The Film Noir File: Dick Powell and Lizabeth Scott fall into a deadly De Toth ‘Pitfall’

TCM goes all Audrey on Friday and we can't wait!

TCM goes all Audrey on Friday and we can’t wait!

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). All movies below are from the schedule of TCM, which broadcasts them uncut and uninterrupted. The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard).

Pick of the Week

Lizabeth Scott and Dick Powell star in ‘Pitfall.’

Lizabeth Scott and Dick Powell star in ‘Pitfall.’

Pitfall” (1948, André De Toth). 4:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m.) Monday, Aug. 25. De Toth was a sometime master at exposing the swamps of terror that could lie beneath the routines of everyday middleclass life. In this scary little noir quadrangle thriller, Dick Powell, who was one of the better Philip Marlowes, is a sort of lower echelon Walter Neff – an insurance man leading an apparently happy (if slightly dull) life who gets involved with a criminal’s sultry girlfriend (Lizabeth Scott). Jane Wyatt is Powell’s sweet bourgeois wife and Raymond Burr is an evil, lecherous private eye, who pulls all of them onto the dark side. That’s a terrific cast, noir to the hilt, and De Toth’s grim, methodical style is ideal for the cynical, unsparing James Cain-ish subject matter.

This pungent little film noir sleeper is part of Dick Powell Day. (Also showing on the big screen Friday night in Westwood: see previous post.)

Friday, Aug. 22: Audrey Hepburn Day

6 p.m. (3 p.m.): “Wait Until Dark” (1967, Terence Young). With Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna and Jack Weston. Reviewed in FNB on Dec. 12, 2012.

Saturday, Aug. 23: Ernest Borgnine Day

1 p.m. (10 a.m.): “Bad Day at Black Rock” (1955, John Sturges). With Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Walter Brennan, Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin. Reviewed in FNB on April 7, 2012.

Sunday, Aug. 24: Gladys George Day

Maltese Falcon poster10 a.m. (7 a.m.): “Flamingo Road” (1949, Michael Curtiz). With Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet and Gladys George. Reviewed in FNB on Oct. 19, 2012.

6 p.m. (3 p.m.): “The Roaring Twenties” (1939, Raoul Walsh). Ace newsman Mark Hellinger produced this punchy chronicle of three World War I vets, (explosive outlaw James Cagney, bad guy Humphrey Bogart and good guy Jeffrey Lynn) and their lives during Prohibition times and the gangster era after the war. It’s engrossing, exciting and salty as the best Walsh, Bogart and Cagney always are. Also with Priscilla Lane and Gladys George.

8 p.m. (5 p.m.). “The Maltese Falcon” (1941, John Huston). With Bogart, Mary Astor, Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Elisha Cook, Jr., Ward Bond and George.

1:15 a.m. (10:15 a.m.). “He Ran All the Way” (1951, John Berry). With John Garfield, Shelley Winters and Wallace Ford. Reviewed in FNB on Dec. 4, 2013.

Monday, Aug. 25: Dick Powell Day

4:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m.): “Pitfall” (1948, André De Toth). See Pick of the Week.

9:15 p.m. (6:15 p.m.): “Murder, My Sweet” (1944, Edward Dmytryk). With Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley and Mike Mazurki.

3 a.m. (12 a.m.): “The Tall Target” (1951, Anthony Mann). With Powell, Adolphe Menjou, Paula Raymond and Ruby Dee. Reviewed in FNB on My 6, 2013.

Wednesday, Aug. 27: Edmond O’Brien Day

D.O.A poster8 a.m. (5 a.m.): “The Hitch-Hiker” (1953, Ida Lupino). With Edmond O’Brien, Frank Lovejoy and William Talman. Reviewed in FNB on June 6, 2013.

6 p.m. (3 p.m.): “White Heat” (1949, Raoul Walsh). With Cagey, Virginia Mayo, O’Brien and Steve Cochran. Reviewed in FNB on March 10, 2012.

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “D.O.A.” (1950, Rudolph Maté). With O’Brien, Pamela Britton and Luther Adler.

