Noir City: Chicago 8

Friday, August 19th – Thursday, August 25th, 2016


Noir City: Chicago returns to the Music Box for the 8th great year, as the Film Noir Foundation presents a festival that combines extraordinary rarities with revivals of recognized classics!

<cite>Miller’s Crossing</cite>

Miller’s Crossing [35mm]

directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen in English starring Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden

A canny “fixer” (Gabriel Byrne) finds himself in a tight spot trying to broker a truce between rival gang bosses (Albert Finney and Jon Polito) in this savvy and stylish homage to American crime fiction and films. The Coen’s clever comingling of Dashiell Hammett’s novels The Glass Key and Red Harvest allows them to lovingly recreate the iconography and language of the hardboiled 1930s.

<cite>Armored Car Robbery</cite>

Armored Car Robbery [35mm]

directed by Richard Fleischer in English starring Charles McGraw, Adele Jergens, William Talman

35mm print courtesy of Warner Bros.
Screenplay by Earl Felton and Gerald Drayson Adams.
The ultimate B caper flick, terse, tidy, and tough-as-nails. The gruffest mug in noir, Charles McGraw, plays a relentless L.A. Robbery-Homicide dick matched against lizard-lidded heavy William Talman in the film noir equivalent of ‘King Kong vs. Godzilla.’ With sultry Adele Jergens as a duplicitous burlesque queen, strutting her stuff amidst a gaggle of no-good goons.

<cite>The Narrow Margin</cite>

The Narrow Margin [35mm]

directed by Richard Fleischer in English starring Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White

35mm print courtesy of Warner Bros.
Screenplay by Earl Felton, from a story by Martin Goldsmith.
Perhaps the most inventive “B” of the classic noir era. On a train rife with killers, a tough cop (Charles McGraw) hauls a mobster’s wife to L.A. to testify. Statuesque Marie Windsor goes chest-to-chest with surly McGraw, slinging hardboiled sass like nobody’s business. Fleischer inventive and propulsive direction makes this modest offering a non-stop thrill-ride.

<cite>Deep Valley</cite>

Deep Valley [35mm]

directed by Jean Negulesco in English starring Ida Lupino, Dane Clark, Wayne Morris

35mm print courtesy of Warner Bros.
Screenplay by Salka Viertel and Stephen Morehouse, from the novel by Dan Totheroh.
A shy girl (Ida Lupino) raised on a remote coastal farm by unloving parents (Henry Hull and Fay Bainter) has her world turned upside down when she falls in love with an escaped convict (Dane Clark) being hunted by a posse. One of Lupino’s most sensitive performances is bolstered by a nuanced screenplay by Salka Viertel and assured direction by Negulesco.

<cite>Los Tallos Amargos (The Bitter Stems)</cite>

Los Tallos Amargos (The Bitter Stems) [35mm]

directed by Fernando Ayala in Spanish starring Carlos Cores, Aída Luz, Julia Sandoval

Presented in a completely restored 35mm print from UCLA Film & Television Archive, with funding provided by the Film Noir Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Charitable Trust (The HFPA Trust).
Screenplay by Sergio Leonardo, from the novel by Adolfo Jasca.
This brilliant noir won Argentina’s Silver Condor Award as the best film of 1956—yet it remains unknown in the rest of the world. Which is a crime, because Los Tallos Amargos is one of the best noir-drenched crime films of the 1950s—maybe ever. A Buenos Aires newspaper reporter (Carlos Cores) partners in a correspondence-school scam with a clever Hungarian (Vassili Lambrinos). But as suspicions rise about the Hungarian’s true motives, one man is driven to commit the perfect crime—with stunning and tragic results. Featuring an inventive score by Astor Piazzolla, the greatest Argentine musician of the twentieth century.


Riff-Raff [35mm]

directed by Ted Tetzlaff in English starring Pat O'Brien, Walter Slezak, Anne Jeffreys

35mm print courtesy of Warner Bros.
Screenplay by Martin Rackin.
Former Hitchcock cameraman Tetzlaff (The Window) expertly helms this overlooked gem of breezy suspense about murder and a missing map. Pat O’Brien and Anne Jeffreys volley the snappy dialogue back and forth while the sinister bulk of Walter Slezak ominously hovers. The RKO lot effectively doubles as Central America with Percy Kilbride as a wiseacre Panama City hack driver. Don’t miss the astounding opening sequence!

