Film Noir File: Summer of Darkness wraps up with four Lang classics, plus ‘Criss Cross,’ ‘Brute Force’ and ‘Asphalt Jungle’

By Film Noir Blonde and Mike Wilmington

The Film Noir File is FNB’s guide to classic film noir, neo-noir and pre-noir on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard). All films without a new review have been covered previously in Film Noir Blonde and can be searched in the FNB archives (at right).

Pick of the Week: TCM’s Summer of Darkness wraps up

Friday, July 31

They’ve saved some of the best for last.

Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame sizzle in “The Big Heat.”

Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame sizzle in “The Big Heat.”

The last chapter of TCM’s Summer of Darkness binge-a-thon is one of the best of the whole series. During the day, the schedule includes a quartet of moody Teutonic-style thrillers directed by the great German Hollywood émigré suspense-meister Fritz Lang (the creator of “M”). It starts with the grim little mob masterpiece “The Big Heat,” featuring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin in the cinema’s most memorable sadistic hot-coffee triangle.

Completing the Lang lineup are crime sagas “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt,” “While the City Sleeps” and “The Blue Gardenia.” In the evening, Summer of Darkness deepens the shadows with Jules Dassin’s “Brute Force” (a definitive prison picture), Robert Siodmak’s “Criss Cross” and John Huston’s “The Asphalt Jungle“ (two definitive heist thrillers), Anthony Mann’s “Desperate“ (a definitive B chase movie) and Hitchcock’s “The Wrong Man.”

Curated and hosted in the evening by the Czar of Noir himself, Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation and the Noir City film festivals, TCM’s Summer of Darkness, right up to the last breath, is one festival of broken dreams and movie nightmares you won’t want to miss. Tell ’em Fritz sent you.

6 a.m. (3 a.m.): “The Big Heat” (1953, Fritz Lang).

7:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m.): “Suddenly” (1954, Lewis Allen).

Blue Gardenia poster9:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m.): “I Died a Thousand Times” (1955, Stuart Heisler).

11:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m.): “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” (1956, Fritz Lang).

1 p.m. (10 a.m.): “The Harder They Fall” (1956, Mark Robson).

2:45 p.m. (11:45 a.m.): “While the City Sleeps” (1956, Fritz Lang).

4:45 p.m. (1:45 p.m.): “The Blue Gardenia” (1953, Fritz Lang).

6:15 pm. (3:15 p.m.): “Party Girl” (1958, Nicholas Ray).

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “Criss Cross” (1949, Robert Siodmak).

9:45 p.m. (6:45 p.m.): “Brute Force” (1947, Jules Dassin).

11:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m.): “Desperate” (1947, Anthony Mann).

Brute Force movie poster color

1 a.m. (10 p.m.): “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950, John Huston).

3 a.m. (12 a.m.): “The Wrong Man” (1956, Alfred Hitchcock).

Saturday, Aug. 1

2 p.m. (11 a.m.): “Whirlpool” (1949, Otto Preminger).

3:45 p.m. (12:45 p.m.): “Laura” (1944, Otto Preminger).

Sunday, Aug. 2

12 a.m. (9 p.m.): “Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte” (1964, Robert Aldrich). This is the macabre follow-up to 1962’s Grand Guignol suspense classic “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” But in this Robert Aldrich-directed, Henry Farrell-written Gothic soufflé featuring dueling divas Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, Crawford didn’t make it to the finishing line. Taken ill (or something), she was a no-show when the shooting started and was replaced by Bette’s longtime Warner Brothers buddy Olivia de Havilland.

The resulting chemistry isn’t nearly as potent in this Deep South chiller, which is a kind of grisly sub-Faulkner lady-in-distress murder-in-the-magnolias shocker. But those ace movie villainesses Agnes Moorehead and Mary Astor lend some extra “Sunset Boulevard”-style grande dame atmosphere. And so does the movie’s stylish misfit male contingent of Joseph Cotten, Bruce Dern, Cecil Kellaway and the great fat mama’s boy from “Baby Jane,” Victor Buono. The title song is sung, with a “Tennessee Waltz” warble, by Patti Page.

Monday, Aug. 3

2:45 a.m. (11:45 p.m.): “The Tall Target” (1951, Anthony Mann).

