Film Noir and Neo Noir in the Theaters

Film Noir & Neo Noir
in the Theaters

NOIR CITY: Hollywood

The 2014 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival

The Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival returns for its 15th incarnation May 8-11 to the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, California. "This year's edition is our most spectacular year yet," reports festival producer and host Alan K. Rode, "I am particularly excited about our special guests this year. I think it will be a rare opportunity to offer an in-depth perspective to our audience about the films and the actors who brought them to life." Actress Barbara Hale will be the festival's guest for the opening night presentation of The Window.  Other screenings with stars include: Sunset Boulevard with Nancy Olson and Shack Out on 101 with Terry Moore. Authors Victoria Wilson, A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel True and Kate Buford, Burt Lancaster: An American Life will also be in attendance during the four day event. In addition to the film program and special guests, Rode will be welcoming back his FNF cohorts Eddie Muller and Foster Hirsch to introduce several of the screenings and to conduct on-stage discussions with the special guests. Tickets go on sale in mid April at the Camelot Theatres. Visit the festival web site for the schedule of events.

Bogart Film Festival Returns to Key Largo

Too Late for Tears

The Humphrey Bogart Film Festival returns to Key Largo May 1-4 with an emphasis on "romance" in honor of the 70th anniversary of To Have and Have Not. Bogart and Lauren Bacall met and began one of the most famous Hollywood romances during the film's production. The festival will screen the films noir that featured the legendary couple meeting and courting under dangerous circumstances: Howard Hawk's The Big Sleep, Delmer Daves' Dark Passage and, of course, John Houston's Key Largo costarring Edward G. Robinson, Lionel Barrymore and Claire Trevor who won an Oscar for her performance. Bogie and Bacall's son Stephen Bogart wills co-host the festival with film critic Leonard Maltin. As well as a diverse schedule of 31 films culled from both Bogart' canon and decades of Hollywood romances, the festival also features an opening night reception, a cocktail party, a black tie event and more. Go here for full festival information.

Shining a Light on a Pulp Fiction Enigma

In the U.S. pulp fiction writer David Goodis is probably best known for—or even only known for—his novel Dark Passage, due to for highly successful 1947 film adaptation of the story starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The film brought Goodis great success and he embarked on a screen writing career. After his Hollywood career fizzled, he returned to his family home in Philadelphia and disappeared from the public eye. A long career writing paperback novels followed, as did more film adoptions, including François Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player. In 1982, French journalist Phillip Garnier decided to plumb the depths of the mystery surrounding the reclusive writer, lionized in France and all but forgotten in his home country. Garnier uncovered a life stranger then the writer's own fiction. You can buy Goodis: A Life in Black and White directly from BlackPoolProductions.com or at one of our NOIR CITY festivals throughout the year.

Too Late for Tears on Tour

Too Late for Tears

When a pair of screen personas like Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea collides, the sparks will fly. Jane Palmer (Scott) and her husband Alan (Arthur Kennedy) mysteriously have $60,000 literally dropped in their laps. The circumstances look pretty suspicious and dangerous to Alan, who wants to turn the money over to the police. But in a materialistic rapture, Jane won't let it go. She doesn't care where it came from, not if it can bring her the luxuries she craves. Enter shady Danny Fuller (Duryea, as cocky and menacing as you've ever seen him) who claims the money belongs to him. Let the games begin—which means sex, deception and murder. Roy Huggins' snappy script is a complex, breezy and black-hearted homage to Cain and Chandler, and his Jane Palmer is one of the juiciest female villains in Hollywood history, and Scott's best role ever. Too Late for Tears has been underappreciated for decades mainly because it was almost impossible to see. Now it returns to the big screen in a completely restored 35mm print, the result of a five-year campaign by the Film Noir Foundation to rescue this nearly extinct gem. The restored print premiered during the opening weekend of NOIR CITY 12. More screenings of the restored noir will follow at the 2014 NOIR CITY satellite festivals in Seattle, Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland (OR), and Washington D.C.

NOIR CITY E-MAG
Noir City e-mag

At left, the cover of NOIR CITY® — the Film Noir Foundation's latest e-magazine issue. For access to the best writing on noir available today, and to enjoy one of the most cutting-edge interactive multimedia cinema publications in the world, subscribe to NOIR CITY. Start by adding your name to our mailing list and then making a donation to the FNF of $20 or more. For an overview of the current issue and to view article excerpts, go here.

