NOIR CITY 19 - March 24-27, 2022 - Grand Lake Theatre

The Film Noir Foundation Presents

NOIR CITY 19 • March 24-27 • Grand Lake Theatre

Let's try this again! The NOIR CITY film festival, a Bay Area cultural institution since 2003, returns from COVID hiatus March 24-27, 2022 for an incisive and inspiring four-day festival at a new venue, Oakland's historic Grand Lake Theatre. Produced, programmed and hosted by Eddie Muller, this year's edition, subtitled "They Tried to Warn Us!", showcases 12 movies from mid-20th century Hollywood sure to resonate with contemporary viewers.

"Film noir is revered for its incredible sass and style," Muller says, "but many of the films were also warning flares about issues that still plague our culture more than seventy years later."

Included are shockingly prescient films focusing on megalomaniacal politicians, corrupt businessmen, neo-Nazis, racism, anti-Semitism, sexual predators, serial killers, police brutality—even a viral epidemic! This NOIR CITY program could not be more timely or topical. "That said, this isn't like taking your medicine," Muller notes. "It will be a restorative tonic for folks eager to see classic movies again on a big screen and enjoy, with the prescribed protocols*, a return to the party atmosphere NOIR CITY is famous for."

NOIR CITY PassportFor the return to in-person screenings, Muller—host of the popular Noir Alley franchise on Turner Classic Movies—has shifted the event to Oakland after many years at San Francisco's Castro Theatre. "The Grand Lake provided Noir Alley with a temporary studio during the pandemic," Muller says, "and I realized its vintage movie palace atmosphere, and the care and upkeep of the venue, would work perfectly for the type of show NOIR CITY loyalists have come to expect. Plus, I love Oakland. It hurts that the town has lost the Warriors and the Raiders, so I'm happy to give a little something back to the city's cultural life." As is the tradition at NOIR CITY, fans can expect plenty of onscreen surprises, noir-inspired activities, and special guest appearances!


Weeknight shows will be presented as double bills, with one $15 admission price for two movies. Saturday and Sunday shows will have separate admissions ($12.50) for each screening. ✽Proof of vaccination required. Mask protocol enforced.


Purchase a NOIR CITY PassportSecure your spot for the 12 festival films with an all-access passport for $100—a $30 savings! The Grand Lake Theatre will have a Passholders' queue for early admittance. → PURCHASE PASSPORT

All FNF proceeds from festival ticket sales aid the Foundation's mission of rescuing and restoring noir films. This is your chance to have a terrific time AND preserve a valuable art form.

Passports are non-transferable. All sales are final. Patrons must arrive 30 minutes before showtime to be guaranteed a seat!

All you need to know about the NOIR CITY Film Festival ↓

Turner Classic Movies


Tiki Oasis

The Murders That Made Us - by Bob Calhoun

Dark City - by Eddie Muller

Sonoma International Film Festival

FLAG Marketing

Forbidden Island

TCM Noir Alley

Relic Vintage

Giovanni Italian Specialties

Film Noir Style - by Kimberly Truhler

Toscano Brothers

The Walt Disney Family Museum

Fox & Doll

Flicker Alley

BRAY Executive Search

Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Art Deco Society of California

Ravens in the Rain - Christie Santo and Jeff Santo

John Fluevog

Retro Fit Pattern

Tony's Pizza Napoletana

The Criterion Channel

Lang Antique and Estate Jewelry

Dago Bagel

Walden Pond Books

Viva Las Vegas

FX Andersen

Stark House Press

Twitter - MySpace - Facebook

Surround yourself in a miasma of social media darkness: join us on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter for a complete immersion in the world of film noir through film stills, posters, film clips, brilliant insights, and more. Maybe you'll meet a dangerous stranger along the way.

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Film Noir Foundation - Restoration


The Film Noir Foundation screened its latest 35mm restoration opening night (March 24) at NOIR CITY 19, a forgotten film from director Cy Endfield: The Argyle Secrets (1948). The restoration was completed in 2021 by the FNF's preservation partner, UCLA Film & Television Archive, with support provided through a grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Charitable Trust (The HFPA Trust).

The Argyle Secrets is of historical significance for being one of the first Hollywood films written and directed by Cyril Raker Endfield, a protégé of Orson Welles who would become a significant film artist in his own right. Endfield's career in America would be cut short by blacklisting, as he was accused of being a Communist by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. But several years before he fled to England in 1952 to maintain his career, Endfield began by making low-budget thrillers, often with a political slant.

The Argyle Secrets, lost for decades in any decent form, is a prime example: A journalist (William Gargan) sets out to retrieve a book containing inflammatory information about American politicians and businessmen secretly making deals with the Nazis. Independently financed on a meager $125,000 budget and made briskly on an 8-day shooting schedule, the film's inventiveness led esteemed critic Jonathan Rosenbaum to extol its "surreal overload."

Endfield called the 60-minute "B" his first effort as an auteur. "I felt quite proud of this first and very youthful sole writing-directing effort," he'd later say. Yet while he went on to create important films such as the U.S.-made Try and Get Me! (restored by the Film Noir Foundation in 2012) and British classics Hell Drivers (1957) and Zulu (1964), Endfield's earliest work has been rarely seen, as no quality versions existed — until now! The resurrection of The Argyle Secrets will go a long way toward spurring international interest in the work and life of this remarkable, and unjustly neglected, artist.


NOIR CITY: Chicago:  Aug 26-Sep 1
NOIR CITY: Detroit:  Sep 23-25
NOIR CITY: D.C.:  Oct 14-27

*Other U.S. cities will be added as festival dates are confirmed.

NOIR CITY Magazine

NOIR CITY Magazine - Digital Version

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 Magazine. Start by:

NOIR CITY Annual #13

NOIR CITY Annual 2021's NOIR CITY Annual 13, the best of the best from the Film Noir Foundation's 2020 NOIR CITY Magazine issues, contains essays, profiles, interviews, and appreciations of classic and modern noir films from today's top writers: Imogen Sara Smith, Jake Hinkson, Ray Banks, Christa Faust, Nora Fiore, Nick Feldman, Alan K. Rode, Steve Kronenberg, Brian Light, Sharon Knolle, Farran Smith Nehme, Danilo Castro, Ben Terrall, Ethan Iverson, Vince Keenan, and Eddie Muller. Book layout and design by Michael Kronenberg. And, when you buy NOIR CITY Annual 13, you'll be helping fund the non-profit foundation's film restoration efforts. *SOLD OUT on Amazon. Available at NOIR CITY festivals in 2022.

Angie Dickinson - Norman Lloyd - Nancy Olson


Our Video Archives feature an expanding catalog of noir-related video, including exclusive interviews and festival guest appearances.


Producer and host Alan K. Rode opened the 22nd annual Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival by introducing They Live by Night (1948) with special guest Leonard Maltin. The legendary critic and film historian discusses his latest book Starstruck: My Unlikely Road to Hollywood along with remembrances of his youthful obsession with movies, an amusing encounter with Robert Mitchum, and other priceless recollections. WATCH


Did you know that the Film Noir Foundation has livestreams each month on our Facebook page in which Eddie Muller answers questions submitted by our e­mail subscribers? All past broadcasts are now available on our YouTube channel.

NOIR CITY Screenings

→ View our list of films screened at NOIR CITY 1-18 here.

Film Noir Foundation

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NC 19 poster: Bill Selby