Pickup (1951): Trash Noir

Pity the poor film noir blogger who has to sit through some pretty lousey movies for completeness sake. Hugo Haas’ Pickup is such a film…

Pity the poor film noir blogger who has to sit through some pretty lousey movies for completeness sake. Hugo Haas’ Pickup is such a film with a silly derivative plot about an alleged gum-chewing femme-fatale trying to get her hands on the savings of a lonely widowed railway worker. The trash equivalent of The Postman Always Rings Twice has the story end with the dame blowing a raspberry and the hero cuddling a puppy. Seriously.

But there is still mileage in such dross for academics and the organisers of film noir retrospectives. Silver and Ward in ‘Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference’ talk about the re-assertion of patriarchy in their discussion of the film, and the blurb from the Noir City X has the publicist gushing: “A simple but supremely smarmy slice of sleaze from 1950’s sex-noir auteur Hugo Haas. He plays (as usual) an older man in thrall to a young hottie who spends all her time trying to murder him for what little money he has. A timeless tale, made unforgettable by the Amazon in the bullet-bra, slinging sass for all she’s worth—Beverly (Wicked Woman) Michaels! “

You were warned.

Noir Digest: Noir City 2010

Noir City 2010

Red Light (1949)

San Francisco’s NOIR CITY 8 film noir series returns to San Francisco’s Castro Theatre January 22-31 2010. The full program is here.

Movies not on DVD on the program:

FLY BY NIGHT (1942) Dir. Robert Siodmak
DEPORTED (1950) Dir. Robert Siodmak
CRY DANGER (1951) Dir. Robert Parrish, newly restored
THE MOB (1951) Dir. Robert Parish
THE GANGSTER (1947) Dir. Gordon Wiles
HE RAN ALL THE WAY (1951) Dir. John Berry
ONE GIRLS’ CONFESSION (1953) Dir. Hugo Haas
WOMEN’S PRISON (1955) Lewis Seiler
RED LIGHT (1949) Dir. Roy Del Ruth
WALK A CROOKED MILE (1948) Dir. Gordon Douglas
SLATTERY’S HURRICANE (1949) Dir. Andr? de Toth
INSIDE JOB (1946) Dir. Jean Yarbrough
HUMAN DESIRE (1954) Dir. Fritz Lang
ESCAPE IN THE FOG (1945) Dir. Budd Boetticher
  • FLY BY NIGHT (1942) Dir. Robert Siodmak
  • DEPORTED (1950) Dir. Robert Siodmak
  • CRY DANGER (1951) Dir. Robert Parrish, newly restored
  • THE MOB (1951) Dir. Robert Parish
  • THE GANGSTER (1947) Dir. Gordon Wiles
  • HE RAN ALL THE WAY (1951) Dir. John Berry
  • ONE GIRLS’ CONFESSION (1953) Dir. Hugo Haas
  • WOMEN’S PRISON (1955) Lewis Seiler
  • RED LIGHT (1949) Dir. Roy Del Ruth
  • WALK A CROOKED MILE (1948) Dir. Gordon Douglas
  • SLATTERY’S HURRICANE (1949) Dir. Andr? de Toth
  • INSIDE JOB (1946) Dir. Jean Yarbrough
  • HUMAN DESIRE (1954) Dir. Fritz Lang
  • ESCAPE IN THE FOG (1945) Dir. Budd Boetticher

Columbia Noir DVD Set

The Sniper

Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics, Vol. 1 a new noir collectors DVD set has just been released. The films in the set:

  • The Big Heat
  • 5 Against the House
  • The Lineup
  • Murder by Contract
  • The Sniper

The special features include commentaries by Michael Man, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Eddie Muller, and James Ellroy.

NOIR CITY DC: The 2009 Film Noir Festival

Alias Nick Beal (1949)

The Film Noir Fndation is presenting the NOIR CITY DC: The 2009 Film Noir Festival  over October 24 – November 4.

The program features new 35mm prints of these classic noirs:

  • ACE IN THE HOLE (1951)
  • GUN CRAZY (1950)
  • ALIAS NICK BEAL (1949)
  • THE BIG COMBO (1955)
  • SHAKEDOWN (1950)
  • OUT OF THE PAST (1947)
  • THE KILLERS (1946)

Full details here.

Film Noir Digest: Dassin Retrospective

Jules Dassin: 1911-2008

Rififi (1955)
Rififi (1955)

The New York Film Forum from March 27 to April 12 will host a Jules Dassin retrospective over 12 days.  March 31 mark the anniversary of Dassin’s passing. All of Dassin’s major features will be screened, including:

  • Brute Force (1947)
  • The Naked City (1948)
  • Thieves’ Highway (1949)
  • Night And the City (1950)
  • Rififi (1955)

Full program

The Femme Fatale: Gun Crazy in the UK

Gun Crazy aka Deadly is the Female

The British Film Institute will screen 19 classic noirs and neo-noirs from February 27 to March 25 at its Southbank London cinema during its The Femme Fatale series.  The 1950 cult pulp noir from Joseph H. Lewis, Gun Crazy, will headline the series, screening daily, and will also also receive a limited national release.