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Blu-Ray & DVD Releases

Sleep, My LoveOlive Films again brings out another unjustly neglected noir with their Blu-ray release of Douglas Sirk's Sleep, My Love (1948). Beautiful and wealthy Alison Courtland (Claudette Colbert) has been walking in her sleep and, according to her seemingly attentive husband Richard (Don Ameche), taking potshots at him while in a somnambulistic state, as well as hallucinating the appearance of a malevolent psychiatrist (George Coulouris) during day hours. A young and handsome new acquaintance, Bruce Elcott (Robert Cummings) believes in her sanity and suspects her husband of foul play. But can Bruce convince Alison before it's too late? The film also features a diverse collection of talented character actors in supporting roles: Keye Luke, Raymond Burr, Queenie Smith and Hazel Brooks. + MORE OLIVE FILM RELEASES.

CagedWarner Archive has released Caged (1950) as a standalone DVD, previously it was only available as part of Warner's Women in Peril set. This film noir in women-in-prison clothing details the transformation of a young, naïve and pregnant widow (Elanor Parker) into a hardened convict. She learns the hard way how to survive in the big house from a sadistic prison guard (Hope Emerson) and the failure of a good hearted warden (Agnes Moorehead) to reform the prison. This is more than an exploitation flick, it's an intelligent social drama and raises the still prescient issue facing the American penal system, is it actually reforming first time offenders or just turning prisoners into career criminal?

NocturneTwo of George Raft's best outings in noir are now available from Warner Archive: Nocturne (1946) and Red Light (1949). In the first, a police detective (Raft) refuses to believe a womanizing composer's death was suicide and interviews the womanizing tunesmith's his ex-lovers after another, trying to find the truth. This cool little thriller features some touching scenes between Raft and Mabel Paige as his mother. Roy Del Ruth's distinctly darker Red Light a convicted embezzler (Raymond Burr) hires a soon to be, an rather psychotic ex-con (Harry Morgan) to seek vengeance against his former employer John Torno (Raft) by killing John's brother Jess, an Army chaplain just home from the war. John goes berserk when he finds his brother dying and vows to find the culprit.

Roadblock (1951), now available through the Warner Archive, puts noir supporting heavy Charles McGraw front and center. This time McGraw plays an insurance detective turned sucker who destroys himself when he crosses over to the wrong side of the law in order to first woo and then attempt to keep the beautiful Diane (Joan Dixon). Robert Wises' Mystery in Mexico (1948), also out from the Archive, embraces a more heroic look at insurance detectives. Investigator Steve Hastings (William Lundigan) follows the trail of a stolen necklace to Mexico. Steve soon finds himself matching wits with a shady nightclub owner (Ricardo Cortez) and his beautiful torch singer. Shot on location in Mexico City and Cuernavaca. + MORE WARNER ARCHIVES RELEASES.

The Lady from Shanghai dvd/blue-ray The Film Foundation in partnership with Turner Classic Movies and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have released a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack of Orson Welles' The Lady from Shanghai (1947)—the first-ever Blu-ray release of the film, featuring a brand-new 4k digital restoration from the original negative. In this wonderfully convoluted noir, an Irish sailor (Orson Welles) gets caught between a corrupt tycoon (Everett Sloane) and his voluptuous wife (Rita Hayworth) and their plans to eliminate one another. Special features include an introduction by Robert Osborne and a commentary by Peter Bogdanovich. Available exclusively here from the TCM Shop. + MORE TCM RELEASES

Man in the Dark

Twilight Time has released a limited edition 3-D Blu-ray of Man in the Dark 3-D (1953). Pinched by the cops after pulling off a big heist, crook Steve Rawley (Edmond O'Brien) undergoes an experimental operation to eliminate his criminal urges. It also makes him forget where he hid the loot—much to the consternation of his old gang and his itchy-fingered girlfriend (Audrey Totter). INCLUDES 2-D VERSION NOTE: When viewed on a compatible 3-D monitor and 3-D blu-ray player set-up, the menu offers an option for both 3-D and 2-D playback, but when this disc is viewed on a regular 2-D monitor and 2-D Blu-ray player, the 3-D version is. Special features comprise an isolated score track and an original theatrical trailer. Available directly from Twilight Time here.

