NOIR CITY 6: IT’S A BITTER LITTLE WORLD

Friday, August 29th – Thursday, September 4th, 2014

http://noircitychicago.com

 
 

The 6th edition of the Music Box’s annual film noir festival is going international, exploding the long-held belief that noir stories and style are a specifically American phenomenon.

 
<cite>Too Late for Tears</cite>

Too Late for Tears

directed by Byron Haskin starring Lizabeth Scott, Dan Duryea, Arthur Kennedy

A ruthless housewife is determined to keep an ill-gotten satchel of cash, even if it means murder. One of the great noirs of the classic era, long thought lost but now returned to the big screen in a completely restored 35mm print!

<cite>Roadblock</cite>

Roadblock

directed by Harold Daniels starring Charles McGraw

Charles McGraw is at his best as a straight-arrow insurance investigator who turns crooked to satisfy femme fatale Joan Dixon. An unjustly overlooked example of classic noir, with terrific screenplay by Steve Fisher.

<cite>Death of a Cyclist</cite>

Death of a Cyclist

directed by Juan Antonio Bardem in Spanish starring Lucia Bose and Alberto Closas

An adulterous couple—wealthy socialite and university professor—hit a cyclist on their way back from an illicit tryst. Fearing exposure of the affair, they leave the man to die. Gradually the noose tightens around them. A Cannes festival winner, starring Lucia Bose and Alberto Closas.

<cite>Born to Be Bad</cite>

Born to Be Bad

directed by Nicholas Ray starring Joan Fontaine, Robert Ryan

Joan Fontaine looks sweet and innocent on the surface, but after she steals millionaire Zachary Scott away from another woman, she continues an illicit affair with novelist Robert Ryan. Things just get more complicated from there in this daring and nasty melodrama. One of Nick Ray’s best early films—presented along with the original deleted ending! 35mm print courtesy of the George Eastman House

<cite>Ossessione</cite>

Ossessione

directed by Luchino Visconti in Italian starring Clara Calamai and Massimo Girotti

Based on James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, the first acclaimed work of Italian neorealism is a gritty, earthy (and unlicensed) adaptation of the famous noir novella, much closer in tone and spirit to Cain’s tale than the 1946 Hollywood version. Clara Calamai and Massimo Girotti burn up the screen as the doomed lovers, but Visconti makes the story as much about poverty as about lust and greed. The film was banned by Italy’s Fascist government, and MGM (legal holder of the movie rights) confiscated and destroyed all the prints it could find. Yet Ossessione survives, a stunning hybrid of noir and neorealism—the director’s first masterpiece.

<cite>Pépé Le Moko</cite>

Pépé Le Moko

directed by Julien Duvivier in French starring Jean Gabin

Parisian crook Pépé Le Moko (the legendary Jean Gabin) thrives within Algier’s Casbah, where the locals protect him from the police. But a canny cop uses romance as the bait when Pépé falls for a beautiful tourist. Exhibit A in the argument that the French were the first to do “Noir.”

<cite>Quai des orfèvres</cite>

Quai des orfèvres

directed by H.G. Clouzot in French starring Susie Delair, Louis Jouvert

Jenny Lamour (Susie Delair), a flighty and ambitious showgirl, is the prime suspect in the death of an elderly showbiz patron. But beleaguered inspector Antoine (Louis Jouvert) overlooks no possible suspect in the bustling theatre. An exceptional policier, rich with colorful characters.

<cite>Rififi</cite>

Rififi

directed by Jules Dassin in French

This French equivalent of The Asphalt Jungle focuses on four professional crooks determined to execute the perfect heist. Transplanted American director Dassin executes the most suspenseful robbery sequence of all-time in this legendary crime classic. Jean Servais leads the gang.

<cite>Two Men in Manhattan</cite>

Two Men in Manhattan

directed by Jean-Pierre Melville in English

When a French delegate to the United Nations vanishes into thin air, two French journalists comb nocturnal Manhattan in search of answers. Melville’s obsession with the look and sound of American culture is given free rein in this jazzily directed homage to film noir and New York.

<cite>Caged</cite>

Caged

directed by John Cromwell starring Eleanor Parker

Flat-out the best “women behind bars” movie ever made. Sentenced to prison for her role in a failed robbery that killed her husband, vulnerable innocent Marie Allen (Oscar-nominated Eleanor Parker) undergoes a degrading transformation in “the joint.” Parker gives the performance of her career, supported by a cell block of sensational actresses: Agnes Moorehead, Hope Emerson, Betty Garde, Jan Sterling, Lee Patrick, Jane Darwell and many more. A classic!

<cite>Tension</cite>

Tension

directed by John Berry starring Audrey Totter, Barry Sullivan and William Conrad

Vampy sexpot Audrey Totter is married to mild-mannered druggist Richard Basehart—but she sleeps with every “real man” she sees. So Basehart takes the noir way out—kills his wife’s lover and disappears into a new identity. But cops Barry Sullivan and William Conrad smell a rat. Then Audrey and Barry eye each other … and the tension is stretched to the breaking point. John Berry’s direction steamrolls the plot holes flat—and Totter is a 100-proof hoot.