Tuesday, Aug. 4

9:15 a.m. (6:15 a.m.): “The Steel Trap” (1952, Andrew L. Stone).

4:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m.): “Count the Hours” (1953, Don Siegel). Crisp courtroom thriller about migrant workers framed for murder and defended by Macdonald Carey. Siegel’s direction is B-movie sharp. Teresa Wright and Jack Elam are the film’s Beauty and Beast, respectively.

Wednesday, Aug. 5

12 a.m. (9 p.m.): “The Band Wagon” (1953, Vincente Minnelli).

Thursday, Aug. 6

12 a.m. (9 p.m.): “Get Carter” (1971, Mike Hodges).

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Film Noir File: Classic so-good sleepers ‘The Narrow Margin,’ ‘The Locket’ and ‘Angel Face’

By Film Noir Blonde and Mike Wilmington

The Film Noir File is FNB’s guide to classic film noir, neo-noir and pre-noir on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard). All films without a new review have been covered previously in Film Noir Blonde and can be searched in the FNB archives (at right).

Pick of the Week: TCM’s Summer of Darkness continues to delight

Friday, July 24

The next-to-last chapter of TCM’s deluxe film-noir binge-a-thon Summer of Darkness commences today. It’s another feast for film noir buffs. As we know by now, Turner Classic Movies has been sharing its great shadowy treasure trove of classic film noir on Friday nights.

Marie Windsor

Marie Windsor

This week’s dark list includes Richard Fleischer’s terrific low-budget death-rides-the-train sleeper, “The Narrow Margin,“ starring Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor — one of director Billy Friedkin’s faves. You’ll also see Hollywood expressionist John Brahm’s stylish triple-flashback thriller, “The Locket” with Robert Mitchum. And don’t even think about missing Otto Preminger’s French critical favorite “Angel Face“ (one of Jean-Luc Godard’s picks for his all-time Best American Talkies list). This time Mitchum is smitten with Jean Simmons. Bitch-slap trivia: “Angel Face” is the movie where Mitchum punched Preminger for being mean to Jean.

Also on Friday’s all-day bill of noir: highlights with ace actors like Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Mitchum, Barbara Stanwyck, Mickey Rooney, Evelyn Keyes, Jane Russell, Jeanne Moreau, Vincent Price, John Payne and Raymond Burr, and directors like Nick Ray, Josef von Sternberg (on the same show), Louis Malle, Phil Karlson and Fritz Lang.

Curated and hosted in the evening by the Czar of Noir himself, Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation and the Noir City film festivals, TCM’s Summer of Darkness is a standout fest of classic killings, broken dreams and movie nightmares. All that and Marilyn Monroe (in “Clash by Night”) too.

We don’t want this summer to end!

6:45 a.m. (3:45 a.m.): “Roadblock” (1950, Harold Daniels). Charles McGraw and Joan Dixon in a poor man‘s “Double Indemnity.”

8 a.m. (5 a.m.): “The Strip” (1951, Leslie Kardos). Mickey Rooney is a luckless jazz drummer who gets in a bad fix trying to help Hollywood hopeful Sally Forrest. The great guest musical stars here include Louis Armstrong, and Satchmo’s longtime friends and sidemen Jack Teagarden and Earl Hines.

9:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m.): “Beware, My Lovely” (1952, Harry Horner). Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan strike sparks in an icy domestic suspenser.

Robert Ryan and Marilyn Monroe are bored with small-town life in “Clash by Night.”

Robert Ryan and Marilyn Monroe are bored with small-town life in “Clash by Night.”

11:15 a.m. (8:15 a.m.): “Clash by Night” (1953, Fritz Lang). Barbara Stanwyck is an independent woman in 1950s America. Trouble, here we come! She can’t keep a man, but then who’d want to when edgy Robert Ryan is around to get in trouble with? Marilyn Monroe is splendid as a small-town factory girl.

1:15 p.m. (10:15 a.m.): “Kansas City Confidential” (1952, Phi Karlson). A good crisp Karlson heist, pulled off by a mob that includes Preston Foster and Colleen Gray.

3 p.m. (12 p.m.): “Macao” (1952, Josef von Sternberg & Nicholas Ray).

4:45 p.m. (1:45 p.m.): “Talk About a Stranger” (1952, David Bradley). Gossipers wreak havoc in a talky small town. A look at U. S. Senator George Murphy and First Lady Nancy Davis (Reagan) in their movie days.