Movies to be screened are:

Body Heat
Criss Cross
Devil in a Blue Dress
Double Indemnity
The File on Thelma Jordon
Gun Crazy
The Killers
The Lady From Shanghai
The Last Seduction
The Long Goodbye
The Maltese Falcon
Out of the Past
Scarlet Street
Where Danger Lives

Film Noir Digest: News from Noir City 7

While the City Sleeps (1956)

Noir City 7: Best Essay

San Francisco Bay Guardian critic Max Goldberg has written what I think is the best essay to come out of Noir City 7 –  Late Edition posted on his text of light blog:

“… The newsroom is as much a part of noir’s topography as the police station, boxing ring or nightclub. Deadline-U.S.A. (1952), Scandal Sheet (1952), The Big Clock (1948), While the City Sleeps (1956):  the titles bow to the newspaper’s ubiquitous pulse by slinging shop-talk into nighthawk poetry. The press curries a surplus of centralized power in this cycle of films, exerting a primary influence over the whole urban mechanism…”

Noir City 7: Reports from Alexander Coleman

Noir fan and erudite film blogger Alexander Coleman has posted at Coleman’s Corner in Cinema some outstanding reports from and reviews of noirs screened at Frisco’s Castro Theatre at Noir City 7, including:

These posts and other noir reviews are also hosted at Dark City Dame’s Noirish City.

Noir City 7: Report by Hell on Frisco Bay

Brian from Hell on Frisco Bay in his report on Noir City has a lot of interesting news on upcoming noir-related events and impressions of some of the noirs screened this year.   Particularly exciting news is his report that Eddie Muller is working on an international noir series, and that while Muller was in Buenos Aires to meet the archivists who made last summer’s announcement of rediscovered footage lost from Fritz  Lang’s Metropolis, he came across a trove of  Argentine films from the 1930s made by the great noir cinematographer John Alton.

From The Vaults of Universal: Seven Classic Films Noir

Starting Monday February 16, the Heights Theatre in Minneapolis is screening a short series of classic films noir:

February 16 7:30pm This Gun For Hire (1942)
February 23 7:30pm Criss Cross (1949) | 9:15pm The Killers (1946)
March 2 7:30pm The Big Clock (1948)
March 9 7:30pm The Blue Dahlia (1946) | 9:15pm The Glass Key (1942)
March 16 7:30pm The Phantom Lady (1944)

Jean-Pierre Melville, Director: Notes on the French Auteur’s Career

This month’s edition of  Bright Lights Film Journal features an article by Garry Morris on Melville, whose noirs include Bob le Flambeur, Le Doulos, Le Samourai, & The Red Circle .

Robert Ryan: A Moon for the Misbegotten

This month’s edition of  Bright Lights also  features an article by Dan Callahan on noir icon Robert Ryan.

Lost Anthony Manne B-Noir to be Restored

Strangers in The Night (1944)

Eddie Muller announced at Noir City 7  that  The Film Noir Foundation together with the UCLA Film and Television Archive will restore Anthony Mann’s lost 1944 b-noir Strangers in the Night.  When I read this I was thunderstruck –  I have this movie recorded from somewhere and have never watched it!  You now know which movie I have lined up next for viewing…

Film Noir Digest: Wicked As They Come

Wicked As They Come (1956)

Noir City 7: Wicked as They Come Trailer

NOIR CITY 7, the 2009 San Francisco Film Noir Festival, kicks-off this Friday, January 23, at the Castro Theatre. On Saturday night at 7pm, special guest Arlene Dahl will introduce the pulp noirs Wicked as They Come (1956), and Slightly Scarlet (1956), in which she stars.

The Noir City program blurbs on these movies:

Wicked as They Come: Columbia, 94 min. Dir. Ken Hughes.“What she wanted out of life… she got out of men!” Arlene Dahl is a sizzling sensation as Kathleen Allen, a woman who learns early that sex is how she’ll get ahead in the world.

Slightly Scarlet: 1956, RKO, 99 min. Novel-James M. Cain, Dir. Allan Dwan. Arlene Dahl steals the show as sexy kleptomaniac Dorothy Lyons (opposite titian-tressed “sister” Rhonda Fleming) in this eye-popping adaptation of Love’s Lovely Counterfeit. Camera virtuoso John Alton translates noir into lurid, saturated color. It’s 50’s paperback covers come to life!in which she stars.

Seattle International Film Festival French Noir Series

This French Crime Wave 1937-1981 series at the SIFF traces the history of French noir from 1937 to 1981. Full details here.

Friday, January 16—Rififi, 7 p.m. Pepe le Moko, 9:20
Saturday, January 17—Mississippi Mermaid, 2 & 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 18—Le Cercle Rouge, 2:15 & 7 p.m.
Monday, January 19—Garde a vue, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 20—Classe tous risques, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 21—Elevator to the Gallows, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 22—The Sicilian Clan, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 23—Bob le Flambeur, 8 p.m.
Saturday, January 24—Diabolique, 1 & 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 25—Coup de Torchon, 2, 4:30 & 7 p.m.
Monday, January 26—Pickpocket, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 27—The Champagne Murders, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 28—Riptide, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 29—La Piscine, 7:30 p.m.
January 30-February 5—Shoot the Piano Player, daily 7:30 p.m., Sat. & Sun., 2:15, 4, & 7:30 p.m.