Private Hell 36Don Siegel's Private Hell 36 (1954) is also now available on Blu-ray directly from Twilight Time. Noir goddess Ida Lupino chalks up another sympathetic tough girl performance as nightclub singer Lilli in this tight little noir, a film produced by her ex-husband Collier Young who co-wrote the screenplay with her. The film also co-stars Lupino's husband at the time Howard Duff as Jack, a cop whose partner Calhoun (Steven Cochran) draws him into a web of deceit and corruption when Calhoun steals part of a robbery haul that the pair recovers during a criminal investigation. Interestingly, Lupino plays Cochran's love interest and not Duff's. + MORE TWILIGHT TIME RELEASES.

Cry of the CityTwentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has included four film noirs is their latest slate of MOD titles distributed under their Fox Cinema Archives brand. The best known of the four is Robert Siodmak's Cry of the City (1948) featuring Victor Mature as a police officer and Richard Conte as a cop-killer and his former best friend. The pair is on an inevitable collision course, morally, legally and emotionally. The period noir Moss Rose (1947), stars Gun Crazy's Peggy Cummins as plucky chorus girl determined to solve the murder of her friend in turn-of-the-century London. Victor Mature, Vincent Price, and Ethel Barrymore co-star. Jean Circumstantial EvidenceForde's Backlash (1947) concerns the discovery of a burnt out car containing a corpse with a bullet through the heart. The ensuing investigation sets off a series of flashbacks and red herrings. The final noir entry is Circumstantial Evidence (1945) in which a postman (Lloyd Nolan) tries to win a new trial for the father (Michael O'Shea) of a kid that he's befriended since Dad was sent to the big house on a murder rap. Retailers for the Fox Cinema Archive include Movies Unlimited, Amazon and Oldies.com.

Film Noir ClassicsThe Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics IV DVD set is now available exclusively from the TCM Shop. The set includes Joseph H. Lewis' So Dark the Night (1946) in which a Parisian detective (Steven Geray) on vacation finds love and murder in a small coastal town. Dick Powell plays a casino co-owner who finds himself in both criminal and romantic trouble in Robert Rossen's Johnny O'Clock (1947). An FBI agent (Dennis O'Keefe) and a Scotland Yard detective (Louis Hayward) team up to bring down a spy ring led by frequent noir heavy Raymond Burr in Gordon Douglas' Walk a Crooked Mile (1948). Two cops (Edmund O'Brien and Mark Stevens) find their friendship tested by their pursuit of a racketeer and their mutual love of the same woman (Gale Storm) in Gordon Douglas' Between Midnight and Dawn (1950). Alfred L. Werker's Walk East on Beacon! (1952), adapted from an article written by then Director of the F.B.I. Edgar J. Hoover, follows a dedicated G-man (George Murphy) as hunts down a Communist sleeper-cell in Boston. Extras include an introduction by Martin Scorsese and a digital image gallery.

Ministry of FearCriterion is now offering a new 2K digital restoration of Fritz Lang's Ministry of Fear (1944) on both DVD and Blu-ray. In this effectively paranoiac and suspenseful noir, a recently released mental patient (Ray Milland) finds himself embroiled in a fantastic espionage plot after getting his fortune told at a fete. Watch for a wonderfully chilling performance by Dan Duryea as a conspiratorial tailor. Extras include an interview with Fritz Lang scholar Joe McElhaney, trailer and an essay by critic Glenn Kenny. + MORE CRITERION RELEASES.

Wendell Corey - The Killer Is LooseMGM's has added several noir titles under their Limited Edition Collection brand. The films are available on demand from various retailers, including Amazon and the Warner Archive. In Budd Boetticher's The Killer is Loose (1956), a seemingly mild mannered embezzler (Wendell Corey), recently released from prison, tries to avenge his wife's accidental shooting by Detective Sam Wagner (Joseph Cotton) by killing Sam's wife (Rhonda Fleming). Can Sam stop him? + MORE MGM RELEASES

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