Director Sam Fuller Featured at Moving Image

Through to June 10, Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image will present the first comprehensive retrospective of this director’s films since his death in 1997.

Pick Up On South Street

The noir films included are “Pickup on South Street” (1953) and “Underworld USA” (1961), “Shock Corridor” (1963), “The Naked Kiss” (1964), “The Big Red One” (1980) and the controversial “White Dog” (1982), a study of racial hatred that Paramount Pictures chose not to release in the United States at the time of its completion because of its subject matter.

New Film Noir DVDs: The Third Man (1949) and Scarface (1932)

The Third Man (Criterion US$40)

The Third Man

With Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli and Trevor Howard in a
classic film noir set in World War II Vienna. Penned by Graham Greene
and directed by Carol Reed, it features provocative performances and off-kilter
atmospheric shots of Vienna, wherec it was shot on location.

This new two-disc set includes a new, restored high-definition
digital transfer of the British version of the film and great extras.
Commentaries by Steven Soderbergh and writer Tony Gilroy, and film
historian Dana Polan , a 2005 documentary, Shadowing ‘The Third Man,
a 1968 episode from the BBC’s Omnibus series featuring a rare interview
with GrahameGreene, and an unusual 2000 Australian documentary Who Was
the Third Man?

Scarface (Universal US$15)


Howard Hawks’ seminal 1932 gangster movie. The rise and fall of mobster Tony
Camonte (Paul Muni).

Palm Springs 2007 Film Noir Festival

Palm Springs 2006 Film Noir Festival May 31 – June 3 2007

Palm Springs Film Noir Festival 2007

If you are lucky enough to be in Palm Springs, you can catch cinema screenings of these classic films noir at the Palm Spring FilmNoir Festival – some not seen on the big screen since the 1940’s:

Thursday June 1 7:30 pm – Special Guest James Darren
The Brothers Rico (1957)
DIR: Phil Karlson
Richard Conte, Kathryn Grant, James Darren
Conte, a once-gangster-turned straight is forced by his old cronies to help locate his younger brother but is duped all the way.

Friday June 2 10:00 am – Special Guest James O’Keefe
T-Men (1948)

DIR: Anthony Mann
Dennis O’Keefe, Alfred Ryder, Mary Meade, Wallace Ford
Treasury agents go undercover to expose a counterfeiting ring, but as in all noir, things go awry. One of the best examples of the semi-documentary noir style, with the killer combination of director Mann and cinematographer Alton keeping you on the edge of your seat.

Friday June 2 1:00 pm – Special Guest Richard Erdman
The Blue Gardenia (1953)
DIR: Fritz Lang
Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern, Richard Erdman, Raymond Burr
In this solid film by one of the seminal directors of film noir, a bewildered Baxter finds herself accused of murder and desperately tries to find out what to do about it.

Friday June 2 4:00 pm
Ace In The Hole (1951)
DIR: Billy Wilder
Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur
One of the most grimly cynical and riveting films ever made about the human condition. Excellent all around, the controversy surrounding the film inspired Paramount executives to rename it privately “Ass in the Wringer.” A MUST SEE TO GRASP THE UNDERPINNINGS OF NOIR!

Friday June 2 7:30 pm – Special Guest Coleen Gray
The Killing (1956)
DIR: Stanley Kubrick
Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Marie Windsor, Elisha Cook
This case study of a racetrack heist, full of double-crosses, duplicity and murder, put Kubrick’s name on the map. Full of a cast of colorful characters and plot twists, this is pure dynamite!

Saturday June 3 10:00 am
Madonna’s Secret (1946)
DIR: William Thiele
Francis Lederer, Gail Patrick, Ann Rutherford, Linda Stirling
In this almost unheard-of film, the sister of a murdered model sets out to find the killer. John Alton’s atmospheric photography sets the mood beautifully. RARE! Miss it and you’ll probably never see it again!
Immediately following the film:
Writer’s forum about Film Noir by “The Dark City Players”

Saturday June 3 1:00 pm – Special Guest Beverly Garland
The Steel Jungle (1956)
DIR: Walter Doniger
Perry Lopez, Beverly Garland, Ted de Corsia, Ken Tobey
Dark prison drama with convicted bookie Lopez squeezed between the prison warden and his deadly racketeer boss.

Saturday June 3 4:00 pm
The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)
DIR: Jean Negulesco
Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Zachary Scott, Faye Emerson
Mystery writer Lorre becomes obsessed piecing together the history of a notorious phantom criminal. ONE OF THE BEST EVER! DON’T DARE MISS IT!

Saturday June 3 7:30 pm – Special guest Constance Towers
Shock Corridor (1963)
DIR: Samuel Fuller
Constance Towers, Peter Brock, Gene Evans, James Best
Journalist Brock gets admitted to a mental institution to uncover a murder but ends up insane himself. Another powerful and unusual work by the legendary Fuller.

