Film Noir and Neo Noir on TCM: May 2016

*All times are PST. Please check the Turner Classics Movie website to confirm dates and times or additional programming information.

Sunday, May 1, 5:00 PM

GILDA (1946): After he's saved from a gunman by Ballin Mundson (George Macready), small-time gambler Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) becomes the South American casino owner's most trusted lieutenant and… um… friend—homoerotic noir at its best. The relationship is soon further complicated when Mundson's bride-to-be, Gilda (Rita Hayworth), turns out to be Johnny's old flame, provoking plenty of jealousy and anger in all three of them. If that rather complicated love triangle weren't enough, there's Hayworth's incredibly steamy rendition of "Put the Blame on Mame" Whoof! Dir. Charles Vidor

Wednesday, May 4, 11:00 AM

WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967): A commercial artist unknowingly brings a stash of heroin into his home. A trio of bad guys (Richard Crenna, Jack Weston and Alan Arkin) trace the dope to him. They trick him into leaving the house, but, unfortunately, his blind wife (Audrey Hepburn) is there alone. They proceed to first try to trick and then to terrorize her while she tries to figure out how to turn the tables on her unknown assailants. Hepburn earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her remarkable performance. Adapted from the Broadway hit written by Fredrick Knott and directed by Arthur Penn. Dir. Terence Young

Wednesday, May 4, 7:00 PM

THE KILLERS (1946): Expanded from the Hemmingway short story, two professional killers come to a small town looking for The Swede (Burt Lancaster). An insurance investigator (Edmond O'Brien) unravels the tangled skein of events that led up to the hit. Ava Gardner plays Kitty, the woman who led the Swede to his doom. Dir. Robert Siodmak

Wednesday, May 4, 11:00 PM

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940): An American reporter (Joel McCrea) covering the war in Europe gets mixed up in the assassination of a Dutch diplomat which leads to his uncovering a political conspiracy with the aid of the daughter (Laraine Day) of a prominent politician (Herbert Marshall) and a chap named ffolliott "with two small 'f's" (George Sanders), his rival for the girl's affection. This tremendously entertaining film features several vintage Hitchcock set pieces. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Friday, May 6, 8:00 AM—Sat., May 7, 4:00 AM

TCM Salutes Robert Ryan

Call in sick and unplug the phone!

8:00 AM

THE WOMAN ON THE BEACH (1947): A shell shocked coastguardsman (Robert Ryan) falls for a married woman (Joan Bennett) trapped in a loveless marriage to a renowned artist that she accidently blinded during a drunken fight. He begins to suspect that her husband (Charles Bickford) may actually be able to see. Dir. Jean Renoir

9:15 AM

THE WOMAN ON PIER 13 (1950): Communists blackmail a shipping executive (Robert Ryan), previously a communist agitator, into sabotaging labor talks involving the union and shipping management. Dir. Robert Stevenson

10:30 AM

CLASH BY NIGHT (1952): A In this film noir social realism hybrid, an embittered and world weary woman (Barbara Stanwyck) seeks escape from her life of hard knocks in marriage, only to fall for her husband's amoral best friend (Robert Ryan). The film features a small but nice early role for Marilyn Monroe. Based on a play by the ever ponderous Clifford Odets. Dir. Fritz Lang

12:15 PM

THE RACKET (1951): A tough cop, Captain Thomas McQuigg (Robert Mitchum), has to fight both his superiors and a corrupt system in order to battle the mob. His mobster nemesis Nick Scanlon (Robert Ryan) is also battling his own superiors, as well as McQuigg. They object to his old style violent tactics. McQuigg usess Nick's brother Joe Scanlon (Brett King) and his lover and singer Irene Hayes (Lizabeth Scott) as a cat's paw to get to Nick. Dir. John Cromwell