6:15 p.m. (3:15 p.m.): “Split Second” (1953, Dick Powell). In this nerve-racking thriller, outlaw Stephen McNally and hostages Alexis Smith, Jan Sterling and others are trapped together in a desert nuclear bomb testing site.

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “The Narrow Margin” (1952, Richard Fleischer).

9:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m.): “His Kind of Woman” (1951, John Farrow).

11:45 p.m. (8:45 p.m.): “The Locket” (1946, John Brahm).

1:30 a.m. (10:30 p.m.): “Angel Face” (1953, Otto Preminger).

3:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m.): “Elevator to the Gallows” (1958, Louis Malle).

[Read more…]

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Nancy Olson to appear at ‘Sunset Blvd.’ screening in LA

Sunset b & wAcademy Award Nominee Nancy Olson Livingston will participate in a Q&A with film critic Stephen Farber at a 65th anniversary screening of “Sunset Blvd.” The event starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, at the Laemmle Royal in West LA. By popular demand, an additional 7:30 p.m. show has been added.

For our part, we offer our top 10 favorite lines from this magnificent film noir movie, directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and starring (along with Nancy Olson) the incomparable Gloria Swanson, William Holden and Erich von Stroheim. The film garnered 11 Oscar nominations and won three (script, music and art direction).

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‘Double Indemnity’ plays nationwide on the big screen

Cissy and Raymond Chandler were married for 30 years.

Cissy Chandler (1870-1954) was married to Raymond Chandler for 30 years.

Just this morning, I finished reading “The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved” (Pantheon Books, 2007) by Judith Freeman. It’s a look at Chandler’s work and his 30-year marriage to a mysterious woman named Cissy Hurlburt Porcher Pascal, a sexy but refined redhead from the Midwest who was 18 years his senior. (It was her third marriage; his first and only.)  Not that she bothered to tell him her real age, natch. Details, details …

Double Indemnity July 19-20In the book, Freeman describes a turning point in Chandler’s career: When he received the offer from Paramount Studios to adapt James M. Cain’s novel “Double Indemnity” for the big screen, working in partnership with writer/director Billy Wilder.

The film, starring Fred Mac Murray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson, was released in 1944. It earned seven Oscar noms, including screenplay, which was extremely rare for a film noir title.

Freeman writes:

“Ray didn’t get the idea of the whole thing at first. When Joe Sistrom, the producer, called and offered him the job, Ray said he could probably do it, but he wouldn’t be able to turn in the screenplay for a couple of weeks, and it would cost them a thousand bucks. Sistrom laughed. Was the guy being funny, or was he really that naïve about the way the movie business worked? Sistrom told him he’d be working with Wilder, in an office on the studio lot, that he’d have ten weeks to do the screenplay, and he’d be getting seven hundred and fifty bucks a week. Ray did the math. Ray liked the result. Ray saw the future … and Ray said, Yes. Sure. Why not?”

Precisely! So, why not treat yourself to a big-screen viewing of this genre-defining film? TCM, Fathom Events and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment are partnering to bring this classic to select cinemas nationwide on Sunday, July 19 and Monday, July 20.

“That tears it,” as Walter Neff would say.

See you there, noiristas. Meanwhile, you can read our review as well as 14 reasons we adore this flick.

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Film Noir File: TCM’s badass binge continues with darkside divas Barbara Stanwyck, Lizabeth Scott and more

By Film Noir Blonde and Mike Wilmington

The Film Noir File is FNB’s guide to classic film noir, neo-noir and pre-noir on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard). All films without a new review have been covered previously in Film Noir Blonde and can be searched in the FNB archives (at right).

Pick of the Week: Summer of Darkness soldiers on

Barbara Stanwyck plays the tough-as-nails title broad in “Martha Ivers.” Kirk Douglas plays her husband.

Barbara Stanwyck plays the tough-as-nails title broad in “Martha Ivers.” Kirk Douglas plays her husband.

Unless you’re a noirista who has been living under a rock, you know that TCM’s badass binge of film noir continues this Friday.

