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Film Noir and Neo Noir on TV: December 2014

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

Turner Classic Movie Channel

Wednesday, November 12, 9:00 AM

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

Tuesday, November 18, 9:45 PM

GILDA (1946): A gambler (Glenn Ford) discovers an old flame (Rita Hayworth) in South America, but she's married to his new boss (George Macready), and… um… friend—homoerotic noir at its best. If that weren't enough, there's Hayworth's incredibly steamy rendition of "Put the Blame on Mame" Whoof! Dir. Charles Vidor

Wednesday, November 19, 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM

TCM Salutes Richard Dix as
"The Whistler"

5:00 PM

THE WHISTLER (1944): A grieving widower (Richard Dix) hires an assassin to kill him only to have his late wife (Gloria Stuart) turn up alive. The suspense kicks into high gear when he tries to call of the hit and finds out his go-between has died and he has no idea who the hired gun is. This is the first installment of the Columbia series based on the legendary radio show of the same name. Dir. William Castle

6:15 PM

THE POWER OF THE WHISTLER (1945): After reading an amnesic stranger's (Richard Dix) fortune, a young woman (Janis Carter) aids him in his quest to find his true identity through the clues in his pockets. Dir. Lew Landers

7:30 PM

VOICE OF THE WHISTLER (1945): A dying millionaire (Richard Dix) marries his nurse, Lynn Merrick, for companionship, only to experience a miracle cure. Dir.William Castle

8:45 PM

THE MYSTERIOUS INTRUDER (1946): A detective (Richard Dix) as always discovers the woman he's been hired to track down is the key to an unusual inheritance.

Thursday, November 20, 1:15 PM

POSSESSED (1947): In this excellent examination of obsession, Joan Crawford gives a terrific performance as a married woman whose passion for a former love (Van Heflin) drives her mad. Raymond Massey plays her compassionate husband. Dir. Curtis Bernhardt

Thursday, November 20, 5:00 PM

THE BIRDS (1963): Beautiful heiress Melanie (Tippi Hedren) takes a sudden fancy to a handsome architect Mitch (Rod Taylor) who lives in a remote Californian costal village with his overly affectionate mother (Jessica Tandy) and little sister. Creepily Melanie follows him there and pretends to be an old friend of his ex-girlfriend (Suzanne Pleshette).Even more creepily, after her arrival, the village is besieged by flocks of killer birds. Look for noir toughie Charles McGraw in a supporting role. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Sunday, November 23, 11:00 AM

THE BIG SLEEP (1946): In Howard Hawks' clever and sophisticated adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel, private eye Philip Marlowe's (Humphrey Bogart) investigates the involvement of an opium addled (and nymphomaniacal) society girl (Martha Vickers) in the murder of a pornographer. He also has to determine if her sister (Lauren Bacall) is helping or hindering him. Dir. Howard Hawks

Friday, November 28, 2:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Alfred Hitchcock Marathon

2:30 AM

THE LADY VANISHES (1938): A young bride-to-be (Margaret Lockwood), traveling across Europe by train, meets a charming spinster (Dame May Whitty), who then seems to disappear into thin air. The younger woman turns investigator and finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

4:30 AM

SABOTEUR (1941): Aircraft factory worker Barry Kane (Robert Cummings) goes on the run across the United States when he is wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend. He finds love along the way with a girl (Priscilla Lane) whose positive he's guilty. Can he clear himself and win her love? The film is full of quirky touches (my favorite an abductee is charged for a milkshake by her captors), unusual supporting characters (Norman Lloyd and Otto Kruger among others), and some outstanding set pieces, including the famous Statue of Liberty finale. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

6:30 AM

SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943): A young girl, Teresa Wright, fears her favorite uncle may be a killer, Joseph Cotten in the best performance of his career. "Do you know the world is a foul sty? Do you know, if you rip off the fronts of houses, you'd find swine? The world's a hell. What does it matter what happens in it?" Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

8:30 AM

DIAL M FOR MURDER (1954): A man (Ray Milland) hires a friend to murder his wealthy wife (Grace Kelly). His plan goes awry when she stabs the would-be-murderer. Then he decides he can still get rid of her, by eroding erode her self-defense claim. Her ex-lover (Robert Cummings) tries to save her. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

10:30 AM

MARNIE (1964): A forceful millionaire (Sean Connery) blackmails a beautiful thief (Tippi Hedren)who attempted to rob him into marrying him. He tries to unravel the mystery of her compulsion to steal. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

12:45 PM

THE BIRDS (1963): Beautiful heiress Melanie (Tippi Hedren) takes a sudden fancy to a handsome architect Mitch (Rod Taylor) who lives in a remote Californian costal village with his overly affectionate mother (Jessica Tandy) and little sister. Creepily Melanie follows him there and pretends to be an old friend of his ex-girlfriend (Suzanne Pleshette).Even more creepily, after her arrival, the village is besieged by flocks of killer birds. Look for noir toughie Charles McGraw in a supporting role. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

