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Monday, January 28



7:30 PM

Following a daring bank heist, cop Paul Sheridan (Fred MacMurray) is assigned to keep covert tabs on the main suspect's girlfriend. But once he makes contact with sexy Lona McLane (budding superstar Kim Novak in her first starring role), he's on a slippery slope; she persuades Sheridan that they can escape together with the loot and leave both the crooks and the cops high and dry. A bristling, beautifully directed and photographed thriller, from a dynamite script by the redoubtable Roy Huggins. One of several films from 1954 (Witness to Murder, Rear Window) to exploit voyeurism as a theme. Touted by Jean-Luc Godard as one of the best American films of the 1950s. Presented in 35mm courtesy of Sony Pictures

1954, Columbia [Sony Pictures]. 88 min. 35mm
Scr. Roy Huggins, based on novels by Bill Ballinger and Thomas Walsh. Dir. Richard Quine


9:20 PM

Two L.A. cops, Cal Bruner (Steve Cochran) and Jack Farnham (Howard Duff) stumble into the money trail from an East Coast robbery. Nightclub singer Lilli Marlowe (Ida Lupino), who handled some of the hot cash, agrees to help them hunt the culprit. But when Cal and Lilli fall for each other, the law suddenly takes a backseat to larceny. The "dirty cop" trend of the 1950s reached its apotheosis with this wicked, booze-fueled thriller, with writer-producer-star Ida Lupino burning bright among the burly tough guys. Although its more character study than thriller, director Don Siegel shows flashes of the brilliance about to be unleashed in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Presented in an archival 35mm print courtesy of the British Film Institute

1954, The Filmakers [Paramount]. 81 min. 35mm
Scr. Ida Lupino and Collier Young. Dir. Don Siegel

Tuesday, January 29



7:30 PM

America's anti-Communist crusaders found their superhero in crime writer Mickey Spillane's private eye hero, Mike Hammer, who enjoyed a flurry of film adaptations in the '50s. But in this one, screenwriter Bezzerides pulled the rug out from under Hammer, slyly subverting his "heroics" and replacing Spillane's routine crime plot with a jaw-dropping doomsday scenario. Ralph Meeker is uncomfortably attractive as Hammer: sexy, sadistic, and terminally stupid. Aldrich directs the twisted plot with a bust-out verve that heralded both the end of traditional film noir and the start of a new, more aggressive style of cinema. Presented as it was released in 1955; in 35mm courtesy of Park Circus

1955, United Artists [Park Circus]. 106 min, 35mm
Scr. A. I. Bezzerides, from the novel by Mickey Spillane. Dir. Robert Aldrich



9:40 PM

Made for a miniscule $75,000 (mostly borrowed from a family friend), Killer's Kiss was 27-year-old Stanley Kubrick's first distributed film—an inventive and kinetic tribute to film noir and his hometown, Manhattan. The simple story—a boxer's affair with a mobster's woman puts them both in peril—is a springboard for the young director to show off remarkable skills as a director, cameraman, and editor. Using a largely amateur cast, shooting without sync sound, and limited to 100-foot rolls of film in his portable Eyemo camera, Kubrick made the first amateur feature to receive international distribution. The rest is history. Presented in 35mm courtesy of Park Circus

1955, United Artists [Park Circus]. 67 min. 35mm
Scr. Stanley Kubrick and Harold O. Sackler. Dir. Stanley Kubrick

Wednesday, January 30


The Scarlet Hour


7:15 PM

Nearing the end of his legendary directing career, Michael Curtiz (The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca, Mildred Pierce) produced and directed this intricately plotted thriller in which tony seductress Paulie Nevins (Carol Omhart) and her lover (Tom Tryon), overhearing plans for a jewel robbery, hatch a scheme to deliver themselves from Paulie's possessive husband (James Gregory). Featuring "discoveries" Ohmart, Tryon, and Broadway star Elaine Stritch (her first film role). Plus Nat King Cole singing "Never Let Me Go" in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel. You'll only see this at NOIR CITY! Presented in a 35mm archival print courtesy of Paramount

1956, Paramount. 95 min. 35mm
Scr. Alford Van Ronkel, Frank Tashlin, John Meredyth Lucas. Dir. Michael Curtiz

A Kiss Before Dying


9:10 PM

Bud Corliss is suave, charming, handsome—the ideal catch for any young woman in 1950s America. But when Bud's girlfriend unexpectedly becomes pregnant, throwing a wrench in his avaricious social-climbing, Bud becomes a literal ladykiller. This rare example of widescreen Technicolor noir is a Douglas Sirk melodrama turned homicidal. Matinee idol Robert Wagner threw a wicked curve into his career by playing one of the most amoral heels in Hollywood history; the film also garnered much controversy for its frank handling of pregnancy. Gerd Oswald's directing debut is a rarely screened look at the underbelly of American affluence in the 1950s. Presented in 35mm courtesy of Park Circus

1956, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [Park Circus]. 94 min. 35mm. Scr. Lawrence Roman, from the novel by Ira Levin. Dir. Gerd Oswald

Thursday, January 31




7:30 PM

Artist Jim Vanning (Aldo Ray) has his life go off the rails when fate pitches a pair of on-the-lam crooks into his winter hunting trip. From then on he lives life on the run, enduring relentless surveillance, dozens of double-crosses, psychotic killers on his tail, lots of de rigeur flashbacks, and—on the bright side—beguiling Anne Bancroft, decked out the latest fifties' fashions. One of the last true noirs of the original era, this often-overlooked gem features terrific direction from Tourneur (Out of the Past) and great work by cinematographer Burnett Guffey. Presented in 35mm archival print courtesy of Sony Pictures

1956, Columbia [Sony]. 78 min. 35mm
Scr. Stirling Silliphant, from the novel by David Goodis. Dir. Jacques Tourneur

The Burglar


9:10 PM

Veteran safecracker Nat Harbin (Dan Duryea) has enough on hands, trying to get away clean with the spoils from a daring B&E—without having to shield his "ward," nubile, voluptuous Gladden (Jayne Mansfield) from his rough and randy crew. The psychosexual dynamics of Goodis' tale grows steadily darker as Nat tries to outrun his destiny. Featuring noir favorite Duryea at his world-weary best, and a surprising turn from Martha (The Big Sleep) Vickers. The guilt-laden caper is given a stylized visual workout by whiz-kid director Wendkos. One of the few films of the late '50s to capture the fatalistic feel of classic noir. Presented in 35mm courtesy of Sony Pictures

1956, Columbia [Sony]. 90 min. 35mm
Scr. David Goodis, from his novel. Dir. Paul Wendkos

Film Noir Foundation

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