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program notes below are for 2019 NOIR CITY 17
CLICK here for the 2020 NOIR CITY 18 PROGRAM

Friday, January 25




7:30 PM

World Premiere 35mm Restoration!

T-Men investigating a flood of phony $20s spring convicted counterfeiter Tris Stewart (Lloyd Bridges) from the joint to use as an undercover operative. But Tris is only stringing the Feds along until he makes a score and scoots to Mexico with his red-hot squeeze, Meg (Barbara Payton). The double- and triple-crosses come fast and furious, as no one's sure who's a crook and who's a copper. A hasty and hard-edged B from director Fleischer, with exceptional camerawork by DP Guy Roe. Rescued from oblivion by the Film Noir Foundation and UCLA Film & Television Archive. Premiere screening of a newly restored 35mm print

1949, Eagle-Lion Films [FNF/UCLA] 78 min
Scr. Earl Felton and George Zuckerman. Dir. Richard Fleischer

The File on Thelma Jordon


9:15 PM

Boozy assistant DA Cleve Marshall (Wendell Corey) reels from a stifling marriage into an affair with the mysterious Thelma Jordon (Barbara Stanwyck). He's so smitten, and besotted, he misses the warning signs: Thelma has a sickly aunt loaded with dough and spends lots of time in the arms of shadowy and sinister Tony Laredo (Richard Rober). Something bad is bound to happen … and when it does Cleve winds up working both sides of the law. Noir master Siodmak does a spellbinding job with a terrific script, and Stanwyck—Queen of Noir—offers a terrific, two-faced turn in one of her most rarely screened films. 35mm print courtesy of Paramount

1950, Paramount. 100 min. 35mm
Scr. Ketti Frings, from a story by Mary Holland. Dir. Robert Siodmak

Saturday, January 26 • Matinée


The Well


1:30 PM

The disappearance of a young black girl triggers fearful unrest in a small, racially mixed American town. After police arrest a white transient with no alibi, rumors and suspicion threaten to erupt in a full-blown race riot. This provocative film, shot on a miniscule budget in the Northern California towns of Marysville and Yuba City, is a marvel of suspenseful filmmaking, and packs a punch for modern audiences who thought these lessons were learned long ago. Oscar® nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Editing, with stunning work in the final reel by cinematographer Ernest Laszlo. A rarity that is still terrifying and timely. Presented digitally

1951, United Artists. 86 min. Digital
Scr. Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene. Dir. Russell Rouse

Detective Story


3:15 PM

The squad room of the 21st Precinct becomes the setting for a passion play centered around hard-nosed, merciless cop Jim McLeod (Kirk Douglas), whose vehement views of right and wrong are tested during a long, relentless shift. Amid the chaos of crimes both petty and profound, dark secrets are revealed that bring McLeod's moral absolutism crashing down around him. Douglas is his usual volatile self, but the Oscar nods went to Eleanor Parker as his wife, Lee Grant in her sensational movie debut as a collared kleptomaniac, Phil Yordan's adapted screenplay and William Wyler's typically impeccable direction. Presented in DCP courtesy of Paramount

1951, Paramount. 103 min. DCP
Scr. Philip Yordan and Robert Wyler, from the play by Sidney Kingsley. Pro. & Dir. William Wyler

Saturday, January 26 • Evening



7:30 PM

In the early 1950s America's obsession with organized crime was whetted by televised Congressional hearings, and Hollywood cashed in with a slew of "exposé" films. Paramount took the high road with this star-studded thriller about crusading attorney John Conroy (Edmond O'Brien), who returns to his hometown to root out corruption. Will his childhood pal Jerry McKibbon (William Holden), now a cynical reporter, be an ally or an adversary? And why does Conroy's father (Ed Begley), a veteran cop, not want to spearhead a criminal investigation? A rarity returned to circulation that, sadly, is timely once again. With a knockout finish that takes audiences completely by surprise. Presented in DCP courtesy of Paramount

1952, Paramount. 85 min. DCP
Scr. Warren Duff, from a story by Horace McCoy. Dir. William Dieterle

Angel Face


9:15 PM

Ambulance driver Frank Jessup (Robert Mitchum) responds to an emergency at a hilltop mansion and meets heiress princess Diane Tremayne (Jean Simmons)—who has an Electra-fying secret. Frank and Diane's affair takes a dark turn once her parents unexpectedly drop out of the picture. The simple, doom-laden plot is directed with panache by Preminger, who gets wonderful performances from Simmons and Mitchum, both of whom hated his guts. With a haunting score by the great Dimitri Tiomkin. A nasty, vengeful production by RKO boss Howard Hughes, but so elegant and artful it transcends its pulpy, derivative roots. Featuring one of noir's most stunning finales. Presented in 35mm courtesy of Warner Bros

1953, RKO Radio Pictures [WB], 91 min. 35mm
Scr. Frank Nugent and Oscar Millard, from a story by Chester Erskine. Dir. Otto Preminger

Sunday, January 27


Pickup on South Street


1:00, 4:30, 8:50 PM

Mercenary pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) and a brassy streetwalker named Candy (Jean Peters) find themselves frantically playing both ends against the middle when some purloined microfilm puts them in the crossfire between Communist spies and Federal agents. Fuller's punchy and apolitical thriller sides with society's marginalized miscreants at a time when the nation was being torn apart by McCarthy era ideology. Featuring a memorable Oscar-nominated turn by Thelma Ritter as the sage grafter, Moe. Many consider this Fuller's signature work: smart, savvy, and stylish—a cinematic slap-in-the-face that's a perfect blending of Fuller's tabloid style and Fox's polished craftsmanship. Presented in DCP courtesy of 20th Century–Fox

1953, 20th Century–Fox. 80 min. DCP
Scr. Samuel Fuller, from a story by Dwight Taylor. Dir. Samuel Fuller

City That Never Sleeps


2:40, 7:00 PM

Cop Johnny Kelly (Gig Young) has had enough of Chicago, in both the mean streets and on the chilly domestic front. He'd run off with his stripper girlfriend Angel Face (Mala Powers) if he could only get his hands on enough scratch to stake them to a new start. Thus begins one long, fantastical night in the Windy City, where saints and sinners collide in pile-up of crimes, and Johnny's dreams and nightmares all come true. This noir oddity, narrated by The City itself, is a low-rent masterpiece of B-moviemaking, evocatively shot by John L. (Psycho) Russell, and featuring a stellar cast headed by noir favorites Marie Windsor and William Talman. With Wally Cassel as the unforgettable "Mechanical Man." Presented in DCP courtesy of Paramount

1953, Republic Pictures [Paramount]. 90 min. DCP. Scr. Steve Fisher. Dir. John H. Auer

Film Noir Foundation

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