This week TCM’s list includes the spine-tingling masterpiece “Strangers on a Train” and the lesser-known but compelling melodrama “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers,” plus noir highlights by and with ace actors like Humphrey Bogart, Robert Ryan, Robert Mitchum, recent birthday gal Barbara Stanwyck, Lizabeth Scott, and Audrey Totter, brilliant writers like Patricia Highsmith, W. R. Burnett and Cornell Woolrich, and directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Joseph H. Lewis, Phil Karlson and Anthony Mann.

Lizabeth Scott and Van Heflin co-star in “Martha Ivers.”

Lizabeth Scott and Van Heflin co-star in “Martha Ivers.”

Curated and hosted by the Czar of Noir himself, Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation and the Noir City film festivals, TCM’s Summer of Darkness is one festival of classic dreams and movie nightmares, you don’t want to miss. As Raymond Chandler once said about Phillip Marlowe, in “The Simple Art of Murder”: “Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid…”

Friday, July 17

7:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m.): “Tension” (John Berry, 1950).

Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum

9:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m.): “Where Danger Lives” (John Farrow, 1950). Robert Mitchum is dragged to the bad side of the border and the law by second-tier femme fatale Faith Domergue. This one has its moments.

11 a.m. (8 a.m.): “The Woman on Pier 13” (“I Married a Communist”) (Robert Stevenson, 1950).

12:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m.): “A Lady Without Passport” (Joseph H. Lewis, 1950). Hedy Lamarr is an illegal alien who proves irresistible to secret service man John Hodiak. Stylishly wrought by the director of “Gun Crazy” and “My Name is Julia Ross.”

2 p.m. (11 a.m.): “Cause for Alarm” (Tay Garnett, 1951). Loretta Young, caught in a noir trap of lies and murder. With Barry Sullivan.

3:15 p.m. (12:15 p.m.): “No Questions Asked” (Harold F. Kress, 1951). Barry Sullivan is an insurance agent gone bad. With Arlene Dahl and other temptations.

Farley Granger and Robert Walker have a wonderful weird chemistry in “Strangers on a Train.”

Farley Granger and Robert Walker have a wonderful weird chemistry in “Strangers on a Train.”

4:45 p.m. (1:45 p.m.): “Strangers on a Train” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951).

6:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m.): “The Racket” (John Cromwell, 1951). Gangster Robert Ryan and tough cop Robert Mitchum duke it out in this moody adaptation of Bartlett Cormack’s hit stage play.

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “Too Late for Tears” (Byron Haskin, 1949). Recently restored by the FNF, this sleeper stars Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea. The film examines the evils of money. Seriously?

10 p.m. (7 p.m.): “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers” (Lewis Milestone, 1946).

12:15 a.m. (9: 15 p.m.): “99 River Street” (Phil Karlson, 1953). Taut little thriller, with unlucky but feisty cabbie John Payne caught in a frame-up, directed with panache by B-maestro Karlson (“The Phenix City Story”). Evelyn Keyes co-stars.

2 a.m. (11 p.m.): “Conflict” (Curtis Bernhardt, 1945). Bogie in his bad mode, tormenting Alexis Smith and trying to evade Sydney Greenstreet.

3:30 a.m. (12:30 a.m.). “Klute” (Alan Pakula, 1971).

Saturday, July 18

8:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m.). “Crime and Punishment” (Josef von Sternberg, 1935). Director Sternberg, in his Dietrich years, tackles Fyodor Dostoyevsky, with the young Lucien Ballard behind the camera, and a cast that includes Peter Lorre (as the gloomy, philosophical student killer) and Edward Arnold (as his nemesis, genial and persistent police detective).

3:15 p.m. (12:15 p.m.) “Rebel Without a Cause” (Nicholas Ray, 1955).

5:15 p.m. (2:15 p.m.): “Lolita” (Stanley Kubrick, 1962). Kubrick’s superb film of Vladimir Nabokov’s classic comic-erotic novel about the dangerous affair of college professor Humbert Humbert (James Mason) with nymphet Lolita (Sue Lyon). [Read more…]

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Film Noir File: Lupino, Spillane light up Summer of Darkness

 By Film Noir Blonde and Mike Wilmington

The Film Noir File is FNB’s guide to classic film noir, neo-noir and pre-noir on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard). All films without a new review have been covered previously in Film Noir Blonde and can be searched in the FNB archives (at right).

