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Film Noir and Neo Noir on TV: May 2015

FNF'S Czar To Host TCM's "Summer of Darkness"

FNF president Eddie Muller will be hosting the TCM's "Summer of Darkness" this June and July. During those months TCM will dedicate 24 hours each Friday to a lineup comprised exclusively of film noir. Muller will present four movies each night during prime-time, 36 films in all, as host of TCM's "Friday Night Spotlight." In addition to serving as on-air host, the "Czar of Noir" also chose the films he'll be presenting.

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

Turner Classic Movie Channel

Sunday, May 3, 5:00 AM

THE HARDER THEY FALL (1956): A cynical press agent (Humphrey Bogart) tempted by the money, goes to work as a PR flak for the corrupt manager of a naïve boxer. He then must decide between the dough and exposing the inhuman conditions rife in the boxing game. DP Burnett Guffey earned an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White for his work on the film. Dir. Mark Robson

Sunday, May 3, 9:00 AM

KISS ME DEADLY (1955): In this terrific apocalyptic film noir, a vain and corrupt Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) tries to solve the murder of a beautiful hitchhiker (Cloris Leachman) whom he had picked up one night after she escaped from a mental institution. Mobsters, a corrupt psychiatrist, women and a mysterious package complicate things for him. Dir. Robert Aldrich

Sunday, May 3, 7:00 PM

THE BLUE DAHLIA (1946): A newly returned veteran (Alan Ladd) fights to prove he didn't kill his cheating wife (Doris Dowling). His shell-shocked war buddy (William Bendix) and a new love interest (Veronica Lake) try to help him find the real culprit. Dir. George Marshall

Monday, May 4, 5:00 PM—12:45 AM

Death Row Marathon

5:00 PM

I WANT TO LIVE (1958): Susan Hayward deservedly won the Best Actress Oscar for her bravura performance as Barbara Grahame, a former prostitute and drug addict, executed for murder. Hayward perfectly captures a possibly innocent woman convicted more for her lifestyle than evidence. Dir. Robert Wise

7:15 PM

THE HOODLUM PRIEST (1961): Father Rev. Charles Dismas Clark, S. J. (Don Murray) devotes his energies to helping at risk youth in St. Louis. His efforts to aid Billy Lee (Keir Dullea) in his struggle to straighten out his life fail with tragic results. An elegant and emotionally charged statement against the death penalty. Dir. Irvin Kershner

9:15 PM

BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (1956): At the behest of his future father-in law, newspaper editor Austin Spenser, Tom Garret (Dana Andrews)—a novelist and opponent of capital punishment—frames himself for the murder of a stripper to prove the fallibility of circumstantial evidence. The pair callously decides against taking Garret's fiancée (Joan Fontaine) into their confidence. Dir. Fritz Lang

10:45 PM

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

Monday, May 6, 5:00 PM—2:50 AM

Star of the Month:
Sterling Hayden

Here are the noirs.

5:00 PM

THE KILLILNG (1956): The best laid plans… Ex-con Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) masterminds a racetrack heist. Instead of securing the two million dollar take, his gang's emotional entanglements bring disaster. In a quintessential piece of noir casting, Marie Windsor plays the treacherous wife of Elisha Cook, Jr. Dir. Stanley Kubrick

6:45 PM

THE ASPHALT JUNGLE  (1950): A hoodlum and ex-con (Sterling Hayden) hopes for one last big score that will enable him to go home to his farm in Kentucky. He falls in with a gang of small time crooks plotting an elaborate jewel heist. Of course, you can never go home again. A young Marilyn Monroe plays a small but juicy part. Dir. John Huston

8:45 PM

CRIME WAVE (1954): Steve Lacey (Gene Nelson), a reformed parolee, is forced to hide a wounded former cellmate who seeks him out for temporary shelter after being shot during robbery. After the cops find out Lacey sheltered a robbery suspect, Detective Sgt. Sims (Sterling Hayden) tries to force Lacey to find the robbers. All Lacey wants to do is protect his wife (Phyllis Kirk) and his new life. Dir. André De Toth