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Sam Fuller’s film noir masterpiece plays on the big screen

Pickup on South Street posterSam Fuller’s film noir masterpiece “Pickup on South Street” (see review and TCM listing below) will screen Friday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Sam Fuller’s daughter, Samantha Fuller, will introduce the film. His novel, “Brainquake,” recently published by Hard Case Crime, will be available for sale in the lobby.

“Pickup” will pair with 1982’s “White Dog.”

We at FNB celebrate the work of this in-your-face auteur, who unabashedly reveled in the seedy, touted the tacky, glommed onto the grim (not to mention the grime) and did his own thing until the very end. See you there!

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The Film Noir File: Sam Fuller plays rough in noir classic ‘Pickup on South Street’

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). All movies below are from the schedule of TCM, which broadcasts them uncut and uninterrupted. The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard).

Thelma Ritter and Richard Widmark play tough cookies in "Pickup."

Thelma Ritter and Richard Widmark play tough cookies in “Pickup.”


Pick of the Week

Pickup on South Street” (1953, Samuel Fuller). 10 p.m. (7 p.m.) Wednesday, Aug. 20. From the 50s heyday of vintage film noir and the Red Scare comes a hard-boiled gem. Trust me. They don’t make em any tougher, crazier or edgier than this grimy, sharp classic by Sam Fuller — a prize winner at the 1953 Venice Film Festival, and probably Fuller’s best movie. It takes place in New York City in the lower depths, the dark waterfront, the mean streets. Our “hero” is a ferret-faced natty pickpocket (Richard Widmark), who lives on the docks by night and, by day, strips suckers of their wallets on the subways.

After accidentally lifting some valuable microfilm capable of compromising national security, the thief is suddenly up to his neck with cops, with a rat’s nest of Commie spies run by Richard Kiley, with a beautiful, tight-skirted, loose-moraled streetwalker played by Howard Hughes missus Jean Peters, and with a scrappy fence little old lady huckster named Mo, played by the great character lady Thelma Ritter in her most atypical role.

If you haven’t seen “Pickup on South Street,“ you don’t know noir at its noirest. Or Thelma and Sam at their roughest and toughest.


Friday, Aug. 15 (Faye Dunaway Day)

3:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m.): “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967, Arthur Penn). With Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons, Michael J. Pollard and Gene Wilder. Reviewed in FNB on Feb. 4, 2013.

10 p.m. (7 p.m.): “Three Days of the Condor” (1975, Sydney Pollack). Robert Redford is a U. S. government reader and analyst whose world suddenly opens under his feet one day, when most of his colleagues are killed and he becomes a wanted man on the run. The quintessential paranoid anti-C.I.A. thriller, this is a modern variant on the prototypical Hitchcockian “wrong man suspenser. Based on the novel “Six Days of the Condor,” it’s been copied endlessly, especially by novelist John Grisham. With Faye Dunaway, Max Von Sydow, Cliff Robertson and John Houseman.

Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway star in "Chinatown."

Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway star in “Chinatown.”

12 a.m. (9 p.m.): “Chinatown” (1974, Roman Polanski). With Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston and Burt Young. Reviewed in FNB on Dec. 11, 2013.

Saturday, Aug. 16 (Herbert Marshall Day)

6: 15 p.m. (3:15 p.m.): “The Underworld Story” (1950, Cy Endfield). Big city reporter Dan Duryea gets exiled to a small-town murder case, in a plot that reminds you of Billy Wilder’s (later) “Ace in the Hole.” With Herbert Marshall and Gale Storm.

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “Foreign Correspondent” (1940, Alfred Hitchcock). With Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, George Sanders and Herbert Marshall. Reviewed in FNB on March 26, 2014.

10:15 p.m. (7:15 p.m.): “Murder!” (1930, Alfred Hitchcock). A guilt-stricken juror (Herbert Marshall) tries to clear a convicted murderer whom his vote condemned. One of Hitch’s best and most inventive early talkies. With Miles Mander.

12 a.m. (9 p.m.): “The Letter” (1940, William Wyler). With Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall and Gale Sondergaard. Reviewed in FNB on Sept. 19, 2012. Followed at 1:45 a.m. (10:45 p.m.), by the 1929 film version of “The Letter,” directed by Jean De Lemur, starring the legendary lady of Maugham’s “Rain,” Jeanne Eagels.