<cite>Hollow Triumph</cite>

Hollow Triumph [35mm]

directed by Steve Sekely in English starring Paul Henreid, Joan Bennett, Eduard Franz

Restored 35mm Print!
Courtesy UCLA Film & Television Archive
Screenplay by Daniel Fuchs, from the novel by Murray Forbes.
Fugitive crook Johnny Muller (Paul Henried) finds the perfect hiding place—in the guise of a psychiatrist who is his identical twin … almost. One of the sublime examples of noir fatalism, with a clever script that will keep you guessing—and the added attraction of photography by the great John Alton. Produced by leading man Henreid, who like many actors in the late ’40s turned to crime dramas to revitalize their careers. Costarring Joan Bennett at her snarly best.

<cite>Side Street</cite>

Side Street [35mm]

directed by Anthony Mann in English starring Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig

35mm print courtesy of Warner Bros
Screenplay by Sydney Boehm.
Naïve postman Joe Norson (Farley Granger) takes a dangerous shortcut to securing a nest egg for his pregnant wife (Cathy O’Donnell)—stealing thirty grand from the office of a shady shyster. When Joe tries to give himself up he only gets in deeper, careening for his life through the treacherous streets of Manhattan, pursued by cops and crooks at every deadly turn. A much more noir version of Naked City, with Mann pulling out all the stops, abetted by Joe Ruttenberg’s stunning location cinematography.

<cite>Flesh and Fantasy</cite>

Flesh and Fantasy [35mm]

directed by Julien Duvivier in English starring Barbara Stanwyck, Charles Boyer, Edward G. Robinson, Thomas Mitchell

This incredibly rarity is presented in an original 35mm print courtesy of Universal Pictures!
Screenplay by Ernest Pascal, Samuel Hoffenstein, and Ellis St. Joseph, from stories by Oscar Wilde, László Vadnay, and Ellis St. Joseph.
Considered one of the greatest French directors (his Pepé Le Moko is the virtual template for the “poetic realism” that informed film noir), Duvivier escaped the war years at home by bringing his incredible style to several offbeat Hollywood films of the early 1940s. This anthology of slightly supernatural tales—a proto-Twilight Zone, if you will—features a dazzling cast of stars (Edward G. Robinson, Barbara Stanwyck, Charles Boyer, Betty Field, Robert Cummings, Thomas Mitchell) and exceptional camerawork by Stanley Cortez and Paul Ivano.


Destiny [35mm]

directed by Reginald Le Borg, Julien Duvivier in English starring Gloria Jean, Alan Curtis, Frank Craven

35mm Archival Print! Not on DVD!
Screenplay by Roy Chanslor and Ernest Pascal, from a story by Jean Levy-Strauss.
Originally intended to be the opening tale of Flesh and Fantasy, Universal elected to cleave this segment off and release it as a 65-minute stand-alone feature, its added passages directed by Reginald LeBorg. A robber (Alan Curtis) hides out in rural Paradise Valley, where the town folk are so pleasant and trusting he eagerly hatches a plan to rob them blind. But a farmer’s daughter (Gloria Jean), who really is blind, has a big surprise in store for him. Be here when NOIR CITY screens Duvivier’s four chapters of Flesh and Fantasy in one complete program!


Shakedown [35mm]

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

35mm Archival Print! Not on DVD!
Screenplay by Martin Goldsmith, from a story by Nat Dallinger.
Howard Duff is terrific as an unscrupulous “Weegee”-style newspaper photographer in this slam-bang tabloid-style programmer, set entirely in 1950 San Francisco, shown in all its glory from skid row to Nob Hill. Duff’s character, Jack Early, lives up to the film’s original title, The Magnificent Heel. Costarring Brian Donlevy, Peggy Dow and Lawrence Tierney at his sneering, sinister best. Don’t blink or you’ll miss one of Rock Hudson’s first screen appearances!

<cite>Outside the Wall</cite>

Outside the Wall [35mm]

directed by Crane Wilbur in English starring Richard Basehart, Marilyn Maxwell, Signe Hasso

Brand New 35mm Print, courtesy of Universal Pictures! Not on DVD!
Screenplay by Crane Wilbur, from a story by Henry Edward Helseth.
Pardoned after serving fifteen years in prison for a boyhood murder, Larry Nelson (Richard Basehart) discovers he cannot escape his past when he encounters a crook (John Hoyt), an opportunistic nurse (Marilyn Maxwell), Hoyt’s greedy ex-wife (Signe Hasso) and a motley crew of miscreants (Lloyd Gough, Joe Pevney, Mickey Knox and Harry Morgan). Written and directed by crime maestro Crane Wilbur and filmed on location in downtown Philadelphia and Eastern State Penitentiary.