1:45 PM

BERLIN EXPRESS (1948): A multinational group of travelers find themselves thrown together to thwart the assassination of a prominent pacifist scientist by defiant Nazis bent on destabilizing post-war Germany. This improbable but intelligent thriller is a true rarity: a shot-on-location look at the resistance Allied powers faced reorganizing the vanquished German citizenry in the aftermath of WWII. Robert Ryan (the laconic American) and Merle Oberon (trying a sketchy French accent) head a cast comprising representatives of each Allied Zone: Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States. Although spiced with shadowy noir dramatics (lensed by Oberon's husband, Lucien Ballard), the film's most fascinating aspect is its time capsule view of global geopolitics in the rapidly closing window between the Marshall Plan and the building of the Berlin Wall. Dir. Jacques Tourneur

3:15 PM

BORN TO BE BAD (1950): An ambitious girl (Joan Fontaine) steals her cousin's (Joan Leslie) husband (Zachary Scott), but keeps her lover (Robert Ryan) on the side. No need to tell you that this won't end nicely. A wonderfully arch sense of humor makes this more akin to a black comedy than melodrama. Dir. Nicholas Ray

5:00 PM

BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (1955): A one-armed veteran (Spencer Tracy) uncovers small-town secrets when he tries to visit an Asian-American war hero's family. Noir icon Robert Ryan shines as the bigoted boss of the town. This film earned 3 Oscar nominations: Spencer Tracy for Best Actor in a Leading Role; John Sturges for Best Director; and Best Writing, Screenplay for Millard Kaufman. Dir. John Sturges

6:30 PM

CROSSFIRE (1947): In this seminal noir, an upright district attorney (Robert Young) investigates a seemingly motiveless murder. As he digs further the prime suspect (George Cooper) seems less and less likely to have done it and an ugly motivation begins to appear. Robert Mitchum and Robert Ryan play a couple of GIs caught up in the case, one trying to clear the suspect and the other trying to frame him. Gloria Grahame earned a best supporting actress nomination for her role as an embittered taxi dancer. Dir. Edward Dmytryk

8:15 PM

ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1959): Desperation forces a racist ex-con, the always great and always scary Robert Ryan, and a black gambler (Harry Belafonte) to plan a bank robbery together. Loads of tension ensues. Gloria Grahame and Shelly Winters co-star. Dir. Robert Wise

10:00 PM

ON DANGEROUS GROUND (1952): Robert Ryan gives an emotionally charged performance as a city cop on the verge of a breakdown. After nearly killing a suspect, he's sent out to the country to find the murderer of a young woman. There he encounters the blind sister (Ida Lupino) of the main suspect. Can he overcome his personal demons and connect with her? Added bonus: John Ford Players Ward Bond and Olive Cary portray the murdered girl's parents. Dir. Nicholas Ray

11:30 PM

BEWARE, MY LOVELY (1952): The incredible Ida Lupino plays a lonely war widow who employs a penniless drifter (Robert Ryan) as a household handyman, only to learn - too late - precisely why he has no references on his résumé. Lupino and Ryan, a pair of noir heavyweights, battle through a "day without end" (the film's original title) to an unexpected climax. Mel Dinelli's suspenseful script is adapted from his hit stage play "The Man." Dir. Harry Horner

1:00 AM

THE SET-UP (1949): An aging boxer, Robert Ryan, defies the gangsters who've ordered him to throw his last fight, believing that he can still be a champ. Audrey Totter plays his devoted wife who begs him to retire from boxing before he's destroyed. Dir. Robert Wise

2:15 AM

ACT OF VIOLENCE (1949): An embittered veteran (Robert Ryan) tracks down Frank R. Enley, a POW camp informer (Van Heflin) now a respected member of his community. Mary Astor steals the film as the boozy bar fly and prostitute trying to help Enley. Dir. Fred Zinnemann

Saturday, May 7, 6:15 AM

THE NOTORIOUS LONE WOLF (1946): Ex-jewel thief Michael Lanyard (Gerald Mohr), aka The Lone Wolf, hunts for the real thief of a stolen sapphire to clear his name. Lanyard's old sweetheart (noir siren Janis Carter) and his faithful valet Jameson (Eric Blore) give him a hand. Dir. Ross Lederman

Saturday, May 07, 9:15 PM

ANOTHER MAN'S POISON (1952): In this Brit noir, a mystery writer's (Bette Davis) real life turns to intrigue when her criminal husband escapes from prison and his recently betrayed partner in crime (Gary Merrill) shows up on her doorstep looking for him. Things are further complicated when she turns to her lover (Larry Stevens), who is also her secretary's fiancé, for help. Only Bette! Dir. Irving Rapper