10:15 PM

SUDDENLY (1954): A gun hating war widow (Nancy Gates) finds her family and herself at the mercy or a ruthless hit man (Frank Sinatra). It seems that her house would be the perfect spot for his current job, assassinating the U. S. president who will be passing through her small town. Can the town's sheriff, and her ex-boyfriend, (Sterling Hayden) save them? Dir. Lewis Allen

11:45 PM

CRIME OF PASSION (1957): A journalist (Barbara Stanwyck) gives up her career to marry a cop (Sterling Hayden) and be a housewife in the burbs. Things go badly when she barters sex for her husband's success with his sleazy boss (Raymond Burr). So worth watching when she lambasts the other oh so good 50's suburban wives at a hen party. Dir. Gerd Oswald

Friday, May 8, 8:30 AM

PURPLE NOON (1960): This lush adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's renowned crime novel The Talented Mr. Ripley stars a young and extremely handsome Alain Delon as the titular character. Dir. René Clément

Friday, May 8, 5:00 PM—12:15 AM

Noir Spotlight on Orson Welles

5:00 PM

TOUCH OF EVIL(1955): In this terrific apocalyptic film noir, a vain and corrupt Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) tries to solve the murder of a beautiful hitchhiker (Cloris Leachman) whom he had picked up one night on lonely road after she escaped from a mental institution. Mobsters, a corrupt psychiatrist, women and a mysterious package complicate things for him. Dir. Robert Aldrich

7:00 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

8:45 PM

MR. ARKADIN (1955): Mr. Arkadin (Orson Welles), one of the richest men in Europe, hires Guy Van Stratten (Robert Arden), an amoral young man, to help him uncover clues about his past. He claims that he suffers from amnesia and that he has no idea how he came by his wealth. Guy races against an unknown murderer bent on killing anyone who can reveal information about Arkadin. Things get even more complicated when he falls for Arkadin's daughter. Dir. Orson Welles

10:45 PM

JOURNEY INTO FEAR (1942): This playful film features Joseph Cotten, who adapted the novel for the screen, as a munitions expert who gets tangled up in an espionage plot in Turkey. Watch for Orson Welles as an amorous army officer. Karl Struss served as director of photography. Dir. Norman Foster & Orson Welles (uncred.)

Sunday, May 10, 7:15 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. Based on the James M. Cain story. Dir. Michael Curtiz

Friday, May 15, 3:00 AM

THE RECKLESS MOMENT (1949): Lucia Harper (Joan Bennett) tries to protect her daughter Bea from the police after Bea accidently kills her gold-digger boyfriend by disposing of the body. Things go from bad to worse when a sexy charmer (James Mason) decides to blackmail Lucia. Dir. Max Ophuls

Friday, May 15, 9:30 AM

NORTH BY NORTHWEST ((1959): Foreign agents mistake suave and swinging advertising man Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) for a spy. He takes it on the lam and encounters a beautiful blonde (Eva Marie Saint) who may or may not be trusted. This film earned 3 Oscar nominations: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color; Best Writing; Best Film Editing; and Story and Screenplay -Written Directly for the Screen. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Tuesday, May 19, 11:00 AM

THE BLUE GARDENIA (1953): Based on a story by Vera Caspary, author of Laura, a telephone operator (Anne Baxter) believes that she has killed a creepy pick-up (Raymond Burr) in self-defense, but can't remember the details of the encounter. She is suitable terrified that the police will connect her to the crime. Her path soon crosses with that of an intrepid, and attractive) reporter (Richard Conte) determined to crack the case. Nat King Cole has a cameo as himself and who sings the movie's theme song. Dir. Fritz Lang

Friday, May 22, 5:00 PM

THE STRANGER (1946): A small-town schoolteacher (Loretta Young) encounters a determined investigator (Edward G. Robinson) who suspects her new husband (Orson Welles) may be an escaped Nazi war criminal. Can he convince her before it's too late? Dir. Orson Welles

Sunday, May 24, 5:00 AM

ACROSS THE PACIFIC (1942) : The cast and director of The Maltese Falcon reunited to make this breezy espionage thriller about an American agent, Humphrey Bogart, who tries to keep Axis spies from blowing up the Panama Canal. The all-time greatest Chinese-American character actor, Keye Luke, has the distinction of wearing the most hideously garish suit in the history of Hollywood cinema. Co-stars Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet add to the fun. Dir. John Huston.

