanley Rubin, who was the original writer and producer of THE WHIP HAND (under the title of "The Man He Found") will speak with the film. Howard Hughes took over the picture, changed the ending drastically, and retitled it.

>> Both films also playing at the Aero on. April 9.

 

Daylight Savings Time Begins April 3! – Spring Forward To Be On Time!

 

Sunday, April 3 - 6:00 PM

Los Angeles Noir - Double Feature:

HOLLOW TRIUMPH (aka THE SCAR), 1948, Eagle Lion (Paramount), 83 min. Dir. Steve Sekely. A gangster (Paul Henreid) usurps the identity of a psychiatrist, with stunning results. The clever script will keep you guessing, but the real attraction here is the amazingly evocative look at 1940’s Los Angeles, photographed by the great John Alton! Don’t miss the revival of this essential film noir classic! With Joan Bennett.

Due to an unforeseen problem with the print of this film, it will not be shown. In its place, SCANDAL SHEET (1952), Phil Karlson's Sensational adaptation of Sam Fuller's Novel will be shown. New Restored 35 mm. Print! BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN, 1950, Columbia, 89 min. Dir. Gordon Douglas. Noir stalwarts Edmond O’Brien and Mark Stevens portray a pair of LAPD prowl car cops hoping for an easy night in the City of Angels, faced with nothing more serious than sparring over the affections of sexy-voiced radio dispatcher Gale Storm. Guess again. Before sun-up there will be a prison break, a murder, numerous beatings, and an incredibly tense climax with a kid used as a human shield. The model for just about every TV cop show ever made!

>> Both films also playing at the Aero on April 10.

 

 

Thursday, April 7 - 7:30 PM

Boxing Noir Double Feature - New 35 mm. Prints!!

CHAMPION, 1949, Republic (Paramount), 99 min. Dir. Mark Robson. Maybe the most brutal and uncompromising boxing film ever made. Kirk Douglas gives a volcanic, Oscar-nominated performance as meglomaniacal fighter Midge Kelly, who’ll thrash anyone who gets in the way of his quest for the title. The great supporting cast includes Arthur Kennedy, Ruth Roman and Paul Stewart. Harry Gerstad’s brilliant editing won an Oscar, and has influenced virtually every boxing film made since 1949.

THE HARDER THEY FALL, 1956, Columbia, 109 min. In this adaptation of Budd Schulberg’s controversial bestseller, Humphrey Bogart plays burned-out sportswriter Eddie Willis, employed by a crooked promoter (Rod Steiger) to sell his freakish heavyweight as a legitimate contender. Based on the true story of boxer Primo Carnera, director Mark Robson crafts an oddly fitting finale to Bogart’s legendary career, and lands a few devastating shots at the reputation of the "Sweet Science."

With a special "Boxing Noir" introduction by author and Fest co-programmer Eddie Muller, who will also sign copies of his award-winning crime novel "The Distance," set in the world of boxing (!), before the screening and after the first film.

Plus, Eddie Muller has arranged for a private film collector to loan him a 16mm copy of the third fight between middleweights Tony Zale and Rocky Graziano, arguably the greatest series of boxing matches in history (they fought three times). Its about 12 minutes long, and will allow the audinece to compare the real thing to the fights staged for the movies.

>> Both films also playing at the Aero on April 8.

 

Friday, April 8 - 7:00 PM

New 35 mm. Print!

THE WEB, 1947, Universal, 87 min. Dir. Michael Gordon. Sometimes "noir" is just flat-out fun. Especially when a thorny, what-the-hell? plot is handed to scripter William Bowers (SPLIT SECOND, TIGHT SPOT) for a rewrite. What emerges is a taut, snappy, carnival ride, featuring fantastic performances from a venerable cast that includes Edmond O’Brien, Vincent Price, William Bendix, and the sensational Ella Raines! Unearthing little overlooked gems like THE WEB is what this festival is all about.

>> Also playing at the Aero on April 24.

 

Friday, April 8 – 9:00 PM

2 x Anthony Mann

BORDER INCIDENT, 1949, MGM (Warners), 94 min. Mexican cop Ricardo Montalban teams up with American agent George Murphy to stop a gang who are killing illegal immigrants on the U.S./Mexico border. Filled with dark, brutal set pieces (the tractor murder is arguably the most unsettling in all film noir) and played with an almost psychotic intensity, BORDER INCIDENT ranks with T-MEN and RAW DEAL as one of director Anthony Mann’s finest noirs. Brilliant cinematography by the great John Alton.

SIDE STREET, 1950, MGM (Warners), 83 min. Farley Granger and Cathy O’Donnell re-teamed from Nick Ray’s THEY LIVE BY NIGHT for this rarely-seen noir about a frustrated postman who steals a packet of blackmail money – and finds himself plunged into a coffin-like Manhattan of narrow streets and swirling overhead crane shots. About his early crime films, director Anthony Mann said: "It was a good school, the roughest but the best: the maximum performance with the minimum means."

>> Both films also playing at the Aero on April 21.