Pick of the Week: Summer of Darkness sizzles on

“Kiss Me Deadly” has an unforgettable opening.

“Kiss Me Deadly” has an unforgettable opening.

You know the drill. Each Friday, throughout June and July, running from dawn to dusk and back again, TCM is screening practically every classic film noir you can think of. This week, the dark list includes “D.O.A.” and “Raw Deal,” plus the talents of writers Mickey Spillane and A. I. Bezzerides, director Robert Aldrich and actor Ralph Meeker (as private eye Mike Hammer), all of whom took part in that Eisenhower-era masterpiece “Kiss Me Deadly.” And though Spillane may have disliked the picture Aldrich made from his violent paperback best-seller, most noir buffs love it. Count us in!

Also, there are terrific turns by that magnificent dame Ida Lupino as both actress (in Nick Ray’s and Bezzerides’ “On Dangerous Ground”) and director (in Ida’s classic B suspenser “The Hitch-Hiker”). Curated and hosted by the Czar of Noir, Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation and the Noir City film festivals, TCM’s Summer of Darkness is one festival of classic dreams and movie nightmares you won’t want to miss.

Friday, July 10

Who doesn't love Gloria Grahame?

Who doesn’t love Gloria Grahame?

6 a.m. (3 a.m.): “Follow Me Quietly” (Richard Fleischer, 1949). Neat little B thriller about the manhunt for a crazed killer. With William Lundigan and famed acting teacher/blacklist victim Jeff Corey.

7:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m.): “A Woman’s Secret” (Nicholas Ray, 1949). Nick Ray directs, and Herman Mankiewicz writes, a kind of cut-rate “All About Eve.” With Maureen O’Hara and Gloria Grahame.

9 a.m. (6 a.m.): “Side Street” (Anthony Mann, 1950).

10:30 a.m. (7:30 a.m.): “Black Hand” (Richard Thorpe). Gene Kelly vs. The Mafia.

12:15 p.m. (9:15 a.m.): “Armored Car Robbery” (Richard Fleischer, 1950).

1:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m.): “Caged” (John Cromwell, 1950). Before there was “Orange Is the New Black,” there was “Caged.” One of the best and grimmest of the “women’s prison” pictures, with Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Hope Emerson, Jan Sterling and Jane Darwell.

D.O.A poster3:15 p.m. (12:15 p.m.): “D.O.A.” (Rudolph Maté, 1950).

4:45 p.m. (1:45 p.m.): “Destination Murder” (Edward L. Cahn, 1950). Joyce McKenzie vs. The Mob.

6:15 p.m. (3:15 p.m.): “The Tattooed Stranger” (Edward Montagne, 1950). N. Y. murder, investigated. With John Miles.

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “Red Light” (Roy Del Ruth, 1949). A vendetta noir sandwich with George Raft and Raymond Burr. Hold the (Virginia) Mayo.

9:45 p.m. (6:45 p.m.): “Kiss Me Deadly” (Robert Aldrich, 1955).

11:45 p.m. (8:45 p.m.): “On Dangerous Ground” (Nicholas Ray, 1951). Ida Lupino plays a blind country girl who lives with her brother. She meets a psychologically scarred cop (Robert Ryan) when her brother becomes a suspect in a murder. With a taut script by A. I. Bezzerides and moody, poetic direction from Nicholas Ray, “On Dangerous Ground” is an unforgettable film noir.

1:30 a.m. (10:30 p.m.): “The Hitch-Hiker” (Ida Lupino, 1953).

2:45 a.m. (11:45 p.m.): “The Blue Dahlia” (George Marshall, 1946).

4:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m.): “Raw Deal” (Anthony Mann, 1948).

Monday, July 13

Bob Mitchum was an actor who had no fear, few limits and no false vanity.

Bob Mitchum was an actor who had no fear, few limits and no false vanity.

9:45 a.m. (8:45 a.m.): “The Bad Sleep Well” (Akira Kurosawa, 1960). A great, savage crime drama, set in the world of corrupt and murderous Japanese corporate businessmen. With Toshiro Mifune, Masayuki Mori and Takashi Shimura. (In Japanese, with subtitles.)

Wednesday, July 15

12:30 a.m. (9:30 p.m.): “The Night of the Hunter” (Charles Laughton, 1955).