3:00 PM

PSYCHO (1960): Miriam Crane (Janet Leigh) impulsively embezzles $10,000 dollars from her employer and takes it on the lam. She checks into the Bates Motel, meets the queer but attractive Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), takes a shower and makes cinematic history. A detective (Martin Balsam), Miriam's sister (Vera Miles) and her boyfriend (John Gavin) all arrive to look for the missing Miriam. Long time Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann created the rightfully legendary score. The immensely talented old time radio actress Virginia Gregg provides the voice of Norman's mother Norma Bates. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Monday, December 1, 3:00 AM—5:00 PM

Joan Crawford Marathon!

Here are the noirs.

12:15 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. 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

2:15 PM

HUMORESQUE (1946): Noirish romance about a classical musician (John Garfield) with equals parts talent and narcissism from the New York slums who falls in love with wealthy neurotic (Joan Crawford) with problematic results. Crawford's performance as a self-destructive alcoholic raises the level of the film beyond its melodramatic script. Dir. Jean Negulesco

Tuesday, December 2, 12:30 PM

OUT OF THE PAST (1947): In this quintessential film noir, small town gas station owner Jeff Bailey's (Robert Mitchum) past catches up with him when a stranger passing through town recognizes him. He tells his girlfriend Ann Miller (Virginia Huston) about his previous via flashback, of course. Jeff was a private eye falls for the gangster's moll (Jane Greer) that he's supposed to find for her lover Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas). She's allegedly stolen $40,000 from Whit and he wants her and the dough back. As in all good noirs, nothing is really as it seems. Watch for future noir siren Rhonda Fleming as a duplicitous secretary. Based on Geoffrey Homes' excellent pulp novel Build My Gallows High. Dir. Jacques Tourneur

Wednesday, December 3, 3:00 AM—11:15 AM

Mini-Noir Marathon

3:00 AM

DECOY (1946): One of the most notorious "B" films of all-time! Jean Gillie plays a deliriously nasty femme fatale in this unhinged caper about a man brought back from the dead to lead his gang to buried loot. Dir. Jack Bernhard

4:30 AM

HIGHWAY 301 (1950): Steve Cochran is a cold-blooded outlaw leading the Tri-State Gang on a robbery and murder spree through Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. The film combines the popular early-1950s "documentary" approach with flashes of wildly stylized and (for the time) graphic violence Dir. Andrew L. Stone

6:00 AM

SCARFACE (1932): This proto-noir helmed by Howard Hawks chronicles the rise and fall of gangster (Paul Muni), inspired by Al Capone and the Borgias. This film shot supporting player George Raft into stardom, but Ann Dvorak steals the film as Tony's sister and incestuous object of his desire. Watch for Boris Karloff in as an ill-fated crook. Screenplay Badly remade by Brian De Palme in the 1980s. Dir. Howard Hawks

7:45 AM

THE NAKED KISS (1964): A prostitute (Constance Towers) moves to a small town and starts life over as a nurse's aid, working with sick children. She falls in love with the local scion (Michael Danter) who proposes to her. But she learns his terrible secret and finds herself at the mercy of the hypocritical justice system. Dir. Sam Fuller

9:30 AM

IN A LONELY PLACE (1950): This heartbreaking noir revolves around an alcoholic screen writer (Humphrey Bogart) and the woman who loves him but fears he may be a murder (Gloria Grahame). This film is both a bitter commentary on Hollywood and on the impossibility of romance. Based on Dorothy B. Hughes' equally astounding but fundamentally different novel of the same name. Dir. Nicholas Ray

Thursday, December 4, 5:00 PM

REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940): Preston Sturges wrote this Christmas tale which features his unique blend of comedy, romance and pathos. A straight laced Assistant DA (Fred MacMurray) bring home a suspected shoplifter (Barbara Stanwyck) that he is prosecuting home for the holidays, so she doesn't have to spend them in jail. Dir. Mitchell Leisen

Friday, December 5, 3:15 AM—5:00 PM

TCM Salutes Otto Preminger

9:45 AM

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (1955): Recovering heroin addict Frankie (Frank Sinatra) struggles to stay clean when returning to Chicago's South side, to old friends and old temptations, after a prison stint. His drug dealer Nifty Louie (Darren McGavin) wants to get his hooks back into Frankie, but his love for Molly (Kim Novak) and his dreams of becoming a jazz drummer keep him on the straight and narrow. When Louie is killed, the cops figure him for the murder and come after him. Dir. Otto Preminger