Sunday, Aug. 17 (John Hodiak Day)

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “Lifeboat” (1944, Alfred Hitchcock). With Tallulah Bankhead, John Hodiak, Walter Slezak, William Bendix and Hume Cronyn. Reviewed in FNB on Jan. 16, 2014.

Coolhand Luke poster


Tuesday, Aug. 19 (Paul Newman Day)

1:45 p.m. (10:45 a.m.): “Harper” (1966, Jack Smight). With Paul Newman, Janet Leigh, Lauren Bacall, Julie Harris and Arthur Hell. Reviewed in FNB on June 19, 2014.

5:45 p.m. (2:45 p.m.). “Cool Hand Luke” (1967, Stuart Rosenberg). With Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, Dennis Hopper and Harry Dean Stanton. Reviewed in FNB on March 21, 2014.

Wednesday, Aug. 20 (Thelma Ritter Day)

10 p.m. (7 p.m.). “Pickup on South Street”: See Pick of the Week.

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The Film Noir File: Orson Welles taps Kafka in ‘The Trial’

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). All movies below are from the schedule of TCM, which broadcasts them uncut and uninterrupted. The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard).

Pick of the Week

The Trial posterThe Trial” (1962, Orson Welles). 8 p.m. (5 p.m.). Friday, Aug. 8.

Director-writer-actor Orson Welles presents an extremely faithful film adaptation of novelist Franz Kafka’s darkly comic and ultimately terrifying tale set in the Byzantine legal system of a nameless European country. A jittery, bumptious, unlikable guy (Anthony Perkins as Joseph K, who may be Kafka’s surrogate and dream self) wakes up one morning to find that he has been plunged into a bad dream: two tough cops invading his bedroom and accusing him of crimes they refuse to detail or explain.

He is persecuted by poker-faced nameless agents and subject to totalitarian police tactics as well as the brutal whims of an utterly arbitrary court. Defended by a sybarite lawyer (played by Welles), who rarely gets out of bed, K seems caught in an inescapable trap, facing inevitable punishment. But K keeps arguing with his accusers, protesting his innocence (which is clearly irrelevant) and trying to make sense out of a situation that is defiantly senseless from first moment to last.

“The Trial” translates Kafka’s masterpiece into eloquent words and icy, shadowy images of dread, underscored by a melancholy Baroque dirge, the Adagio in G by Albinoni. The movie is hampered by its low budget, much of which evaporated during shooting, and by its lack of Welles’ usual brilliant sound. But it has great visuals – shot by cinematographer Edmond Richard (“The Red Balloon”) in wide-screen black and white on mostly real Parisian locations.

And the film boasts a great cast: Perkins, Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Akim Tamiroff, Elsa Martinelli, Madeleine Robinson, Katina Paxinou, Gert Frobe and Michael Lonsdale.

“The Trial” is sometimes dismissed as a Welles failure. But it’s actually one of his most underrated movies, one of the most faithful of all adaptations of great 20th century literature, and a classic tale that, as Welles says in the prologue, has “the logic of a nightmare.”

Friday, Aug. 8: Jeanne Moreau Day

Jeanne Moreau

Jeanne Moreau

10:15 p.m. (7:15 p.m.): “Elevator to the Gallows” (“Frantic!”) (1958, Louis Malle). Louis Malle’s mesmerizing thriller about a desperate couple (Moreau, Maurice Ronet), trying to murder her husband and cover their tracks in a nearly empty office building at night. It’s no “Double Indemnity,” but it’s close. With a score by jazz master Miles Davis. (In French, with subtitles.)

Saturday, Aug. 9: William Powell Day

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “The Thin Man” (1934, W. S. Van Dyke). With William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O’Sullivan and Cesar Romero. Reviewed in FNB on July 28, 2012.

9:45 p.m. (6:45 p.m.): “After the Thin Man” (1936, W. S. Van Dyke). With William Powell, Myrna Loy, James Stewart and Joseph Calleia. Reviewed in FNB on June 6, 2013.

Monday, Aug. 11: Marlon Brando Day

Marlon Brando redefined the art of acting.