4:15 a.m. (1:15 a.m.): “Pitfall” (André de Toth, 1948).

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Film Noir File: Go deeper into depravity with the second month of TCM’s Summer of Darkness

By Film Noir Blonde and Mike Wilmington

The Film Noir File is FNB’s guide to classic film noir, neo-noir and pre-noir on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard). All films without a new review have been covered previously in Film Noir Blonde and can be searched in the FNB archives (at right).

Pick of the Week: Summer of Darkness Chapter 5

Rita Hayworth went blonde for “The Lady from Shanghai.”

Rita Hayworth went blonde for “The Lady from Shanghai.”

Each Friday, throughout July, running from dawn to dusk and back again, TCM is whistling up practically every classic film noir you can think of. Curated and hosted by the Czar of Noir himself, Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation and the Noir City film festivals in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and other big bad towns where people prowl around after midnight, TCM’s Summer of Darkness is one festival of classic dreams and nightmares you won’t want to miss.

Friday, July 3

6 a.m. (3 a.m.): “Johnny Belinda” (Jean Negulesco, 1946).

8 a.m. (5 a.m.): “Key Largo” (John Huston, 1948). Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson are pitted against each other in this tense adaptation of the Maxwell Anderson play. Bogie is a WW2 vet held hostage (along with Lauren Bacall and Lionel Barrymore) during a tropical storm by brutal mobster Robinson and his gang. Claire Trevor, as a fading chanteuse, won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

10 a.m. (7 a.m.): “The Lady from Shanghai” (Orson Welles, 1948).

11:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m.): “The Bribe” (Robert Z. Leonard, 1949). Cabaret torcher Ava Gardner pours it on for cop Robert Taylor, Charles Laughton and Vincent Price. A lot of footage from this lesser-known black-and-white romantic suspenser wound up in Steve Martin and Carl Reiner’s film noir parody “Dead Men Don‘t Wear Plaid.”

1:15 a.m. (10:15 a.m.): “Scene of the Crime” (Roy Rowland, 1949). Van Johnson and Arlene Dahl in a sexy mystery thriller.

They Live by Night poster

3 p.m. (12 p.m.): “They Live by Night” (Nicholas Ray, 1949).

4:45 p.m. (1:45 p.m.): “The Threat” (Felix Feist, 1949). Charles McGraw takes a con’s revenge.

6 p.m. (3 p.m.): “White Heat” (Raoul Walsh, 1949). “Top of the world, Ma!” James Cagney screams, in one of the all-time great noir performances and last scenes. Cagney’s character is Cody Jarrett, a psycho gun-crazy gangster with a mother complex.

Edmond O’Brien is the undercover cop in Cody’s gang, Virginia Mayo is Cody’s faithless wife, and Margaret Wycherly is Ma. One of the true noir masterpieces.

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “The Big Clock” (John Farrow, 1948).

9:45 p.m. (6:45 p.m.): “The Window” (Ted Tetzlaff, 1949).

11:15 p.m. (8:15 p.m.): “Shadow on the Wall” (Pat Jackson, 1950). A sensitive child (Gigi Perreau) thinks she’s a witness to a family slaying. With Zachary Scott.

12:45 a.m. (9:45 a.m.): “High Wall” (Curtis Bernhardt, 1947). Murder and psychiatry, with Robert Taylor and Audrey Totter.

2:30 a.m. (11:30 p.m.): “The Long Goodbye” (Robert Altman, 1973).

4:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m.): “Marlowe” (Paul Bogart, 1969).

Sunday, July 5

10 a.m. (7 a.m.): “The Band Wagon” (Vincente Minnelli, 1953). With a brilliant dance parody of Mickey Spillane with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. Also on at 4:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m.) on Wednesday, July 8.

West Side Story poster

5:15 p.m. (2:15 p.m.): “West Side Story” (Robert Wise, 1961).

Monday, July 6

6:15 p.m. (3:15 p.m.): “Pete Kelly’s Blues” (Jack Webb, 1955).

Tuesday, July 7

8:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m.): “Doctor X” (Michael Curtiz, 1932).

10 a.m. (7 a.m.): “Mystery of the Wax Museum” (Michael Curtiz, 1933).

