Noir City: Chicago 4

Friday, August 17th – Friday, August 24th, 2012


NOIR CITY: CHICAGO returns to the Music Box, August 17th – 23rd!




<cite>99 River Street</cite>

Sun 19 Aug, 2012, 5:00pm

99 River Street

directed by Phil Karlson in English starring John Payne, Evelyn Keyes and Brad Dexter

John Payne is a washed-up boxer framed for the murder of his wife. Evelyn Keyes is his sexy gal-pal, using all her wiles to bust the set-up. A damn near perfect 1950s crime saga, perhaps the signature film of director Phil Karlson. The dynamite screenplay is by Robert Smith. 35mm print courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

<cite>Black Angel</cite>

Sat 18 Aug, 2012, 3:30pm

Black Angel

directed by Roy William Neill in English starring Dan Duryea, June Vincent and Peter Lorre

In this spellbinding adaptation of Woolrich’s thriller, noir favorite Dan Duryea gives a terrific performance as a pickled pianist whose estranged wife is murdered. When her husband is charged with the crime, nightclub canary June Vincent enlists drunken Dan’s help in a search for the real culprit. Broderick Crawford and Peter Lorre add muscle and menace to the typically warped Woolrich atmosphere, well rendered by director Roy William Neill.


Tue 21 Aug, 2012, 7:30pm


directed by Max Ophüls in English starring James Mason, Barbara Bel Geddes and Robert Ryan

Robert Ryan gives a towering performance as psychotic billionaire Smith Ohlrig, who gives impressionable young Leonora Eames (Barbara Bel Geddes) everything she ever wanted. Leonora suffocates from the security, and soon falls for an altruistic doctor (James Mason), leading her husband to devise a scheme to permanently lock the bonds of matrimony. Superbly directed by Max Ophuls, with cinematography by the great Lee Garmes. Preservation by UCLA Film & Television Archive, funded by the Film Foundation.

<cite>The Face Behind the Mask</cite>

Fri 17 Aug, 2012, 9:30pm

The Face Behind the Mask

directed by Robert Florey in English starring Peter Lorre

Peter Lorre stars as an immigrant watchmaker, horribly disfigured in a fire, whose despair and alienation lead him into a life of crime. A friendship with a young blind woman (Evelyn Keyes) offers him a shot at love and redemption. But … this is a noir film festival. Directed by Robert Florey, screenplay by Paul Jarrico.

<cite>The Great Gatsby</cite>

Wed 22 Aug, 2012, 7:30pm

The Great Gatsby

directed by Elliott Nugent in English starring Alan Ladd, Betty Field and Macdonald Carey

Resurrected at last is this Golden Age version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, unseen for decades. Thanks to our friends at Universal Pictures, Alan Ladd’s noir-tinged take on the timeless tale of shady success and lost love can be seen again, in a brand new print made exclusively for NOIR CITY! Screenplay by Cyril Hume and Richard Maibaum, from the novel and a play by Owen Davis. An intriguing take on an American classic. Brand new 35mm print!

<cite>Kiss Me Deadly</cite>

Thu 23 Aug, 2012, 5:30pm

Kiss Me Deadly

directed by Robert Aldrich in English starring Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker and Paul Stewart

Screenwriter A. I. Bezzerides bounces Mickey Spillane’s right-wing detective novel on its head, producing a Cold War classic in the process. Ralph Meeker blithely hammers his way through director Robert Aldrich’s nightmarish vision of mid-century Los Angeles, creating a modern hero with more compassion for cars than humans. By some estimates the “ultimate film noir,” filled with “White Hot Thrills! Blood Red Kisses!”

<cite>On Dangerous Ground</cite>

Tue 21 Aug, 2012, 5:30pm

On Dangerous Ground

directed by Nicholas Ray in English starring Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan and Ward Bond

Veteran NYC cop Jim Wilson (Ryan), bitter from years of dealing with “human garbage” is shipped upstate to cool off. Instead he leads the search for a murdered young girl, torn between the vengeance of the girl’s father (Ward Bond) and the compassion of the prime suspect’s sister (Ida Lupino). Contains some of director Nick Ray’s finest sequences, and a brilliant, brassy score by Bernard Herrmann.