Marlon Brando redefined the art of acting.

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951, Elia Kazan). Kazan’s peerless staging of Tennessee Williams’ play showcases Marlon Brando’s brilliant, massively influential lead performance as the brutal but charming Stanley Kowalski. Set in steamy New Orleans where Eros and death (“Flores para las muertos!”) dance their tango, this movie has one of the all-time great casts (three of whom, though not Brando, won Oscars).

Vivien Leigh plays Blanche DuBois, Stanley’s fragile, sensual, haunted prey. Kim Hunter is Stanley’s wife and Blanche’s sister, the screamed-over Stella. Karl Malden is Blanche’s kind and respectful suitor, mom-dominated Mitch. This is Kazan’s preferred cut, with the more downbeat ending, which gives full power to Blanche’s wrenchingly poignant last line “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” A masterpiece.

The Wild One poster10:15 p.m. (7:15 p.m.): “The Wild One” (1953, Laslo Benedek). With Brando, Lee Marvin and Mary Murphy. Reviewed in FNB on May 1, 2013.

11:45 p.m. (8:45 p.m.). “On the Waterfront” (1954, Elia Kazan). With Brando, Lee J. Cobb, Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden and Rod Steiger. Reviewed in FNB on June 5, 2014.

Tuesday, Aug. 12: Alexis Smith Day

10:15 a.m. (7:15 a.m.): “Split Second” (1953, Dick Powell). With Stephen McNally, Alexis Smith and Jan Sterling. Reviewed in FNB on March 5, 2013.

2 a.m. (11 p.m.): “Conflict” (1945, Curtis Bernhardt). Marriage and murder, with Humphrey Bogart in one of his villain roles. Lesser Bogey; but still worth a look. With Sydney Greenstreet.

Wednesday, August 13: Cary Grant Day

9:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m.): “His Girl Friday” (1940, Howard Hawks). With Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy and Gene Lockhart. Reviewed in FNB on Jan. 22, 2013.

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The Film Noir File: Jane Fonda is a high-class hooker in distress in neo-noir classic ‘Klute’

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). All movies below are from the schedule of TCM, which broadcasts them uncut and uninterrupted. The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard).

Pick of the Week

Klute posterKlute (1971, Alan Pakula).12:15 a.m. (9:15 p.m.). Friday, Aug. 1. With Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Roy Scheider and Jean Stapleton. Reviewed in FNB on Dec. 26, 2013. Part of Jane Fonda Day and preceded at 11 p.m. (8 p.m.) by the broadcast of “AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Jane Fonda” (2014).

Sunday, August 3

2:15 a.m. (11:15 p.m.) “Advise & Consent” (1962, Otto Preminger). With Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, Don Murray, Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford and Gene Tierney. Reviewed in FNB on Dec. 4, 2013.

Tuesday, August 5: Barbara Stanwyck Day

12:45 p.m. (9:45 a.m.): “Lady of Burlesque” (1943, William Wellman). With Barbara Stanwyck, Michael O’Shea and Pinky Lee. Reviewed in FNB on Dec. 12, 2012.

2:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m.). “The Two Mrs. Carrolls” (1947, Peter Godfrey). With Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck and Alexis Smith. Reviewed in FNB on June 27, 2012.

Ball of Fire poster8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “Ball of Fire” (1941, Howard Hawks). Hawks and ace writing team Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett’s sparkling gangster romantic comedy, with Missy Stanwyck as a red hot jazz mama (in Gene Krupa’s swing band, no less). Dana Andrews as her mobster boyfriend, and Gary Cooper as the shy encyclopedia writer/editor who comes between them. Also around for the riffs: Henry Travers, S. Z. Sakall and Dan Duryea.

Wednesday, August 6: Paul Muni Day

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang” (Mervyn LeRoy, 1932). The scorching fact-based Warners social protest drama, based on Robert E. Burns’ autobiographical depiction of an innocent man (Paul Muni as Burns) wrongly condemned to life on a Georgia chain gang. A powerhouse of a movie that has never lost its punch. With Glenda Farrell, Preston Foster and Allen Jenkins.

9:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m.): “Scarface” (1932, Howard Hawks). With Paul Muni, George Raft, Ann Dvorak and Boris Karloff. Reviewed in FNB on July 17, 2014.

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On the radar: James Garner remembered; Grace Kelly set released; ‘Gun Crazy’ and ‘The Lineup’ on the big screen

RIP James Garner: April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014.

RIP James Garner: April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014.

Who didn’t love hunky James Garner? The plain-talking, straight-shooting Oklahoma boy was best known for his roles as TV’s wry Western gambler Bret Maverick and as private eye Jim Rockford on the 1970s show “The Rockford Files.” Garner died in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 19. He was 86. TCM remembers Garner on July 28 with an all-day marathon, including 1969’s “Marlowe.” Click here to see TCM’s tribute video.

The Grace Kelly Collection box setWarner Bros. has released a divine Grace Kelly box set.  The collection includes six of  Kelly’s most popular films brought together for the first time on DVD: “Mogambo” (1953, John Ford), “Dial M for Murder” (1954, Alfred Hitchcock), “The Country Girl” (1954, George Seaton), for which she won the Best Actress Oscar, “The Bridges at Toko-Ri” (1954, Mark Robson), “To Catch a Thief” (1955, Alfred Hitchcock) and “High Society” (1956, Charles Walters).

Essential viewing for any sultry blonde or princess-type. It’s easy to dismiss Kelly as a pretty, privileged face but she was, in fact, a fine actress and a bold woman, especially in “Dial M” where she fights off her attacker.

Don’t get too excited about the special-feature interview with Pierre Salinger, conducted in 1982, just months before she died. Salinger shows a knack for asking inane questions and, though the still-lovely Kelly makes the best of it, the result is very dull viewing indeed.

The Alex Theatre in Glendale will show a “car-crazy” film noir double feature on Saturday night: “Gun Crazy” (1950, Joseph H. Lewis) and “The Lineup” (1958, Don Siegel). You can read more here.

The Film Noir Foundation’s Alan K. Rode will introduce the films.

 

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The Film Noir File: ‘Scarface’ times two makes for a gangster classic knockout

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). All movies below are from the schedule of TCM, which broadcasts them uncut and uninterrupted. The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard).

Pick of the Week:
The Two “Scarfaces“

Scarface poster 1932

The first “Scarface” came out in 1932: a ferociously violent and bloodily realistic contemporary gangster tale directed by Howard Hawks, produced by Howard Hughes, and co-scripted by Ben Hecht, W. R. Burnett and several others. Set in Chicago and loosely based on the vicious career of the country’s most famous Prohibition era mob czar, Alphonse “Al” Capone of Chicago. It starred Paul Muni as the sexy, ape-like, gun-crazy Capone protagonist, Tony Camonte, George Raft as his poker-faced, coin-flipping sidekick, Ann Dvorak as his seductive (and the object of his obsession), Karen Morley as his cynical blonde girlfriend, and Osgood Perkins (Tony’s dad) and Boris Karloff as two of the crooks he slaughters in his murderous rise to the top.

One of Hawks’ best, and one of the director’s own personal favorites, the 1932 “Scarface” was stark, brutal, tense, darkly comic, knowingly written (by ex-Chicago reporter Hecht), beautifully, stylishly and excitingly made (a visual “X” marked the spot of each of Tony’s killings) and one of the great crime films of its era. That was the time, of course, that included William Wellman‘s “The Public Enemy” with James Cagney and Mervyn LeRoy‘s “Little Caesar,” with Edward G. Robinson. Nevertheless, the Hawks-Hecht-Hughes-Muni “Scarface” — in which Hecht deliberately modeled the main characters on Renaissance Italy’s murderous Borgia family — is the masterpiece of them all.

Scarface poster 1983

The second “Scarface” was released in 1983. Rethinking the story and resetting it to the equally violent Miami drug trade and the a criminal’s odyssey from Cuba in the post-Kennedy era, it starred Al Pacino (at his most magnetic and over-the-top as the now Havana-born Tony, Steven Bauer as his gun-packing buddy, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as his perversely adored sister, Michelle Pfeiffer as his gorgeous blonde main squeeze, and, among other drug trade mobsters, F. Murray Abraham, Harris Yulin and Robert Loggia. A cult film and a big favorite of actual gang guys, it was dedicated to Hawks and Hecht by writer Oliver Stone and Director Brian De Palma. Like the other, older “Scarface,” it both rivets you to you seat and knocks you out if it. Both movies are killers, but I’d give the edge to the first.

