By Film Noir Blonde and Mike Wilmington
The 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: An Evening with Joan, Monday, Aug. 10
Of all the immortal Hollywood queens of classical film noir (a short list that includes Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall, Gene Tierney and Claire Trevor) the most glamorous, and one of the best at “suffering in satin,” was Joan Crawford.
Joan’s stellar five-decade-long career took her from being a Roaring Twenties flapper princess (and dancing daughter) to being one of the pre-eminent noir queen bees and ladies-in-distress.
No one wore gowns, or eye makeup, quite like Joan, and no one stood up more gamely and steadfastly to a major villain. Or a major villainess, like Davis in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” And few of the great glamour dames held up better, longer, more memorably or more seductively.
Four of Lady Joan’s best noir vehicles are playing Monday night on Turner Classic Movie’s Joan Crawford Day, Aug. 10, as part of the monthlong Summer under the Stars series. If you haven’t seen them, get ready for a dark treat. Miss Crawford is a great noir broad who rarely lets you down.
“Possessed” (1947, Curtis Bernhardt). 8 p.m. (5 p.m.).
“Flamingo Road” (1949, Michael Curtiz). 10 p.m. (7 p.m.).
“The Damned Don’t Cry” (1950, Vincent Sherman). 11:45 p.m. (8:45 p.m.).
“What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” (1962, Robert Aldrich).
Sunday, Aug. 9
8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “Strangers on a Train” (1951, Alfred Hitchcock).
Wednesday, Aug. 12
10:45 p.m. (7:45 p.m.): “Thunder Road” (1958, Arthur Ripley). Producer-star Robert Mitchum’s cult Southern backwoods moonshine-runners thriller. (He also sings the title song, which he wrote.) Co-starring Gene Barry and hip songbird Keely Smith.
Thursday, Aug. 13
10 a.m. (7 a.m.): “Once a Thief” (1965, Ralph Nelson). This likable heist thriller from the director of “Requiem for a Heavyweight” failed in its bid to make French noir star Alain Delon an American star as well, despite valuable help from Ann-Margret, Jack Palance and Van Heflin.