Sunday June 4 10:00 am
The Crooked Way (1949)
DIR: Robert Florey
John Payne, Sonny Tufts, Ellen Drew, Rhys Williams
Amnesiac war vet returns home only to find he has his own sordid past. Tough and gritty, with Alton’s usual great photography, a fine film that somehow manages to overcome the drooling and teeth-gnashing by the infamous Sonny Tufts. RARE!

Sunday June 4 1:00 pm – Special Guest Jaqueline White
Crossfire (1947)
DIR: Edward Dmytryk
Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Gloria Graham, Jacqueline White
One of four war buddies is a violent racist and murders two men, one of them his friend. One of the first post WWII films to deal seriously with the issue of anti-Semitism. Powerful stuff.

Sunday June 4 4:00 pm – Special Guest Anne Jefreys
Riffraff (1947)
DIR: Ted Tetzlaff
Pat O’Brien, Anne Jeffreys, Walter Slezak, Percy Kilbride
A retrospective of the Palm Springs Film Noir Festival, in that it was the first film we ever showed! In Panama, private detective O’Brien battles villains who are trying to procure a map to lucrative oil fields. Fun from beginning to end, great script, photography, direction, the works.

Sunday June 4 7:30 pm
A Place In The Sun (1951)
DIR: George Stevens
Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Keefe Braselle, Raymond Burr
Based on Theodore Dreiser’s AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY, this film brilliantly deals with the emptiness of the idle rich and American morals, all leading to murder. Winner of six Oscars.

Out Of The Past (1947) – Original NY Times Review

Out of the Past (aka Build My Gallows High) (1947)
NY Times Review by Bosley Crowther
A NY Times Best 1,000 film


Out of the Past is so perfect a film noir that it is considered practically a textbook example of the genre. In his first starring role (it had previously been offered to John Garfield and Dick Powell), Robert Mitchum plays Jeff Bailey, the friendly but secretive proprietor of a mountain-village gas station. As Jeff’s worshipful deaf-mute attendant (Dick Moore) looks on in curious fascination, an unsavory character named Joe (Paul Valentine) pulls up to the station, obviously looking for the owner. Jeff is all too aware of Joe’s identity; he’s been dreading this moment for quite some time, knowing full well that it will mean the end of his semi-idyllic existence, not to mention his engagement to local girl Ann (Virginia Huston). In a lengthy flashback, the audience is apprised of the reasons behind Jeff’s discomfort. Several years earlier, he’d been a private detective, hired by gangster Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) to find his mistress Kathie Moffett (Jane Greer), who shot him and ran off with $40,000. Jeff traces Kathie to Mexico, but when he meets her he falls in love and willingly becomes involved in an increasingly complicated web of double-crosses, blackmail, and murder. The flashback over, Jeff agrees to meet Whit face to face in Lake Tahoe. Surprisingly, Whit apparently bears no malice, and even offers Jeff an opportunity to square himself by retrieving Whit’s tax records from mob attorney Eels (Ken Niles). Even more surprisingly, Kathie has returned to Whit on her own volition. When Jeff is taken to Eels’ apartment by the beautiful Meta Carson (Rhonda Fleming), he quickly figures out that he has been set up and tries to clue Eels into the plot, but Eels is later found murdered, and Jeff is accused of the crime. Worse yet, Whit has forced Kathie to sign an affadavit that also pins another murder on him. Crosses, double-crosses and triple-crosses abound for the next few reels, culminating in disaster for the oh-so-clever Whit, who has fatally underestimated the deceitful (and icewater-veined) Kathie. And in the end, it is Jeff who must resort to drastic measures to force Kathie to pay the price for her cold-hearted treachery. Out of the Past was remade in 1984 as Against All Odds, with Jane Greer cast as the mother of her original character.

– Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Original N.Y. Times Review November 26, 1947


Out of the Past

Type: Features
Distributor: RKO Radio Pictures
Rating: NR (Violence/Adult Situations/Questionable for Children)
Running Time: 97 Minutes
Starring: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming, Richard Webb
Directed by: Jacques Tourneur