Scarface” (1932, Howard Hawks). 12 a.m. (9 p.m.). Thursday, July 17.

Scarface” (1983, Brian De Palma). 11 p.m. (2 a.m.). Thursday, July 17. [Read more...]

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The Film Noir File: Greene, Reed make a great ‘Third Man’

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). All movies below are from the schedule of TCM, which broadcasts them uncut and uninterrupted. The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard).

Pick of the Week:
Two by Graham Greene and Carol Reed

One of the greatest of all British novelists (Graham Greene) and one of England’s finest film directors (Carol Reed) teamed up for a nonpareil collaboration that produced a classic drama about boyhood, infidelity and murder, “The Fallen Idol” and the Viennese-set postwar thriller that many critics feel is the best of all British films, “The Third Man.” You can catch them both today.

Alida Valli and Joseph Cotten star in "The Third Man."

Alida Valli and Joseph Cotten star in “The Third Man.”

The Third Man” (1949, Carol Reed). 2 p.m. (11 a.m.). Sunday, June 29. With Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli and Trevor Howard. Read the full review here.

The Fallen Idol” (1948, Carol Reed). 10 p.m. (7 p.m.), Sunday, June 29. With Ralph Richardson, Michele Morgan, Bobby Henrey and Jack Hawkins. Reviewed in FNB on Sept. 28, 2012.

Monday, June 30

9 a.m. (6 a.m.): “Deadline at Dawn” (1946, Harold Clurman). With Susan Hayward, Paul Lukas and Bill Williams. Reviewed in FNB on June 25, 2013 and Oct. 13, 2012.

8 p.m. (5 p.m.): “The Pawnbroker” (1964, Sidney Lumet). Scorching drama about a Jewish Holocaust survivor (Rod Steiger) who runs a pawn shop in Harlem, and is haunted and bedeviled by memories of the death camps, while also subject to the hell of everyday life in the modern black New York City ghetto. With Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters, Jaime Sanchez, Raymond St. Jacques, and the fantastic Juano Hernandez as the old man who wants to talk. From the novel by Edward Lewis Wallant. Searingly photographed in black and white by Boris Kaufman; with a music score by Quincy Jones.

10 p.m. (7 p.m.): “In the Heat of the Night” (1967, Norman Jewison). With Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant and Scott Wilson. Reviewed in FNB on Jan. 16, 2014.

The Italian Job poster4:15 a.m. (1:15 a.m.): “The Italian Job” (1969, Peter Collinson). Michael Caine, at his most playful, is at the wheel one of the most elaborate – and stylized and stylish – of all the neo-noir heist thrillers. Caine is an ex-con who literally shuts down Turin, Italy to steal a truckload of gold with the aid of computers, a huge gang and three red, white and blue Mini-Coopers. The supporting cast includes Noel Coward (yes, that Noel Coward), Raf Vallone, Benny Hill (yes, that Benny Hill) and Rossano Brazzi. The final heist and chase sequence is a real doozy, one of the most memorably over-the-top of all ’60s action set-pieces. The script is by cult writer Troy Kennedy Martin; the cinematographer is the peerless Douglas Slocombe.

Wednesday, July 2

5:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m.): “The Fallen Sparrow” (1943, Richard Wallace). With John Garfield, Maureen O’Hara and Walter Slezak. Reviewed in FNB on June 27, 2012.

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Film Noir File: Famous Screen Detectives Day and ‘Born to Kill’ showcases tough guy supreme Lawrence Tierney

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). All movies below are from the schedule of TCM, which broadcasts them uncut and uninterrupted. The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard).

Claire Trevor meets her match in Lawrence Tierney. The two star in "Born to Kill."

Claire Trevor meets her match in Lawrence Tierney. The two star in “Born to Kill.”