Wednesday, May 27, 8:45 PM

THE LONG GOODBYE (1973): This surprisingly effective adaption of Raymond Chandler's novel successfully transports Phillip Marlow to the 1970s. Marlow, played wonderfully by Elliot Gould, of all people, helps his old friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) flee to Mexico when his wealthy wife is murdered. Marlow investigates the murder and becomes embroiled with an alcoholic writer (Sterling Hayder) and his wife (Nina van Pallandt). Dir. Robert Altman

Friday, May 29, 5:00 PM

THE THIRD MAN (1949): This fantastic film about a naive American, Joseph Cotten, investigating the death of his friend, Orson Welles, in post-World War II Vienna never loses its impact no matter how many times you watch it. "Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock". Director of Photography Robert Krasker won the Oscar for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White for the film. Dir. Carol Reed

Saturday, May 30, 1:30 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 barfly and prostitute trying to help Enley. Dir. Fred Zinnemann

Saturday, May 30, 9:00 AM

ANOTHER THIN MAN (1939): Another fun outing with hard drinking husband and wife team Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) and their faithful companion Asta. This time, their son Nicky Jr. is along for the ride. In this third installment of the series, Nick and Nora venture out to Long Island to aid Nora's former business manager Colonel MacFay (C. Aubrey Smith). An old enemy of the Colonel's, the mysterious Mr. Church (Sheldon Leonard), claims that he's seen MacFay die in a dream and has come to watch his premonition come true. It does and the police quickly suspect him of McFey's murder. However, the Charleses soon find McFey was surrounded by quite a few people who benefited from his death. Based loosely on one of Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op stories, "The Farewell Murder". Dir. W S Van Dyke II.

Saturday, May 30, 1:15 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

Sunday, May 31, 11:00 AM

THE BAD SEED (1956): "What will you give me for a basket of kisses?" Based on the stage play adapted from the brilliant novel by William March, Army wife Christine (Nancy Kelly) suspects that her seemingly perfect little girl Rhoda (Patty McCormack) is a ruthless killer. Eileen Heckart shines in her Oscar nominated supporting role as the alcoholic mother of one of Rhoda's victims. This truly terrifying film will make you look twice at all cute little blonde girls. Kelly and McCormack as well as cinematographer Harold Rosson were nominated for Oscars as well as Heckart. Dir. Mervyn LeRoy

Sunday, May 31, 3:15 PM

MYSTERY STREET (1950): A Cape Cod coroner (Ricardo Montalban) and a Harvard criminal pathologist (Bruce Bennett) try to solve a possible murder with nothing but the victim's bones to go on. Elsa Lanchester steals the show as the victim's shady landlady. Dir. John Sturges

Bogart pulls no punches in The Harder They Fall on May 3;

Ralph Meeker, center of attention, in Kiss Me Deadly on May 3 ;

Screen couple Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake reunite for The Blue Dahlia on May 3;

Kent Smith in the grips of femme fatale Ann Sheridan in Nora Prentiss on May 4;

All-star mega-noir, The Asphalt Jungle, on May 6;

An amoral Alain Delon stars in Purple Noon on May 8;

Welles and Dietrich together in Touch of Evil on May 8;

Joan Bennet and James Mason in Ophuls' The Reckless Moment on May 15;

Anne Baxter, Raymond Burr and Richard Conte together in The Blue Gardenia on May 19;

Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and Orson Welles in The Stranger on May 22;

Bogart and Mary Astor together again in Across the Pacific on May 24;

Elliot Gould stars in Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye on May 27;

Joseph Cotten hunts down Orson Welles in The Third Man airing May 29;

Robert Ryan and Van Heflin stars in Act of Violence on May 30;

William Powell in Another Thin Man on May 30;

Patty McCormack upends notions of innocence as Rhoda in The Bad Seed on May 31;

Ricardo Montalban stars in Mystery Street on May 31.

 

 

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