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NOIR CITY 17 Journeys Through the 1950s, When Movies Changed Forever
G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

"What happens when the usual grifters, femmes fatales and psychopaths traveling the dark alleys are suddenly haunted by racial tensions, nuclear nightmares and commie agents? Film noir was always built on exploring what's simmering below society's glossy surface, but in the 1950s, with the collapsing Hollywood studio system and bold new visions from innovative filmmakers, the genre entered its most exciting era." MORE

Continuing coverage of NOIR CITY 17
Odie "Odienator" Henderson, Tales of OdieNary Madness

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If that old adage is true, then I am most definitely sane. Because I am once again joining my fellow NOIR CITY denizens at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco and I expect to have the same amount of fun I've had the eleven prior times I've attended the greatest film festival in this and seven other scientifically approved universes."
NOIR CITY 17 #1: Treasury of the Sierra Madre
NOIR CITY 17 #2: The Monsters Are Still Due on Main Street
NOIR CITY 17 #3: Requiem for a Pickpocket
NOIR CITY 17 #4: The Absent-Minded Confessor
NOIR CITY 17 #5: Kiss Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang BANG!
NOIR CITY 17 #6: A Miracle Worker, a Broadway Baby and a Pin-Up Girl Walk Into a Noir

NOIR CITY 17: The People
Andy Wolverton, Journeys into Darkness and Light

"You can't help but meet people at every turn: the person sitting next to you in the theatre, the booksellers, the guys selling posters and lobby cards, the folks at the Noir City and TCM tables, the Noir City volunteers, the people in line with you at the concession stand, you name it. You all have something in common and the connections come easily." MORE

Long Dark Road: 2019 NOIR CITY film festival
Valerie Soe,

"As usual NOIR CITY had value-added features including live music in between some shows, screenings of rare clips and trailers, and informative and edifying introductions by NOIR CITY founder Eddie Muller and other knowledgable film noir geeks/authors. The movies I attended were uniformly good, but a few stood out due to the significant combination of a great cast, a strong script, and excellent direction." MORE

NOIR CITY Festival Celebrates the Fine Art of Foul Play
Rob Salkowitz,

"While the mainstream image of postwar America projected prosperity, wholesomeness and political conservatism, the cinematic auteurs of the film noir movement exposed a world of corruption, hypocrisy and sexuality that lurked under the surface — and did it all in with stylistic flair." MORE

NOIR CITY Spotlights the Dark Side of the Fabulous Fifties
Max Goldberg, KQED Arts

"While lacking the thematic unity of earlier editions centering on newspaper films or international noir, this chronological approach allows the audience to track noir's sharp turn towards corrosive social commentary, implacable anxiety, and stylistic fragmentation and flourish. Seen in this light, Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1960), which plays opposite Psycho (1960) in the festival's penultimate program, appears less a radical break than one of a whole cluster of films doing things differently." MORE

Reel Local News: Noir City Brings Murder to the Castro
Pam Grady, San Francisco Chronicle Date Book

"Among other films in the program are The Well (1951), the tale of a white drifter suspected in the disappearance of a black girl and shot in Yuba City and Marysville; Killer's Kiss (1955), Stanley Kubrick's story of a boxer's dangerous affair, soaked in seedy Times Square ambiance; Nightfall (1956), starring onetime Crockett Constable Aldo Ray as an innocent man on the run." MORE

Saturday at NOIR CITY…plus Laurel and Hardy
Lincoln Spector,

"In Muller's introduction to this Hitchcock masterpiece, he explained why Psycho symbolically killed film noir. It starts as a conventional piece of the genre — except with the genders switched. A woman can't be with the man she loves because of money problems, so she steals a large amount and sets out to be with her boyfriend. It's a noir, Muller said, 'until it isn't." MORE

Foreign Films & Crime-Soaked Movies: The first film festivals of 2019
Bayflicks, Lincoln Spector

"This may be the best NOIR CITY lineup I've seen. Just consider some of the directors: Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Luc Godard, Richard Fleischer, William Wyler, William Dieterle, Otto Preminger, Robert Aldrich, Michael Curtiz, Jacques Tourneur, Robert Wise, and – three times over – Samuel Fuller." MORE

NOIR CITY: The Great San Francisco Festival of Film Noir
The Movie Gourmet, Scott Strickland,

"Three of the best films in the program are not available to stream, and five more are impossible to see outside of NOIR CITY in any format. This year's program features eight movies on The Movie Gourmet's list of Overlooked Noir." MORE