<cite>Meet Danny Wilson</cite>

Meet Danny Wilson [35mm]

directed by Joseph Pevney in English starring Frank Sinatra, Shelley Winters, Alex Nicol

35mm Archival Print, courtesy of Universal Pictures! Not on DVD!
Screenplay by Don McGuire.
Frank Sinatra stars as a hot-tempered singer (imagine that!) who is kept afloat by his buddy-pianist (Alex Nicol) and heart-of gold chanteuse (Shelley Winters). Complications ensue when gangster Raymond Burr enters the picture with an eye for both Shelley and Sinatra’s salary. Produced after Frank’s bobby-soxer era fame faded and prior to his mega-stardom in From Here to Eternity (1953), this noir-stained musical is one of “Ol’ Blue Eyes” most overlooked and underappreciated movies. A NOIR CITY nod to Sinatra’s centenary anniversary.

<cite>Young Man with a Horn</cite>

Young Man with a Horn [35mm]

directed by Michael Curtiz in English starring Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day

35mm print courtesy of Warner Bros.
Screenplay by Carl Foreman and Edmund North, from the novel by Dorothy Baker.
Dorothy Baker’s novel, inspired by the life of cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, gets the full-blown Hollywood treatment. Star-crossed jazzman Kirk Douglas (musically dubbed by Harry James) hits the high and low notes with a formidable Lauren Bacall and empathetic Doris Day as the women in his orbit. A daring Carl Foreman script compliments Hoagy Carmichael and Juano Hernandez’s memorable supporting performances with dazzling direction by Michael Curtiz.

<cite>Sorry, Wrong Number</cite>

Sorry, Wrong Number

directed by Anatole Litvak in English starring Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster

Screenplay by Lucille Fletcher, from her radio play.
Heiress Leona Stevenson (Barbara Stanwyck), bedridden by psychosomatic symptoms, hears through crossed telephone wires a murder being planned. She tries to alert the police, to no avail, and grows frantic as she gradually realizes she is the intended victim. Stanwyck gives a tour de force performance (Oscar-nominated) in this engrossing and densely layered extension of Lucille Fletcher’s legendary 22-minute radio drama. Featuring Burt Lancaster, mesmerizing direction by Litvak, and atmospheric camerawork by the great Sol Polito. Famous … yet still underrated.

<cite>The Accused</cite>

The Accused [35mm]

directed by William Dieterle in English starring Loretta Young, Robert Cummings, Wendell Corey

Newly Restored 35mm Print, courtesy of the Library of Congress!! Not on DVD!
Screenplay by Ketti Frings, from the novel by June Truesdell.
A “spinsterish” college professor (Loretta Young) kills a student in self-defense when he sexually assaults her. She tries to cover up her involvement but the dead boy’s guardian (Robert Cummings) and a relentless cop (Wendell Corey) are both determined—for personal as well as professional reasons—to crack her resolve. A tense thriller that tackles an especially delicate subject for the era.

<cite>The Harder They Fall</cite>

The Harder They Fall

directed by Mark Robson in English starring Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling

Screenplay by Phil Yordan, based on the novel by Budd Schulberg.
In his final film, Humphrey Bogart gives one of his most affecting performances as a sportswriter turned PR flak who regrets helping a gangster (Rod Steiger) create the next heavyweight champ. Budd Schulberg based his novel on the true story of circus strongman turned fighter Primo Carnera. An angry attack on boxing in the 1950s that is, paradoxically, one of the best boxing movies ever made.

<cite>Flesh and Fury</cite>

Flesh and Fury [35mm]

directed by Joseph Pevney in English starring Tony Curtis, Jan Sterling, Mona Freeman

Brand New 35mm Print struck exclusively for NOIR CITY by Universal Pictures! Not on DVD!
Screenplay by Bernard Gordon, from a story by William Alland.
Tony Curtis delivers a knockout performance as a deaf boxer who looks to be easy pickings for a mercenary blonde (Jan Sterling) while a compassionate reporter (Mona Freeman) tries to prevent him from being counted out for good. Bernard Gordon’s crisp script and a solid supporting cast (including the debut of Harry Guardino) bolsters Curtis’ early starring turn.


Festival Passes & Tickets for all screenings are on sale now!

Festival Passes are $85 General Admission / $70 for Music Box Members – Only 125 Passes Available!
CLICK HERE to sign up for a Music Box Membership

CLICK HERE to purchase a Festival Pass

Tickets are $12 General Admission, $9 for Music Box Members
Tickets for films on Monday, August 22nd through Thursday, August 25th can be used for a Double Feature.


Friday, August 19th

Miller’s Crossing
Armored Car Robbery

Sunday, August 21st

Hollow Triumph
Side Street
Flesh and Fantasy

Monday, August 22nd

Outside the Wall

Wednesday, August 24th

Sorry, Wrong Number
The Accused
Sorry, Wrong Number

Thursday, August 25th

The Harder They Fall
Flesh and Fury
The Harder They Fall

The Film Noir Foundation is a non-profit public benefit corporation created as an educational resource regarding the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of film noir as an original American cinematic movement.

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