Out of the Past, RKO Mystery Starring Robert Mitchum, New Feature at Palace

There have been double- and triple-crosses in many of these tough detective films, and in one or two Humphrey Bogart specials they have run even higher than that. But the sum of deceitful complications that occur in “Out of the Past” must be reckoned by logarithmic tables, so numerous and involved do they become. The consequence is that the action of this new film, which came to the Palace yesterday, is likely to leave the napping or unmathematical customer far behind.
Frankly, that’s where it left us. We were with it, up to a point, and enjoying the rough-stuff and the romance with considerable delight and concern. For this story of an ex-private detective who is shanghaied from a quiet, prosaic life to get involved with his old criminal associates is intensely fascinating for a time. And it is made even more galvanic by a smooth realistic style, by fast dialogue and genuine settings in California and Mexican locales.
But after this private detective has re-encountered an old girl friend (who originally double-crossed him after luring him to double-cross his boss, whom she had shot) and the two get elaborately criss-crossed in a plot to triple-cross our boy again, the involutions of the story become much too complex for us. The style is still sharp and realistic, the dialogue still crackles with verbal sparks and the action is still crisp and muscular, not to mention slightly wanton in spots. But the pattern and purpose of it is beyond our pedestrian ken. People get killed, the tough guys browbeat, the hero hurries—but we can’t tell you why.
However, as we say, it’s very snappy and quite intriguingly played by a cast that has been well and smartly directed by Jacques Tourneur. Robert Mitchum is magnificently cheekly and self-assured as the tangled “private eye,” consuming an astronomical number of cigarettes in displaying his nonchalance. And Jane Greer is very sleek as his Delilah, Kirk Douglas is crisp as a big crook and Richard Webb, Virginia Huston, Rhonda Fleming and Dickie Moore are picturesque in other roles. If only we had some way of knowing what’s going on in the last half of this film, we might get more pleasure from it. As it is, the challenge is worth a try.

OUT OF THE PAST, screen play by Geoffrey Homes; directed by Jacques Tourneur; produced by Warren Duff for RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. At the RKO Palace.
Jeff . . . . . Robert Mitchum
Kathie . . . . . Jane Greer
Whit . . . . . Kirk Douglas
Meta Carson . . . . . Rhonda Fleming
Jim . . . . . Richard Webb
Fisher . . . . . Steve Brodie
Ann . . . . . Virginia Huston
Joe . . . . . Paul Valentine
The Kid . . . . . Dickie Moore
Eels . . . . . Ken Niles

Film Noir Classic DVD Collection Vol4 Out July 31

Press Release 16 April:

BURBANK, Calif. – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Warner Home Video (WHV) doubles the stakes in The Film Noir Classic Collection Vol. 4, debuting July 31, with legendary Hollywood tough guys and femme fatales once again colliding, this time in ten smoldering suspense classics, all new to DVD. Titles include Act of Violence/Mystery Street; Crime Wave/Decoy; Illegal/The Big Steal; They Live By Night/Side Street; and Where Danger Lives/Tension.

The new movies, which have all been digitally remastered for this collection, star film noir icons Robert Mitchum, Edward G. Robinson, Robert Ryan, Van Heflin, Ricardo Montalban, Claude Rains and Farley Granger, among others. The five-disc collection will be available for $59.92 SRP and single titles will sell for $20.97 SRP.

Mystery Street

Act of Violence/Mystery Street

This melodrama stars Van Heflin as former World War II pilot Frank Enley, a respected contractor and family man, whose wife is played by Janet Leigh. When his troubled, crippled bombardier (Robert Ryan) shows up with a gun and a score to settle, it becomes apparent that perhaps neither man is what he seems to be.

Murder lives on Mystery Street. John Sturges directs a revealing film about a Boston cop (Ricardo Montalban) called upon to solve the mystery surrounding a skeleton found on a Cape Cod beach with the help of a Harvard forensic expert (Bruce Bennett).

Crime Wave

Crime Wave/Decoy

Legendary director Andre de Toth was at the helm of this outstanding, but little-known L.A. noir about three escaped convicts from San Quentin who rob a gas station and kill a motorcycle cop. The hardboiled cop heading the manhunt is Sterling Hayden.

Decoy – Drop-dead gorgeous dame Margo Shelby (Jean Gille) revives her gangster boyfriend after he dies in the gas chamber, not because she’s so fond of him, but because he knows where the loot is buried.

Illegal/The Big Steal

When his career as a D.A. unexpectedly collapses, tenacious Victor Scott turns to defending criminal lowlifes. Edward G. Robinson plays Scott in this snappy remake of The Mouthpiece.


Out of the Past’s Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer reteam in The Big Steal, speeding along Mexican roadways in pursuit of a grifter who has a suitcase that may be stuffed with cash.


They Live By Night/Side Street

Young escaped convict Bowie (Farley Granger) and Keechie (Cathy O’Donnell) just want to let their new love blossom. But thugs like Chicamaw ‘One-Eye’ Mobley (Howard da Silva) have other ideas, forcing Bowie to be their accomplice.

In Side Street, Granger and O’Donnell team again as struggling marrieds in an unforgiving Manhattan. In a moment of weakness, the letter carrier gives in to temptation and steals what he thinks is a few hundred dollars. But it’s $30,000, tied to some ruthless blackmailers, and Granger’s attempt to return it puts him in deeper peril.

Where Danger Lives/Tension

Robert Mitchum plays a doctor smitten with desire for a beautiful patient (Faith Domergue) who’s brought in after an attempted suicide. The would-be lovebirds go on the lam. Ahead is Mexico, miles back is the husband’s (Claude Rains) corpse.

Noir favorite Audrey Totter leaves her mousy but devoted spouse (Richard Basehart) for another man, and the Tension mounts as he plots revenge, then sees his plan take an unexpected turn.