NOIR CITY made a victorious return to its home at the historic Castro Theatre January 26–February with its largest audience yet, selling out the 1400 seat movie palace on multiple nights. "Film Noir from A to B" took audiences back in time with a program of 12 genuine "A" and "B" double bills, spanning the breadth of the original film noir era, 1941 to 1953. The festival presented 24 classic noirs as they were experienced on their original release, pairing a top-tier studio "A" with a shorter, low- budget second feature, or "B" film. All but one of the films were presented in glorious 35mm.
As always, NOIR CITY producer and FNF founder and president Eddie Muller guided attendees through the blind alleys of NOIR CITY. But he wasn't all alone. Victor Mature's daughter Victoria Mature joined the Czar of Noir on opening night to introduce H. Bruce Humberstone's I Wake Up Screaming (1941) starring her father and Betty Grable. Victoria surprised the crowd with an impromptu rendition of Street Scene while discussing the film's score. As usual the current Ms. NOIR CITY, Annabelle Zakaluk, also joined Eddie on stage during the festival's evening performances. On January 31, Michael Curtiz - A Life in Film, author and FNF board member Alan K. Rode introduced Curtiz' The Unsuspected (1947).
The FNF's latest restoration "re-premiered" on Saturday night, February 3—The Man Who Cheated Himself, an independently made noir thriller from 1950 shot on location in San Francisco. Thanks to the generosity of NOIR CITY patrons and FNF donors, the Foundation was able to fully fund the restoration of this film. Prior to the screening, festival host Muller announced the recipient of this year's $5,000 FNF/Nancy Mysel Legacy Grant—Shahed Dowlatshahi of New York University's Masters of Arts in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program. A heart-felt acceptance video by Mr. Dowlatshahi screened for the San Francisco audience directly after the announcement.
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The Man Who Cheated Himself, an independently made noir thriller from 1950, is the latest preservation project of the Film Noir Foundation. The restored film had its world premiere in San Francisco at NOIR CITY 16 in January, fittingly as the film was shot in location in the City by the Bay. The Felix Feist-directed feature, which concerns a cop entangled with a cunning socialite who murders her husband, will play the NOIR CITY festival circuit throughout 2018.
The only existing 35mm print of the film was screened last April as part of the annual NOIR CITY: Hollywood festival at the Egyptian Theatre. It was apparent that "vinegar syndrome" had afflicted the print since its previous screening at a NOIR CITY festival in 2006. "We realized we needed to do something immediately," said FNF president Eddie Muller. "I mean, this is Lee J. Cobb's only starring role, and the one time Jane Wyatt played a femme fatale. Can't lose that."
20th Century-Fox, the film's original distributor, provided an original fine-grain from its vault as the essential restoration element, and UCLA's Head of Restoration, Scott MacQueen, oversaw the project—which for the first time includes restoration of the film's original trailer, as well. The Felix Feist-directed feature, which concerns a cop entangled with a cunning socialite who murders her husband, will play the NOIR CITY circuit in 2018.
A June 23 screening of the film on TCM's Noir Alley hosted by Muller, will be followed by Flicker Alley's release of the film on Blu-ray, with special features produced by the FNF. In addition to The Man Who Cheated Himself, NOIR CITY patrons and FNF donors have made it possible over the years for the FNF to restore Los tallos amargos (1956), Cry Danger (1951), The Prowler (1951), Try and Get Me! (1951), Repeat Performance (1947), High Tide (1947), Too Late for Tears (1949), The Guilty (1947) and Woman on the Run (1950), as well as funding our many 35mm preservations. DONATE HERE and be a film noir savior.
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For the latest in noir news from small screen to big screen and beyond, visit our news area. We'll keep you updated on Film Noir Foundation projects and events, film festivals and noir-related happenings in other mediums on our news page, as well as noir and neo-noir titles released on dvd and Blu-ray. Our newly added Now Playing section will keep you up-to-date on noir-tinged entertainment in theatrical release or streaming. Check our monthly tv listings for noir and neo-noir films coming up on Turner Classic Movies.
→ View our list of films screened at NOIR CITY 1-15 here.
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