Thursday, July 9

8:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m.): “Finger of Guilt” (“The Intimate Stranger“) (Joseph Losey, 1956). A blackmail thriller about a persecuted director (Richard Basehart), set in the world of British studio filmmaking, and directed (under the pseudonym “Joseph Walton“), by blacklist victim Losey.

10 a.m. (7 a.m.): “Time Without Pity” (Joseph Losey, 1957).

11:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m.): “Dead of Night” (Alberto Cavalcanti, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer, Charles Crichton, 1945).

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Film Noir File: Summer of Darkness keeps dealing out winners

By Film Noir Blonde and Mike Wilmington

The Film Noir File is FNB’s guide to classic film noir, neo-noir and pre-noir on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard). All films without a new review have been covered previously in Film Noir Blonde and can be searched in the FNB archives (at right).

Pick of the Week: Another Friday Full of Darkness

It’s Chapter Four of TCM’s film noir binge-fest. As Bogie once said, “It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.” Each Friday, throughout June and July, running from dawn to dusk and back again, TCM is serving some deluxe stuff: practically every classic film noir you can think of, from “The Maltese Falcon” to “Born to Kill,” and (this Friday) from “Out of the Past” to “The Third Man.”

TCM Summer of Darkness 2015

Curated and hosted by the Czar of Noir himself, Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation and the Noir City film festivals in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and other big bad towns where people prowl around after midnight, TCM’s Summer of Darkness is one season in Hell, and one festival of dreams and nightmares, you won’t want to miss. Wise up. Don’t let the Postman have to Ring Twice.

Friday, June 5

Lana Turner

Lana Turner

6 a.m. (3 a.m.): “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (Tay Garnett, 1946).

8 a.m. (5 a.m.): “They Won’t Believe Me” (Irving Pichel, 1947). Robert Young is accused of adultery (he did), and murder (he didn’t). With Susan Hayward.

9:45 a.m. (6:45 a.m.): “The Woman on the Beach” (Jean Renoir, 1947).

11 a.m. (8 a.m.): “Lady in the Lake” (Robert Montgomery, 1947).

1 p.m. (10 a.m.): “Out of the Past” (Jacques Tourneur, 1947).

2:45 p.m. (11:45 a.m.): “Possessed” (Curtis Bernhardt, 1947).

4:45 p.m. (1:45 p.m.): “Act of Violence” (Fred Zinnemann, 1948).

Audrey Totter plays an editor in “Lady in the Lake.” Make sure your copy is clean, Marlowe!

Audrey Totter plays an editor in “Lady in the Lake” from 1947. Robert Montgomery stars and directs.

6:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m.): “The Set-Up” (Robert Wise, 1949).

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “The Mask of Dimitrios” (Jean Negulesco, 1944).

9:45 p.m. (6: 45 p.m.): “Berlin Express” (Jacques Tourneur, 1948).

11:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m.): “The Stranger” (Orson Welles, 1946).

1:15 a.m. (10:15 p.m.): “The Third Man” (Carol Reed, 1949).

3 a.m. (12 a.m.): “Point Blank” (John Boorman, 1967).

Saturday, June 27

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (Albert Lewin, 1945).

Sunday, June 28

Anthony Dawson tries to do away with Grace Kelly in “Dial M for Murder.”

Anthony Dawson tries to do away with Grace Kelly in “Dial M for Murder.”

2 p.m. (11 a.m.): “Dial M for Murder” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954).

4 p.m. (1 p.m.): “The Birds” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963).

2 a.m. (11 p.m.): “Band of Outsiders” (“Bande a Part”) (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964). Three amoral and amateurish Parisian movie fans and would-be burglars (played with delightfully offhand bravado by Anna Karina, Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur) bungle their way though one of the most amusingly eccentric, self-indulgent and utterly foolish of all film neo-noir heists. One of almost everybody’s favorite Godards, this is the one with the stunningly inept bar-room dance routine by the three musically challenged co-stars to that finger-snapping dance step “The Madison.” Based on Dolores Hitchens’ American crime novel “Fool’s Gold,” it’s like “Rififi” gone frou-frou. In French, with subtitles.

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Film noir darkness descends again: Dmytryk, Hawks, Siodmak, Mann and more, part of TCM’s terrific fest

The Film Noir File is FNB’s guide to classic film noir, neo-noir and pre-noir on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard). All films without a new review have been covered previously in Film Noir Blonde and can be searched in the FNB archives (at right).