Pick of the Week:

Born to Kill” (1947, Robert Wise). 11 p.m. (8 p.m.). Wed., June 25.

Most men are turnips.

So says soigné and sassy femme fatale Helen Brent (Claire Trevor) in RKO’s “Born to Kill” from 1947, directed by Robert Wise.

Most men, perhaps, but not the homme fatale she falls for. No, strapping tough-guy Sam Wild (Lawrence Tierney) isn’t a turnip. What’s the word I’m looking for? Parsnip? Potato? I know: Psycho! And in Helen he finds his ideal match.

Read the full review in FNB, posted Nov. 7, 2012. Link coming asap!

Friday, June 20

Famous Screen Detectives Day: A day with some legendary hard-boiled (or not) film and literary sleuths, including Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade and Nick and Nora Charles and Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe.

6 a.m. (3 a.m.): “The Thin Man” (1934, W. S. (“One Shot Woody”) Van Dyke). With William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O’Sullivan, Porter Hall and Asta. Reviewed in FNB July 28, 2012.

7:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m.): “The Maltese Falcon” (1941, John Huston). With Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Ward Bond and Elisha Cook, Jr. Reviewed in FNB on March 11, 2014.

9:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m.): “The Big Sleep” (1946, Howard Hawks, 1946). With Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Dorothy Malone and Elisha Cook, Jr.). Reviewed in FNB on May 15, 2014.

11:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m.): “Laura” (1944, Otto Preminger). With Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price and Judith Anderson. Reviewed in FNB on April 18, 2014.

1 p.m. (10 a.m.): “Murder, My Sweet” (1944, Edward Dmytryk). With Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley and Mike Mazurki. Reviewed in FNB on Feb. 15, 2012,

2:45 p.m. (11:45 a.m.): “Harper” (1966, Jack Smight). With Paul Newman, Janet Leigh, Lauren Bacall, Julie Harris, Shelley Winters, Robert Wagner and Arthur Hill. Reviewed in FNB on Dec. 4, 2012.

Saturday, June 21

1:45 p.m. (10:45 a.m.): “Ocean’s Eleven” (1960, Lewis Milestone). With Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Angie Dickinson. Reviewed in FNB on May 1, 2013.

4 p.m. (1 p.m.): “Bullitt” (1968, Peter Yates). With Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Duvall and Robert Vaughn. Reviewed in FNB on Oct. 27, 2012.

6 p.m. (3 p.m.): “Key Largo” (1948, John Huston). With Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson, Lionel Barrymore and Claire Trevor. Reviewed in FNB on Aug. 10, 2012.

12 a.m. (9 p.m.): “Blowup” (1966, Michelangelo Antonioni). A high-living London star photographer in the Swinging ’60s (David Hemmings) photographs a halcyon scene in a beautiful park and then discovers that he may have accidentally recorded a murder happening before his (and our) eyes. One of the great international art films of the ’60s, and a great neo-noir. The scene where Hemmings deconstructs and reassembles the murder scene in his dark room and lab is a masterpiece of editing and suspense. With Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, Jane Birkin and The Yardbirds. Based on a short story by Julio Cortazar. Music by jazzman Herbie Hancock.

Sunday, June 22

2 p.m. (11 a.m.): “The Wrong Man” (1956, Alfred Hitchcock). With Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle and Harold J. Stone. Reviewed in FNB on Nov. 17, 2012.

Monday, June 23

The Seventh Victim poster
10:45 a.m. (7:45 a.m.): “The Seventh Victim” (1943, Mark Robson). A persistent young woman (Kim Hunter) searches for her missing sister in a New York City that may literally have gone to the Devil. One of the best of the classic Val Lewton RKO low-budget horror movies. With Tom Conway and Jean Brooks.

Tuesday, June 24

1:15 a.m. (10:15 p.m.): “No Orchids for Miss Blandish” (1948, St. John Legh Clowes). With Jack La Rue and Linden Travers. Reviewed in FNB on Oct. 6, 2012.