<cite>Phantom Lady</cite>

Sat 18 Aug, 2012, 1:30pm

Phantom Lady

directed by Robert Siodmak in English starring Franchot Tone, Ella Raines and Alan Curtis

Loyal and lovely Ella Raines is “one hep kitten” as she high-heels her way through the noir demimonde, searching for the one woman who can save her boss from a murder rap. Director Robert Siodmak and DP Woody Bredell wring every juicy bit of shadowy mystery from the novel by master of suspense Cornell Woolrich. Famous for Elisha Cook’s manic interlude as a wigged-out jazz drummer in orgiastic frenzy! A truly seminal noir classic!


Mon 20 Aug, 2012, 5:30pm


directed by Joseph Pevney in English starring Howard Duff, Peggy Dow and Brian Donlevy

Howard Duff is terrific as an unscrupulous Weegee-esque newspaper photographer “Jack Early” in this slam-bang tabloid-style programmer, shot partially on-location in 1950 San Francisco. A fun riff on old-school paparazzi, featuring a colorful cast including the great Lawrence Tierney, Brian Donlevy, Bruce Bennett, and Peggy Dow. Smartly directed by Joseph Pevney.

<cite>Slaughter on Tenth Avenue</cite>

Sun 19 Aug, 2012, 2:30pm

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

directed by Arnold Laven in English starring Richard Egan, Jan Sterling

This stepson of On the Waterfront packs its own wallop. An upstart DA (Richard Egan) tries to crack the New York waterfront’s mob-enforced code of silence and mete out justice for a murdered whistleblower. Jan Sterling is terrific as the victim’s widow, heading a dynamite supporting cast including Dan Duryea, Charles McGraw, Sam Levene, and Walter Matthau. Brand new 35mm Print!

<cite>This Gun for Hire</cite>

Wed 22 Aug, 2012, 5:30pm

This Gun for Hire

directed by Frank Tuttle in English starring Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake and Robert Preston

Alan Ladd skyrocketed into stardom playing vengeful assassin Philip Raven in this stylish adaptation of Graham Greene’s classic novel of espionage, transposed to the California coast. Veronica Lake sizzles in her first of seven onscreen pairings with Ladd, and noir favorites Laird Cregar and Marc Lawrence lend memorable support. Directed by Frank Tuttle, from a screenplay by W. R. Burnett (The Asphalt Jungle) and Albert Maltz (Naked City).

<cite>Three Strangers</cite>

Fri 17 Aug, 2012, 7:30pm

Three Strangers

directed by Jean Negulesco in English starring Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Geraldine Fitzgerald

The verities of fate are explored this fantastic tale of three strangers whose fates entwine with a mysterious Chinese idol and a winning lottery ticket. Deeply cynical, gloriously atmospheric. Never on DVD, almost lost in 35mm, we proudly present this forgotten classic in a brand new FNF-funded preservation print! Screenplay by John Huston and Howard Koch.


Mon 20 Aug, 2012, 7:30pm


directed by William Castle in English starring Scott Brady, John Russell and Dorothy Hart

Director William Castle brings his special brand of low-budget panache to Chicago, with on-location filming enlivening a tale of a ex-con, framed for murder, looking for revenge in the city’s underworld. With Scott Brady, John Russell, Dorothy Hart—and fresh from the night’s first film, Bruce Bennett and Peggy Dow! See if you can spot young Rock Hudson—who has bit parts in BOTH of these films!

<cite>White Heat</cite>

Thu 23 Aug, 2012, 7:45pm

White Heat

directed by Raoul Walsh in English starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Edmond O'Brien

James Cagney burns up the screen in one his greatest roles, portraying outlaw Cody Jarrett, a cold-blooded killer with an Oedipus complex and headaches that quickly turn homicidal. Raoul Walsh brilliantly directs a sensational cast (Edmond O’Brien, Virginia Mayo, and Steve Cochran), creating several legendary action sequences. One of the best crime thrillers ever!

<cite>The Window</cite>

Sat 18 Aug, 2012, 7:30pm

The Window

directed by Ted Tetzlaff in English starring Bobby Driscoll, Barbara Hale and Arthur Kennedy

This unnerving adaptation of Woolrich’s “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is one of the most suspenseful films ever made. A child (Bobby Driscoll, who earned a special pint-sized Oscar for his performance) witnesses a murder but can’t get anyone to believe him—except the killers, memorably portrayed by Paul Stewart and Ruth Roman. Ted Tetzlaff directed, brilliantly. 35mm preservation print funded by the Film Noir Foundation!

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