Pick of the Week: Summer of Darkness Film Noir Friday

The Czar of Noir Eddie Muller guides us through another great dark day of classic film noir.

Friday, June 19

6 a.m. (3 a.m.): “Cornered” (Edward Dmytryk, 1946).

7:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m.): “Crack-Up” (Irving Reis, 1946). Crooks in the art world face fearless critic. With Pat O’Brien and Claire Trevor.

9:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m.): “Gilda” (Charles Vidor, 1946).

11:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m.): “The Big Sleep” (Howard Hawks, 1946).

“The Killers” catapulted Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster to A-list status.

“The Killers” catapulted Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster to A-list status.

1:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m.): “The Killers” (1946, Robert Siodmak).

3:15 p.m. (12:30 p.m.): “Nobody Lives Forever” (Jean Negulesco, 1946). But we wish John Garfield had had a few more decades. Here, he puts the con on Geraldine Fitzgerald, and then falls for her.

6 p.m. (2 p.m.): “Nocturne” (Edwin L. Marin). Mediocre noir from George Raft, the actor who turned down the leads in “The Maltese Falcon” and “High Sierra.”

6:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m.): “Crossfire” (Edward Dmytryk, 1947).

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “Hollow Triumph” (“The Scar”) (Steve Sekely, 1948). Paul Henreid plays a bad guy playing a classy shrink. With Joan Bennett.

Border Incident poster 214

9:45 p.m. (6:45 p.m.): “Mystery Street” (John Sturges, 1950).

11:30 p.m. (8: 30 p.m.): “Border Incident” (Anthony Mann, 1949).

1:15 a.m. (10:15 a.m.): “The People Against O’Hara” (John Sturges, 1951). Spencer Tracy and his Milwaukee boyhood pal and Hollywood Irish lunch buddy Pat O’Brien pull some courtroom shenanigans.

9:15 a.m. (12:15 a.m.): “Get Carter” (Mike Hodges, 1971).

Saturday, June 20

2:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m.): “All the King’s Men” (Robert Rossen, 1949).

11:30 p.m. (:30 p.m.): “99 River Street” (Phil Karlson, 1953). Good tough B, with John Payne as a framed cabbie.

1 a.m. (10 p.m.): “The Face Behind the Mask” (Robert Florey, 1941). Peter Lorre as a fire-scarred crime genius.

3:45 a.m. (12:45 am.): “Mean Streets” (Martin Scorsese, 1973).

Nebraska native Montgomery Clift stars as a priest in “I Confess.”

Nebraska native Montgomery Clift stars as a priest in “I Confess.”

Monday, June 22

10 a.m. (7 a.m.): “To Have and Have Not” (Howard Hawks, 1944).

Tuesday, June 23

10:45 a.m. (7:45 a.m.): “A Place in the Sun” (George Stevens, 1951).

3 p.m. (12 p.m.): “I Confess” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1953).

9:45 p.m. (6:45 p.m.): “The Last of Sheila” (Herbert Ross, 1973). James Mason, James Coburn, Dyan Cannon and murder on a yacht. Plays like an attempted cross of Patricia Highsmith and Agatha Christie.

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Rare French film noir screens at the Aero Theatre

Start your weekend with some sizzle: a Brigitte Bardot noir double-feature (“The Truth” and “Love Is My Profession”) at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. It’s part of a mini-festival put on by the American Cinematheque and Mid-Century Productions, called “The French Had a Name for It: Rare French Film Noir.”

Brigitte Bardot stars in ‘Love Is My Profession.’ It screens Friday night.

Brigitte Bardot stars in ‘Love Is My Profession.’ It screens Friday night.

The fest springs from an irony of film history – though the French New Wave filmmakers, writers and critics celebrated many American film noir works, they were often quick to disparage indigenous French noirs. As a result, some fine films have not received much love over the years.

The fest seeks to rediscover and redeem these films—many of which feature France’s most iconic stars such as Bardot, Jean Gabin, Simone Signoret and Lino Ventura; directors such as Henri-Georges Clouzot, Julien Duvivier, Yves Allégret, Claude Autant-Lara and Edouard Molinaro; and photographers such as Henri Dacaë, Armand Thirard and Jacques Natteau.

See you at the Aero!

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