<cite>One Way Street</cite>

Tickets

Tue 2 Sep

One Way Street

directed by Hugo Fregonese starring James Mason, Dan Duryea

Even though he had just begun his American film career, James Mason already had his doomed fugitive persona down pat in Odd Man Out and The Reckless Moment. Here he’s a disillusioned doctor who feels responsible for his wife’s death and believes he’s only worthy of patching up wounded criminals. He tricks Los Angeles gang boss Dan Duryea out of his latest haul, and absconds with Duryea’s more than willing moll, Marta Toren. They head to Mexico with the swag—but can they outrun Duryea’s limitless reach?

<cite>Hardly a Criminal</cite>

Tickets

Tue 2 Sep

Hardly a Criminal

directed by Hugo Fregonese in Spanish starring Jorge Salcedo

A bank employee (Jorge Salcedo) uses a loophole in Argentine law to concoct the perfect crime, planning to reap the rewards of his embezzlement after serving six years in prison. A vivid cross between Naked City and Brute Force, and an evocative look at mid-20th century Buenos Aires.

<cite>Drunken Angel</cite>

Tickets

Wed 3 Sep

Drunken Angel

directed by Akira Kurosawa in Japanese starring Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura

An alcoholic doctor and a tubercular gangster forge an unexpected friendship after the doctor saves the callow crook’s life, but the return of a criminal comrade sparks a tragic turn. Toshiro Mifune explodes off the screen in his first film for Kurosawa

<cite>Stray Dog</cite>

Tickets

Wed 3 Sep

Stray Dog

directed by Akira Kurosawa in Japanese starring Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura

A young policeman is disgraced when his gun is stolen on the subway. With the help of a veteran cop he hunts the culprit through the Tokyo underworld. A riveting thriller and vividly wrought portrait of post-Hiroshima Japan. Mifune and Shimura are reunited as the dogged cops.

<cite>M</cite>

Tickets

Thu 4 Sep

M

directed by Joseph Losey starring David Wayne

The American version of Fritz Lang’s 1931 classic about a child murderer being simultaneously hunted by the police and the underworld receives renewed impetus in the setting of Bunker Hill locations under the direction of Joe Losey. David Wayne turns in a bravura performance as the killer and is supported by a veritable character actor’s Hall of Fame: Howard Da Silva, Luther Adler, Steve Brodie, Raymond Burr, Norman Lloyd, Walter Burke and Jim Backus. Not on DVD!

<cite>The Black Vampire</cite>

Tickets

Thu 4 Sep

The Black Vampire

directed by Román Viñoly Barreto in Spanish starring Olga Zubarry

This clever “feminist” reworking of Fritz Lang’s classic M focuses on the mothers of children stalked by a deranged pedophile. Virtually unknown outside Argentina, and presented onscreen in the U.S. for the first time ever, in a new 35mm print! Starring the radiant Olga Zubarry.

Pricing

$12 tickets per film. Each film is part of a double feature and buying a ticket to a feature entitles the holder to the next film of the day as part of the festival.
$75 Festival Pass

Schedule

Festival Passes

Friday, August 29th

7:00pm

Tickets

Too Late for Tears
9:00pm

Tickets

Roadblock

Monday, September 1st

3:00pm

Tickets

Caged
5:00pm

Tickets

Tension
7:00pm

Tickets

Caged
9:00pm

Tickets

Tension

Wednesday, September 3rd

5:00pm

Tickets

Drunken Angel
7:00pm

Tickets

Stray Dog
9:30pm

Tickets

Drunken Angel

Thursday, September 4th

5:00pm

Tickets

M
7:00pm

Tickets

The Black Vampire
9:00pm

Tickets

M

Focusing on the years immediately following World War II, this year’s NOIR CITY festival features classic noir films from France, Japan, Argentina, Spain, Italy, and Britain, as well as a sampling of homegrown Hollywood rarities. The 14 films in the series reveal that the cinematic movement known as Noir spanned the globe, and its style, sexiness, and cynicism crossed all international borders. The Foundation, co-presenters of the festival with the Music Box, will also be presenting its latest 35mm film restoration, Too Late for Tears (1949), starring Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea, which Muller declares “the best unknown American film noir of the classic era.” Also screening will be a newly struck 35mm print of the tough-as-nails Roadblock, starring noir favorite Charles McGraw. “Our desire to expand the scope of the NOIR CITY festival has resulted in our most ambitious program ever,” said Film Noir Foundation president Eddie Muller. “Its overall impact will, I suspect, change many people’s long-standing preconceptions about film noir.”

Other instances of the Noir City: Chicago

Stay in Touch

About Us

Sign up for our E-Newsletter Sign up for our E-Newsletter

receive weekly showtimes & information

Subscribe to our RSS feed

announcements, blog entries and newsletters