Classe tous risques

Cornell Woolrich: Dreaming, then dying

Zac O’yeah has written an an interesting feature article on the life and work of noir novelist, Cornell Woolrich, for the Wall Street Journal.

More Film Noir at NY’s Dryden Theatre

New Yorkers can plunge into the murky waters of essential film noir every Thursday in January and February at the Dryden Theatre:

January 8 Murder, My Sweet
January 15 Ride the Pink Horse
January 22 Raw Deal | T-Men
January 29 Road House | The Hitch-Hiker

February 5 In A Lonely Place
February 12 Pitfall | Nightfall
February 19 Double Indemnity
February 26 The Lady from Shanghai

More info.

Deep Discount on Film Noir Classics Collection – Vol. 1 DVD Set

DeepDiscount.com is offering this 5 DVD set for half-price at US$24.95 – that’s a low 5 bucks for each movie!

The pack contains these classic films noir:


One-Two Punch: Pulp Writers on Film Series

Phantom Lady (1944)
Phantom Lady (1944)

Thanks to Dark City Dame for this news.

The University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMP/PFA) will from February 13, 2009 to February 28, 2009  screen a series of movies adapted from the works of four great pulp writers: Fredric Brown, Jim Thompson, Charles Willeford, and Cornell Woolrich

Friday, February 13, 2009
6:30 pm Crack-Up
In this hallucinatory noir based on a Fredric Brown story, Pat O’Brien is an expert in forged paintings with a tenuous grasp on the boundary between real and fake—in art and in life.

8:30 pm The Kill-Off
Maggie Greenwald captures Jim Thompson’s dismal vision of an off-season resort. “A nasty, claustrophobic little gem.”—Paper

Thursday, February 19, 2009
6:30 pm Miami Blues
Introduced by Don Herron. Fred Ward plays Charles Willeford’s detective Hoke Moseley, in pursuit of sociopath Alec Baldwin and collegiate call girl Jennifer Jason Leigh. “A pungent, blithely violent thriller.”—New Yorker

8:45 pm Black Angel
Introduced by Elliot Lavine. Dan Duryea and June Vincent in a booze-drenched B-movie version of the Cornell Woolrich novel.

Saturday, February 21, 2009
6:30 pm Phantom Lady
Robert Siodmak swathes a Cornell Woolrich mystery in Expressionist shadow.

8:30 pm Série noire
Introduced by Dennis Harvey. Patrick Dewaere is the perfect fall guy in “the darkest, daffiest, and downright dazzlingest adaptation of a Jim Thompson novel ever.”—S.F. Bay Guardian

Saturday, February 28, 2009
6:30 pm Screaming Mimi
Anita Ekberg goes from the madhouse to El Madhouse, a nightclub run by Gypsy Rose Lee, in this lusciously lurid psychodrama based on a novel by Fredric Brown.

8:15 pm The Woman Chaser
Introduced by Don Herron. A conniving used-car salesman turns his talents to the movie biz in this neon-drenched neo-noir, adapted from Charles Willeford’s novel.

Full details from BAMP/PFA

From the Shadows: Alexander Coleman and Dark City Dame

Shakedown (1950)

This January will be the Darkest Month in Coleman’s Corner.

For the month of January,  Alexander Coleman, from Coleman’s Corner in Cinema will be the guest of  Dark City Dame at  Noirish City, where he will be talking noir and selecting noirs for review on his blog.

This event will be a fitting lead-up to the Noir City 7 Film Noir Series in San Francisco from January 23 to February 1, which will have a newspaper theme –  visit the Noir City site for full details.  Alexander will don fedora and trench-coat to report direct from Noir City for Dark City Dame.

Noir City 2009 Program

Blind Spot (1947)

Thanks to Dark Cty Dame for advance details of the program for NOIR CITY 7, the 2009 San Francisco Film Noir Festival, to be held January 23–February 1, 2009, at the Castro Theatre, and which will have a newspaper theme:

Friday, January 23
Deadline USA (1952)
Scandal Sheet (1952)

Saturday, January 24

Chicago Deadline (1949)
Blind Spot (1947)
Evening show (with Arlene Dahl):
Slightly Scarlet (1956)
Wicked as They Come (1956)

Sunday, January 25
Ace in the Hole (1951)
Cry of the Hunted (1953)

Monday, January 26

Alias Nick Beal (1949)
Night Editor (1946)

Tuesday, January 27

The Harder They Fall (1956)
Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949)

Wednesday, January 28

While the City Sleeps (1956)
Shakedown (1950)

Thursday, January 29

The Big Clock (1948)
Strange Triangle (1946)

Friday, January 30
The Unsuspected (1947)
Desperate (1947)

Saturday, January 31
Two O’Clock Courage (1945)
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)
Evening show:
One False Move (1992)

Sunday, February 1

Shock Corridor (1963)
The Killers (1946) (newly restored)

Full details to be announced.