1:45 PM

ANGEL FACE (1953): An ambulance driver (Robert Mitchum) romances a beautiful but unstable woman (Jean Simons) who gets him a job as a chauffeur and promises him the capital to open his own garage. Murder and disaster follows. Mona Freeman plays the girlfriend he dumps for better things. Her reaction to his behavior, especially when he tries to come back to her, makes her character transcend the usual thankless good girl roles in noir. Dir. Otto Preminger

3:30 PM

LAURA (1944): In this film noir based on the Vera Caspary novel, dedicated detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) investigates the death of the beautiful Laura (Gene Tierney), brutally gunned down at the door of her flat. As he interviews her friends and lovers, a complicated portrait of her emerges and he finds himself falling for the deceased girl. Clifton Webb and Vincent Price give outstanding performances as two bickering rivals for Laura's affections. Dir. Otto Preminger

Sunday, December 7, 5:00 AM

THE LADY VANISHES (1938): A young bride-to-be Iris (Margaret Lockwood), traveling across Europe by train, meets a charming spinster Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty), who then disappears into thin air. When no believes Miss Froy even existed outside Iris' imagination, she turns investigator and finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure. A young musicologist ((Michael Redgrave) helps her with her quest. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Saturday, December 13, 9:00 AM—1:30 PM

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Double Feature

9:00 AM

GASLIGHT (1944): A newlywed (Ingrid Bergman) fears she's going mad when strange things start happening at the family mansion where her aunt was murdered ten years earlier. Joseph Cotten stars as the handsome stranger who aids her. Charles Boyer stars as the handsome husband who terrorizes her. Dir. George Cukor

11:00 AM

MARNIE (1964): A forceful millionaire (Sean Connery) blackmails a beautiful thief (Tippi Hedren), who attempted to rob him, into marrying him. He tries to unravel the mystery of her compulsion to steal. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Sunday, December 14, 3:00 AM

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946): In this noir classic, illicit lovers (John Garfield and Lana Turner) plot to kill the woman's older husband. She wants to own her own restaurant, the eternal ambition of heroines created by James M. Cain, author of the original novel. The producers managed to stay quite faithful to the book while excising the sado-masochistic nature of the character's sexual relationship. Dir. Tay Garnett

Monday, December 15, 12:30 AM

BLOW-UP (1966): A womanizing photographer (David Hemmings) discovers a murder in the background of a candid photo. His investigation tests his deductive skills and his sanity. Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

Wednesday, December 17, 3:00 AM—5:00 PM

Film Noir Marathon

3:00 AM

DESTINATION MURDER (1950): A woman (Joyce MacKenzie) infiltrates the mob to find her father's killer. The always great Albert Decker plays the nightclub owner behind it all. Dir. Edward L. Cahn

4:15 AM

DIAL 1119 (1950): A murderous mental patient (Marshall Thompson) escapes from an institution and holds the customers at a bar hostage. He wants to see the psychiatrist who committed him and he'll kill to make it happen. Dir. Gerald Mayer

5:45 AM

THE GREAT JEWEL ROBBER (1950): Canadian jewel and fur thief Gerard Dennis (David Brian) escapes from prison and heads to New York State. A ruthless seducer, he uses then abandons, a string of women in his pursuit of loot. Ironically, a pick-up proves his downfall. Dir. Peter Godfrey

7:30 AM

HUNT THE MAN DOWN (1950): A lawyer (Gig Young) uncovers secrets behind a decade-old murder case when he attempts to exonerate a convicted man by hunting down the six eye-witnesses to the crime who dispersed years earlier. Dir. George Archainbaud

8:45 AM

MRS. O'MALLEY AND MR. MALONE (1950): In this comedic mystery, a famed criminologist and lawyer (James Whitmore) and a widow (Majorie Main) team up to solve a murder on a train ride. Ann Dvorak, Phyllis Kirk and Dorothy Malone join the fun. Dir. Norman Taurog

10:00 AM

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

11:45 AM

SHADOW ON THE WALL (1950): Six year old Susan is left mute by the sight of her stepmother Celia's murder. The police arrest her father (Zachary Scott) who can't remember what happened on the fateful night. A kindly psychiatrist (Nancy Davis) may be able to both bring back Susan's voice and discover what really happened to Celia. Dir. Patrick Jackson

1:15 PM

SIDE STREET (1950): A New York City mailman (Farley Granger) dreams of taking his wife (Cathy O'Donnell) to Europe. So, he steals a shipment of dirty money and soon finds himself pursued by both cops and crooks. Dir. Anthony Mann

2:45 PM

THE TATTOOED STRANGER (1950): Detectives investigate the murder of a young woman whose body is found in Central Park. The only clue to her identity and possibly to the motive for her murder is her Marine Corps tattoo. Watch for Jack Lord as a lab assistant. Dir. Edward J. Montagne

4:00 PM

EXPERIMENT ALCATRAZ (1951): A doctor testing drugs on convicts gets mixed up in a murder investigation. Dir. Edward L. Cahn