Wednesday, June 25

Lawrence Tierney Night

One of the toughest of the film noir tough guys – as hard-boiled and rough-edged off-screen as he was on-screen – was that inimitable hard-ass hooligan Lawrence Tierney. Tierney, who had a glare that could stop a truck and a hand made for an uppercut or a gat, mostly operated in Poverty Row shows and B-movies, occasionally slipping into a glossier A-film like Duke Wayne’s “Back to Bataan,” in a supporting role.

Born to Kill poster
Tierney’s masterpiece, and a movie in which he genuinely puts your nerves in the shredder and your blood on ice is this column’s Pick of the Week, “Born to Kill” (see above) in which he plays a killer’s killer. If you think you may have seen him, but you haven’t caught any of the movies listed below, you may be recalling his inspired turn as the tough old guy running the show in Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.”

(By the way, he was not related to Gene Tierney.)

Lawrence Tierney Night starts at 8 p.m. EST (5 p.m. PST ) with his most famous role in “Dillinger” (1945, Max Nosseck), and continues (all times EST) with “Badman’s Territory” (9:15 p.m.), “Born to Kill” (11 p.m.), “The Hoodlum” (12:45 a.m.), “Step By Step” (2 a.m.), “Back to Bataan” (3:15 a.m.) and the 1946 version of “San Quentin” (5 a.m.).

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The Film Noir File: Ida Lupino Day, Dassin’s prison noir

By Film Noir Blonde and Mike Wilmington

The Noir File is FNB’s guide to classic film noir, neo-noir and pre-noir from the schedule of Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The times are Eastern Standard and (Pacific Standard).

Ida Lupino was one of the few female moviemakers of the studio-era heyday.

Actress and director Ida Lupino was one of the few female moviemakers of the studio-era heyday.

No one could play a moll or a tough dame on screen like Ida Lupino – even though in life, she was a sophisticated British émigré from a notable theatrical family. (Her father was the famous stage and screen star Lupino Lane.)

She could look just right with a cigarette in her mouth and a highball in her hand, and she could trade quips with the best and toughest of them, including Humphrey Bogart, Robert Ryan, John Garfield, and her wry one-time husband Howard Duff.

She’s also a landmark lady in film history as one of the few female moviemakers of the studio-era heyday. In the early ’50s, Ida co-produced and directed a string of taut B noirs (“Outrage,” “The Bigamist,” “The Hitch-Hiker” and others) that were models of nervy, economical and socially probing American movie making.

Lupino tackled tough, ambitious subjects (rape, bigamy, crime) and handled them with lean expertise. Later in her career, she directed on television, where she was a mainstay helmer on the offbeat Western series “Have Gun, Will Travel” with Richard Boone.

We’ll always remember her, though, as a reigning queen of film noir.

Movies to be shown today (June 12) are: “They Drive By Night,” “High Sierra,” “The Hard Way,” “Outrage” “Beware, My Lovely,” “On Dangerous Ground” and “The Hitch-Hiker.”

The divine Burt Lancaster in "Brute Force."

The divine Burt Lancaster in “Brute Force.”

Friday, June 13

2 p.m. (11 a.m.): “The Woman on Pier 13” (1949, Robert Stevenson). With Robert Ryan, Laraine Day, John Agar and Thomas Gomez. Reviewed in FNB on April 9, 2013.

3:15 p.m. (12:15 p.m.): “Dementia 13” (1963, Francis Coppola). Stylish but tawdry little Roger Corman-produced cheapie about a murder rampage in an isolated mansion. With William Campbell (JFK mistress Judy Exner’s ex-hubby), Luana Anders and Patrick Magee.

Sunday, June 15

2 a.m. (11 p.m.): “Purple Noon” (1960, Rene Clement). With Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet and Marie Floret. (In French, with subtitles.) Reviewed in FNB on Feb. 5, 2013.

Brute Force movie poster colorTuesday, June 17

12:15 a.m. (9:15 p.m.): “Witness for the Prosecution” (1957, Billy Wilder). With Charles Laughton, Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power and Elsa Lanchester. Reviewed in FNB on Aug. 9, 2012.

Wednesday, June 18

6:45 a.m. (3:45 a.m.): “Brute Force” (1947, Jules Dassin). With Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Yvonne De Carlo, Charles Bickford and Jeff Corey. Reviewed in FNB on Aug. 15, 2013.

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