Sunday, May 8, 7:00 AM

BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING (1965): In this 1960's post noir, based on the novel by Evelyn Piper, a distraught mother (Carol Lynley) searches for her daughter, while the police, led by a seasoned detective (Laurence Olivier), question the girl's very existence. Is she just a figment of the woman's imagination? Noël Coward and Kier Dullea play Ann's lecherous landlord and brother respectively. Dir. Otto Preminger

Sunday, May 8, 1:00 PM

MILDRED PIERCE (1945): Joan Crawford won an Oscar for her performance as a woman who builds herself up from grass widow to successful restaurateur in a desperate effort to win the love of the most ungrateful brat in the history of cinema, her daughter Veda, brilliantly played by Ann Blyth. A marriage of convenience, adultery and murder ensue. At least Mildred has the greatest best friend ever, a wisecracking Eve Arden. Based on the James M. Cain story. Dir. Michael Curtiz

Tuesday, May 10, 7:15 PM—11:00 PM

75th Anniversary Noir Double Bill

7:15 PM

THE MALTESE FALCON (1941): How do I love this movie, let me count the ways… Arguably the first, and greatest, film noir, hard-boiled detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) gets caught up in the deadly search for a priceless statue. Along the way he tangles with a murderous liar (Mary Astor), an effete thug (Peter Lorre) and a fat mastermind (Sydney Greenstreet). Director John Huston brilliantly adapted it from the Dashiell Hammett novel. Dir. John Huston

9:15 PM

SUSPICION (1941): A handsome gambler Johnny Aysgarth (Cary Grant) pursues the shy and wealthy Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine). He courts and marries her. After the honeymoon she discovers unsettling things about his character. She becomes increasingly suspicious of him when Johnny's friend and business partner, Beaky (Nigel Bruce) dies mysteriously. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Thursday, May 12, 1:15 AM

BORDERLINE (1950): In this lighthearted thriller, two undercover agents (Claire Trevor and Fred MacMurrary) whom each believe the other to be part of a narcotic ring, try to find a way to bust the gang while fighting their growing feelings for each other. Raymond Burr brings both humor and menace to his "heavy" role. Dir. William A. Seiter

Saturday, May 14, 6:15 AM

THE LONE WOLF IN LONDON (1947): When the priceless diamonds known as the Eyes of the Nile are stolen in London, Inspector Garvey of Scotland Yard accuses reformed jewel thief, Michael Lanyard (Gerald Mohr) aka "The Lone Wolf." With the help of his stalwart valet Jameson (Eric Blore) he sets out to find the real thief. Evelyn Ankers plays the woman in the case. Dir. Leslie Goodwins

Sunday, May 15, 5:00 PM

WHITE HEAT (1949): "Top of the world, Ma!" a G-man (Edmond O'Brien) infiltrates a gang run by a mother-fixated psychotic, James Cagney in a stand out performance. This film marks the cinematic movement away from the traditional Warner Brothers' portrayal of the gangster to the more cynical and psychological film noir interpretation. Pointless trivia: Naked Gun 33 1/3 borrowed the plot. Dir. Raoul Walsh

Monday, May 16, 3:15 PM

THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1948): An Irish sailor (Orson Welles) gets caught between a corrupt tycoon (Everett Sloane) and his voluptuous wife (Welles' real-life wife Rita Hayworth) and their plans to eliminate one another in this wonderfully convoluted noir. Pointless trivia: Columbia chief Harry Cohn sent future horror icon William Castle along on location to keep Welles in line, on time and under budget, to no avail. Dir. Orson Welles

Tuesday, May 17, 7:15 PM

THE FALLEN SPARROW (1943): A Spanish Civil War veteran (John Garfield) journeys to New York to investigate the death of his policeman friend. He suspects the suicide is in fact a murder. Nazis, as well as a beautiful woman (Maureen O'Hara), complicate his search for the truth. Based on the novel by pulp great Dorothy B. Hughes who also wrote the novels In a Lonely Place (1947) and Ride the Pink Horse (1946). Dir. Richard Wallace