 

 

Saturday, April 9 - 5:00 PM

Lucille Ball Noir Double Feature:

THE DARK CORNER, 1946, 20th Century Fox, 99 min. Dir. Henry Hathaway. Wrongly convicted private eye Bradford Galt (Mark Stevens) is sprung from prison, but bad luck sticks to his gummed shoes: who’s the mystery man in the white suit, and why won’t he leave Galt alone? What’s his connection to the big money boys on the Upper East Side? Galt’s no Marlowe—without his loyal gal Friday, Lucille Ball (!), he wouldn’t make it out from behind the 8-ball alive. "I’m backed up in a dark corner," he grouses, "and I don’t know who’s hitting me." Co-starring Clifton Webb, William Bendix.

LURED, 1947, Douris Corp., 102 min. Dir. Douglas Sirk. If you only know Lucille Ball from "I Love Lucy" you owe it to yourself to see her in her gorgeous youth, being used by Scotland Yard as bait to catch a serial killer. More a series of character sketches then a flat-out thriller, this moody atmospheric drama features a stellar supporting cast: George Sanders, Charles Coburn, Alan Mowbray, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, George Zucco, and, in one of the most vivid roles of his career, an astonishingly creepy Boris Karloff.

>> Both films also playing at the Aero on April 22.

 

Saturday, April 9 - 9:00 PM

2 x Dan Duryea:

New 35 mm. Print! JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON, 1949, Universal, 76 min. Dir. William Castle. Everybody’s favorite noir sleazeball, Dan Duryea, gets a juicy role in this exposť-style thriller about heroin smuggling. Heroin? In 1949? You bet, and narc Howard Duff needs to spring shady Dan in order to crack the smuggling ring that’s taking hold all over the western U.S. Sexy Shelley Winters complicates their already-endangered lives. One of the rarest of all "lost" noirs, finally rediscovered here!!

LARCENY, 1948, Universal, 89 min. Dir. George Sherman. As if unearthing the long-lost JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON wasn’t enough for Dan Duryea fans — here’s another of his most obscure titles, also notable for being crooner John Payne’s (of 99 RIVER STREET and KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL fame) first foray into film noir. The two slicks play hustlers trying to bilk a war widow (Joan Caulfield) out of her money. Uh oh, guess who’s back for more? Pistol-packing Shelley Winters, who Duryea can’t seem to get rid of. Wisecracking scriptwriter Bill Bowers has a field day with all the slang-spewing sass.

>> Both films also playing at the Aero on April 24.

 

 

Sunday, April 10 - 4:00 PM

Brand New 35mm Print!!

POSSESSED, 1947, Warner Bros., 108 min. Dir. Curtis Bernhardt. Joan Crawford scored yet another Oscar nomination portraying a woman driven to madness by obsessive, unrequited love. Van Heflin (THE PROWLER, ACT OF VIOLENCE) is the lover who spurns her, Raymond Massey the man who tries to save her, and Geraldine Brooks the stepdaughter who drives her over the edge. Bernhardt used very effective subjective camera techniques to depict Joan’s gradual descent into darkness. One of Crawford’s best, but most rarely-screened films.

>> Also playing at the Aero on April 23.

 

Sunday, April 10 - 6:30 PM

2 x Ida Lupino

THE MAN I LOVE, 1946, Warner Bros., 96 min. Dir. Raoul Walsh. As flinty torch singer Petey Brown, Ida Lupino offers a radiantly romantic vision of the post-WWII American woman — able to settle everybody’s hash but her own. Set in a world of nightclubs, tenements, and backlot streets, this majestic melodrama is part-noir, part-soap opera, and pure Hollywood magic. Reportedly the film that inspired Martin Scorsese to make NEW YORK, NEW YORK.

DEEP VALLEY, 1947, Warner Bros., 104 min. Dir. Jean Negulesco. Proving her incredible range, Ida Lupino followed up the glossy romance of THE MAN I LOVE by playing a miserable, stuttering country girl who shelters, and falls in love with, an escaped convict (Dane Clark, in perhaps his finest role). It may not truly be a noir, but we can’t pass up the chance to show this wonderfully dark drama.

>> Both films also playing at the Aero on April 23.

 

Wednesday, April 13 - 7:15 PM

Novelist/Screenwriter Barry Gifford In Person!

LOST HIGHWAY, 1997, Focus Features, 135 min. Dir. David Lynch. Did jazzman Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) murder his wife? Drawing on many of noir’s most familiar themes — the crumbling of a guilty psyche, the distrust between men and women, the erotic allure of the dark side — LOST HIGHWAY brazenly deconstructs a noir narrative and reconfigures it all as balls-to-the-walls cinematic poetry. With Rosanna Arquette, Balthazar Getty. Discussion after the film with acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Barry Gifford (LOST HIGHWAY, WILD AT HEART), followed by a screening of one of Barry’s favorite noir films:

DARK PASSAGE, 1947, Warner Bros., 106 min. Dir. Delmer Daves. A man convicted of killing his wife (Humphrey Bogart) escapes from prison, changes his identity, and careens through a nocturnal world in pursuit of the people he believes are truly responsible for his wife’s death. Hmmm, haven’t we just seen this movie? OK, maybe not, but this Bogey/Bacall classic, written by David Goodis, was certainly in Barry Gifford’s memory-bank when he and Lynch concocted LOST HIGHWAY. With Lauren Bacall.

>>LOST HIGHWAY also plays at the Aero Theatre on April 14.

DARK PASSAGE is an Egyptian Theatre exclusive!