Saturday, December 20, 5:00 PM

THE THIN MAN (1934): Dashiell Hammett's urbane but fun loving sleuths Nick and Nora Charles, along with their pup Asta, investigate the disappearance of an inventor in this classic blend of laughs and suspense. Shot in just two weeks by director Woody "One-Shot'' Van Dyke and cinematographer James Wong Howe, this gem set the gold standard for the sophisticated comedy—inspiring five sequels as well as countless inferior imitations. Van Dyke previously directed Myrna Loy and William Powell in Manhattan Melodrama and spotted the terrific chemistry of their off screen banter between takes. He insisted on casting the pair as Hammett's hard-drinking super-couple and the glamorous pair became one of the movies' great romantic teams. Dir. Woody Van Dyke

Friday, December 26, 1:15 PM

THE WRONG MAN (1956): In this gritty documentary style noir, victims of a robbery misidentify a musician (Henry Fonda) for the culprit, destroying the lives of him and his wife (Vera Miles). This film was based on the true story of Manny Ballestro and used extensive locations shooting in New York City. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Saturday, December 27, 9:00 AM—1:00 PM

Bad Relations Noir Double

9:00 AM

SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943): A young girl, Teresa Wright, fears her favorite uncle may be a killer, Joseph Cotten in the best performance of his career. "Do you know the world is a foul sty? Do you know, if you rip off the fronts of houses, you'd find swine? The world's a hell. What does it matter what happens in it?" Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

11:00 AM

THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955): A bogus preacher (Robert Mitchum) marries an outlaw's widow (Shelly Winters in a stunning performance) in search of the man's hidden loot. Lillian Gish plays the force of good in opposition to Mitchum's evil. Dir. Charles Laughton

Sunday, December 28, 5:00 PM—9:00 PM

First Person POV Noir

5:00 PM

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. Lauren Bacall plays the beautiful heiress who aids him. Dir. Delmer Daves

7:00 PM

LADY IN THE LAKE (1947): A lady editor (Audrey Totter) hires Phillip Marlowe to investigate the disappearance of her boss' wife. First time director Robert Montgomery, who also starred as Marlowe, chose to shoot the entire film from Marlowe's POV using a subjective camera in order to replicate visually Raymond Chandler's first person narrative from the novel. Dir. Robert Montgomery

Monday, December 29, 4:30 AM

CONFLICT (1945): A seemingly happily married man, (Humphrey Bogart) murders his wife so he can be free to marry her sister (Alexis Smith) who unfortunately does not return his affection. His friend and neighbor, a kindly psychologist (Sydney Greenstreet) starts to suspect something. Dir. Curtis Bernhardt

Monday, December 29, 9:30 AM

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (1962) A crazed, aging star (Bette Davis) torments her sister (Joan Crawford) in a decaying Hollywood mansion. This beautiful Hollywood gothic noir features a duet of superbly fearless performances by two legendary actresses. Dir. Robert Aldrich

Monday, December 29, 11:45 AM

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

Monday, December 29, 3:00 PM

UNDERCURRENT (1946): In this interestingly cast noir, a sheltered woman (Katherine Hepburn) realizes that either her husband (Robert Taylor with a Walt Disneyesque moustache) or his mysterious brother, (noir stalwart Robert Mitchum) is a psychopath. Edmund Gwenn co-stars as Hepburn's father. Dir. Vincente Minnelli

Tuesday, December 30, 7:30 AM

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

 

Joan Crawford stars in Humoresque airing December 1;

A "Poverty Row" noir retelling of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Fear, on December 2;

Paul Muni in the 1932 Scarface on December 3;

Stanwyck and MacMurray together again in Sturges Remember the Night on December 4;

Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave in Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes;

Ingrid Bergman questions her sanity in Hitchcock's Gaslight on December 13;

Director Tay Garnett , John Garfield and Lana Turner take a break from shooting The Postman Always Rings Twice on December 14.

Antonioni's existential noir, Blow-Up, on December 15;

Ricardo Montalban queries Elsa Lancaster in Mystery Street on December 17;

Myrna Loy and William Powell shine in The Thin Man on December 20;

Henry Fonda stars in Hitchcock's The Wrong Man on December 26;

Robert Mitchum moves to the dark side in The Night of the Hunter on December 27;

Audrey Totter in Robert Montgomery's The Lady in the Lake airing December 28;

Bogie and Alexis Smith in Conflict on December 29;

Robert Ryan's a handyman/drifter who doesn't win Ida Lupino's trust in Beware, My Lovely on December 29;

Robert Taylor and Katherine Hepburn must deal with a psychopathic Robert Mitchum in Undercurrent on December 29;

Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant on the set with Hitch in Suspicion airing December 30.

 

 

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