Wednesday, May 18, 5:30 AM

A WOMAN'S FACE (1941): The soon to be queen of the noirs, Joan Crawford, starred in this suspenseful drama as a facially scarred blackmailer who's given a new outlook on life after plastic surgery. Can she adjust to a normal life and stop her ex-accomplice's nefarious plan to murder his nephew? Dir. George Cukor

Wednesday, May 18, 9:00 AM

DARK PASSAGE (1947): Adapted from a story by David Goodis, this noir follows convicted wife murderer Vincent Parry's (Humphrey Bogart) escape from jail and subsequent hunt for the real killer of his wife. Sympathetic stranger Irene (Lauren Bacall) encounters him during his jail break and aids him. Agnes Moorehead steals the show as Irene's shrewish friend who knew Vincent and his wife prior to the murder. Dir. Delmer Daves

Wednesday, May 18, 1:00 PM

HIS KIND OF WOMAN (1951): In this self-parodying noir, Robert Mitchum plays a drifter who accepts an offer for a job in Mexico that proves to be too good to be true. A beautiful singer posing as an heiress (Jane Russell) and the target of her con, a hammy Hollywood actor (Vincent Price), complicate matters for him. Dir. John Farrow

Saturday, May 21, 6:15 AM

THE LONE WOLF AND HIS LADY (1949): After an accidental meeting, girl reporter Grace Duffy (June Vincent) peruses an interview with Michael Lanyard (Ron Randell), formerly the notorious jewel thief known as The Lone Wolf. She soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure involving a jewel theft. Dir. John Hoffman

Saturday, May 21, 5:00 PM—11:30 PM

Insurance Noir Quadruple Feature

5:00 PM

DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944): Barbara Stanwyck—in a platinum blonde wig—plays Phyllis Dietrichson—the consummate femme fatale who lures insurance salesman and all around chump Walter Neff (Fred McMurray) into a plot involving murder and insurance fraud. His friend, and insurance adjuster, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) smells a rat. Nominated for seven Oscars: Best Actress in a Leading Role; Best Cinematography, Black-and-White; Best Director; Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture; Best Picture; Best Sound, Recording; and Best Writing, Screenplay. Dir. Billy Wilder

7:00 PM

COVER-UP (1949): Insurance investigator Sam Donovan (Dennis O'Keefe) smells a rat when he looks into a small-town suicide at the request of a beautiful stranger (Barbara Britton). He soon believes it is murder, but the locals including the sheriff (William Bendix), are inexplicably reluctant to believe him or aid him with his investigation. Dir. Alfred E. Green

8:30 PM

PITFALL (1948): This independently produced gem is one of the most realistic explorations of adultery produced in 1940s. Bored suburbanite insurance salesman (Dick Powell) drifts into a dalliance with an anti-femme fatale, hard-luck model Mona (Lizabeth Scott), only to find his life and family threatened by an obsessive private eye (Raymond Burr) and a jealous ex-con. Director de Toth had the gifted Bill Bowers rewrite the script. The result is truly believable noir—a wrenching tale of repressed lust and suburban ennui. Dir Andre de Toth

10:00 PM

TIMETABLE (1956): Insurance investigator Charlie Norman (Mark Stevens) and his railroad detective chum Joe Armstrong (King Calder) investigate an inventive train robbery. Dir. Mark Stevens

Sunday, May 22, 7:00 AM

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951): Childlike but charming psychopath Bruno (Robert Walker) suggests that he and Guy (Farley Granger), a tennis player with political ambitions, crisscross murders. Unfortunately, Guy realizes too late that Bruno wasn't joking. Guy's unwanted wife shows up murdered and he has no alibi. Screenplay by Raymond Chandler and Czenzi Ormonde. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Wednesday, May 25, 4:45AM—8:15AM

Film Noir Double Bill

4:45 AM

NORA PRENTIS (1947): In this noir tale, a decorous doctor becomes obsessed with a beautiful nightclub singer, (Ann Sheridan). Interestingly, uber straight man Kent Smith, best known as Irina's husband in Val Lewton's Cat People (1942) (Dir. Jacques Tourner) gets the chance to play a man who will stop at nothing to possess the object of his desire. Dir. Vincent Sherman