Noir City 17: Film Noir In The 1950s, January 25 - February 3
Ameoblog, The Bay Area Crew

"As usual, the program features an eclectic mix of established classics and rarely screened obscurities culled exclusively by the Film Noir Foundation from studio vaults and film archives." MORE

NOIR CITY - When Noirvember Is Not Enough
Set the Tape, Andy Wolverton

"Those who know little to nothing about film noir are welcomed just as much as the experts." MORE

Lara Gabrielle Fowler, Backlots

"Breathless also very much belongs on a NOIR CITY program–the story of Michel, a French gangster on the run and his American girlfriend struggling with her attraction to him, her own legal interests, and her own morality. This cinematic duality was intentional on the part of director Jean-Luc Godard, who had longed to make a film himself while writing for the publication Cahiers du Cinéma in Paris." MORE


NOIR CITY Screenings 1-15

→ View our complete list of films screened at NOIR CITY 1-16 here.

2017 NOIR CITY 15

The 2017 incarnation of the world's most popular film noir festival returned to the legendary Castro Theatre January 20�29 with 24 exceptional films exploring, in films both suspenseful and comedic, the desperate lengths to which people will go to beat the system and hit the big time. "The Big Knockover" was a veritable history of the heist film. MORE

2016 NOIR CITY 14

NOIR CITY returned to San Francisco's majestic Castro Theatre for its 14th edition, January 22-31, 2016. Its timely theme, given the threat traditional arts face from the technology revolution and its accompanying skyrocketing living costs, was "The Art of Darkness"—a collection of 25 noir-stained films exploring the pressures, pitfalls, paranoia and pain of being an artist in an indifferent and often cruel world. MORE

2015 NOIR CITY 13

Movie lovers from around the globe had a grand time at the 13th annual edition of NOIR CITY: The San Francisco Film Noir Festival, held January 16–25, 2015. MORE

2014 NOIR CITY 12

The 12th edition of the world's most popular film noir festival went international, exploding the long-held belief that noir stories and style are a specifically American phenomenon. MORE

2013 NOIR CITY 11

NOIR CITY's 11th year festival kicked off with a tribute to guest of honor Peggy Cummins, legendary for her ferocious performance as outlaw Annie Laurie Starr in Gun Crazy. MORE


NOIR CITY celebrated its tenth anniversary as the world's most popular film noir festival with a 10-day extravaganza featuring San Francisco treats, a Dashiell Hammett marathon, freshly preserved 35mm rarities, by-popular-demand encore screenings, and super special guest star ANGIE DICKINSON. MORE

2011 NOIR CITY 9

NOIR CITY 9 audiences proved to be noir-nuts, packing the Castro Theatre for ten days and nights of wonderfully entertaining craziness. Loyal customers saw the ultimate payoff from their patronage: three brand new 35mm prints funded by the Film Noir Foundation: High Wall (1947), Loophole (1954), and The Hunted (1948). MORE

2010 NOIR CITY 8

The 2010 NOIR CITY 8 at San Francisco's Castro Theatre broke its previous record for attendance. Many of the regular patrons declared that the 2010 edition of the world’s most popular film noir festival had the best “vibe” yet, as hundreds of loyal Bay Area attendees mixed with an amazing influx of out-of-state and international fans, in town for the festival’s duration. MORE

2009 NOIR CITY 7

The theme of the NOIR CITY 7 running from January 23 through February 1, 2009, was Newspaper Noir, with many of the films set in the world of newspapers, publishing or radio. Programmers Eddie Muller and Anita Monga made a special effort to have NOIR CITY's nightly double bills reflect the traditional programming of theaters in the 1940s. MORE

2008 NOIR CITY 6

Neither the brutally inclement weather, nor the traffic-stopping logistics of having Gus van Sant and (NC4 special guest) Sean P enn shooting a film right outside the theater could deter record crowds from packing the Castro Theatre during the 10-day festival spanning January 25 – February 3, 2008. Go here to read about the highlights of the NOIR CITY 6 including press links and photos..

2007 NOIR CITY 5

Held January 26 through February 4, 2007, NOIR CITY 5 saw more than 11,000 people attending the ten-day series at the Castro Theatre, establishing a new box office milestone for the festival. Go here to view NOIR CITY 5 photo and media coverage.

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NOIR CITY 17 - January 25-February 3, 2019

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The Making of a NOIR CITY Poster

Film Noir Foundation

Copyright © 2018. Website design: Ted Whipple/Incite Design; NC 17 poster: Photo-illustration by Bill Selby | Photography by Jason Mitchell | Model: Annabelle Zakaluk