6:45 AM

A WOMAN'S SECRET (1949): In this woman's picture mixed with humor and some noir elements Gloria Grahame plays the ditzy but sly singer Esterllita who is shot at the opening of the film, presumably by her agent and mentor Marian (Maureen O'Hara). The police arrest Marian. But did she do it? The film employs a series of flashbacks to portray the events leading up to the crime prior to the resolution of the mystery. Director Ray and Grahame would later marry and work together on the seminal film noir, In a Lonely Place (1950). Dir. Nicholas Ray

Wednesday, May 25, 8:30PM

ILLEGAL (1955): D.A. Victor Scott (Edward G. Robinson) resigns in shame after he successfully prosecutes an innocent man for a capital crime. He successfully embarks in private practice but gets mixed up with a mob boss Frank Garland (Albert Dekker). Meanwhile, his assistant Ellen (Nina Foch) tries to make him jealous by announcing she's marrying another man. Jayne Mansfield got her first substantial role here as a gangster's moll. Trivia: In the scene where Frank Garland shows off his art to Victor, the production employed actor Robinson's personal collection. Dir. Lewis Allen

Thursday, May 26, 12:15 AM

PETE KELLY'S BLUES (1955): Ex-doughboy turned jazz musician Pet Kelly (Jack Webb) leads a quartet playing at a Kansas City speakeasy during the Roaring 20s. The quartet gets crossed up with a gangster (Edmond O'Brien) and his alcoholic girlfriend (Peggy Lee). Cynical Kelly finds that he has to take a stand. Ella Fitzgerald makes a memorable cameo as singer Maggie Jacks. Look for Jayne Mansfield as a cigarette girl. Dir. Jack Webb

Wednesday, June 1, 12:45 AM

LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME (1955): Engrossing musical bio (from an Oscar-winning story by Daniel Fuchs) of Jazz age singer Ruth Etting (Doris Day), whose life and career were dominated by gangster Marty 'The Gimp' Snyder, (James Cagney). Ruth's musical advisor Johnny Alderman (Cameron Mitchell) attempts repeatedly to persuade Ruth to leave her abusive relationship. Dir. Charles Vidor.

The luminous Rita Hayward at her unforgettable best in Gilda on May 1;

A blind Audrey Hepburn faces unwanted guests in Wait until Dark on May 4;

Siodmak's noir classic, The Killers, starring Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner on May 4;

Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent airs May 4;

TCM's Robert Ryan kicks off with The Woman on the Beach on May 6;

Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan in Nicholas Ray's On Dangerous Ground on May 6;

The Notorious Lone Wolf and a chance to watch noir siren Janis Carter at play on May 7;

Bette Davis in a Brit noir, Another Man's Poison on May 7;

Otto Preminger's Bunny Lake Is Missing on May 8;

Oscar-winning Joan Crawford on the set of Mildred Pierce on May 8;

Hitchcock at work with Cary Grant and the late Joan Fontaine in Suspicion on May 10;

Claire Trevor, Fred MacMurray and Raymond Burr join forces in Borderline on May 12;

White Heat with one of Cagney's over the top performances in one spectacular noir classic screening May 15;

Stunning shots of late 40's San Francisco abound in The Lady from Shanghai, starring a blonde Rita Hayward on May 16;

John Garfield and Maureen O'Hara in The Fallen Sparrow on May 17;

A scarred Joan Crawford shuns the light in A Woman's Face on May 18; 

On the set with Agnes Moorehead in Dark Passagescreening May 18;

Jane Russell and Robert Mitchum in His Kind of Woman on May 21.

Robert Walker v. Farley Granger in Hitchcock's spectacular Strangers on a Train on May 22;

Nora Prentis starring Ann Sheridan and Kent Smith screening May 25;

Jayne Mansfield and Edward G. Robinson in Illegal on May 25;

Ella Fitzgerald on the set of Pete Kelley's Blues on May 30.

Doris Day and James Cagney Love Me or Leave Me airing June 1.

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