Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Wake Up Dreaming - 2011 The Legendary and The Lost!

Our friendly West Coast correspondent and film programmer, Elliot Lavine , has alerted me to his latest upcoming investigation into the square root of Film Noir at the Roxie Theater in San Franciso, scheduled from Friday, May 14th-Thursday, May 26th, 2011.

Update! June, 2011: Elliot Lavine is interviewed at MUBI here

Elliot has researched, pleaded and beguiled various studios and archives to come up with a remarkable set of rare films for this year's I Wake Up Dreaming - 2011: The Legendary and the Lost! He tells me that the vast majority of movies this time are 35mm studio archive prints and all but approximately three titles are unavailable on DVD.  Among the 28 films, the restless spirit of Cornell Woolrich will be celebrated in several films, including the excellent Phantom Lady (1944) and haunting Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948), neither of which are available on DVD, for reasons too arcane to describe.

Once again, congratulations to Elliot for compiling this unique feast of films! Below is the list of scheduled films and the times of the screenings:


Quintessential mid-40s classic noir from the erotically obsessed poison pen of Cornell Woolrich! An unhappily married man returns home from an evening on the town with a mysterious, nameless woman and finds the cops in his living room and his wife in the bedroom—strangled to death! Cher chez la femme? Starring Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis, and Elisha Cook, Jr. Directed by Robert Siodmak. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 88 mins. 1944. NOT ON DVD! FRI at 8:00 only!


Cinema-rich nightmare of a young woman’s plunge into madness is a visually sensational voyage to dreamland and a movie unlike any you’ve seen. Shot silent and scored by George Antheil, it also features the raging beatnik bop of Shorty Rogers in an unforgettable set piece that eerily recalls tonight’s co-feature. Totally beat, and how. With Adrienne Barrett, Bruno Ve Sota, Ben Roseman. Written and directed by John Parker. We’re pleased to be presenting the original version of DEMENTIA—not the re-cut, Ed MacMahon-narrated version that was retitled “Daughter of Horror.” 35mm archive print. In B&W. 56 mins. 1955.
FRI at 6:40 and 9:45


A sadly neglected masterwork of dark suspense from one of the true founding visionaries of the film noir style—Fritz Lang! A man just released from a psychiatric asylum stumbles blindly into a terrifying Nazi plot in wartime London. A sizzling blend of hyperbolic expressionistic imagery and propagandist zeal from a director who understood all too well the terrors of encroaching fascism. Starring Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond, and Dan Duryea. Directed by Fritz Lang. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 85 mins. 1944. NOT ON DVD! SAT at 3:45, 7:45

 A rare adaptation of a Cornell Woolrich novel (The Black Curtain) tells the story of a man who is conked on the head and suddenly finds the last year of his life shrouded in sinister mystery. Is he simply on a desperate search for the truth or is he actually guilty of the murder the police believe he committed? An all-but forgotten slice of classic psychological noir! Starring Burgess Meredith, Claire Trevor, Louise Platt, and Sheldon Leonard. Directed by Jack Hively. In B&W. 16mm. 73 mins. 1942. NOT ON DVD!
SAT at 2:15, 6:00, 9:30

 A carnival clairvoyant comes to believe that he actually does have the power to foresee the future and withdraws from society rather than live with the fear and pain of having his disturbing predictions come true. When a beautiful young woman from his past emerges, it sets off a fateful chain of events that will forever alter the course of their lives. From the novel by—Cornell Woolrich! Starring Edward G. Robinson, Gail Russell, John Lund, Virginia Bruce, and William Demarest. Directed by John Farrow. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT! 81 mins. 1948. NOT ON DVD! SUN at 4:00 and 7:30


An alluring young widow struggling with the grief of her loss, is convinced that the mysterious clairvoyant she meets one evening has the power to reunite her with her recently departed husband. A thrilling race to the truth will uncover many strange secrets! Photographed by the legendary cinematographer John Alton, who brings all of his mindbending talents to the fore in this sensational supernatural noir! Starring Lynn Bari, Turhan Bey, Richard Carlson, and Cathy O’Donnell. Directed by Bernard Vorhaus. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 79 mins. 1948. SUN at 2:30, 5:45, and 9:15

 There’s not a single frill to be found in this atmospherically dismal, no-budget obscurity about an alcoholic ex-cop’s desperate search for his kidnapped son. Filmed on location in the most despairing parts of New York. If you like your B noir on the dingy side of cheap, then this bizarre rarity is your cup of meat! Starring Zachary Scott, Faye Emerson, Mary Boland, Sam Levene. Directed by Joseph Lerner. In B&W. 16mm. 91 mins. 1950. NOT ON DVD! MON at 8:00 only!

 A customs agent decides to track down the rats that knocked off his partner. His search takes him through some of the city’s toughest alleys and gutters. Rugged and grimy crime thriller with the added allure of actual New York location shooting. Definitely deserving rediscovery and not to be missed by fans of down and dirty pulp noir at its dingiest and cheapest. Starring Dean Jagger, John Carradine, Lottie Elwen. Directed by Joseph Lerner. In B&W. 16mm. 75 mins. 1949. NOT ON DVD!
MON at 6:30 and 9:45

 Flamarion, a carnival sharp-shooter falls in love with Connie, his beautiful but scheming assistant who lives under the watchful eye of Al, her alcoholic and abusive husband. Just how far is Connie willing to go to have Flamarion get rid of Al? Erotically charged B noir classic! Starring Eric von Stroheim, Mary Beth Hughes, Dan Duryea, and Esther Howard. Produced by W. Lee Wilder. Directed by Anthony Mann. In B&W. 16mm print. 78 mins. 1945. NOT ON DVD! TUES at 8:00 only!

A woman desperately trying to escape her violent criminal past only deepens her dilemma when she willingly falls under the control of a merciless conman! The road to Redemption is not an easy one for this gal! Another poverty-row obscurity destined for rediscovery. Starring June Havoc, Cesar Romero, Marie MacDonald, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Iris Adrian. Directed by W. Lee Wilder, Billy’s way less famous older brother. In B&W. 16mm. 88 mins. 1950. NOT ON DVD! TUE at 6:15 and 9:45


Not even a substantially bigger budget and a star-packed cast could deter the uncontested Master of Maudit, Edgar G. Ulmer, from creating one of his most unique masterworks. The story of a young man, his unexpected rise to prominence and his subsequent downfall at the hands of those he once exploited, has been called the director’s Citizen Kane. Starring Zachary Scott, Louis Hayward, Diana Lynn, and Sydney Greenstreet. Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. In B&W. Presented in a beautiful, restored 35mm PRINT courtesy of the UCLA Film Archives. 104 mins. 1948. NOT ON DVD! WED at 8:00 only!


A famous actress lies near death after a terrible car crash. She tells the girl reporter who comes to interview her a horrible, long-buried secret—one that will eventually pull her into a terrifying web of corruption, insanity, and murder! An unusual and seldom seen rarity—filmed in Quebec—that will remain in your memory long after your dark walk home. Starring Paul Lukas, Mary Anderson, and Helmut Dantine. Directed by Fyodor Otsep. In B&W. 16mm print. 98 mins. 1947. NOT ON DVD! WED at 6:10 and 9:55


Blaming himself for the death of his partner, a reckless U. S. Customs Agent hatches a plan that will enable him to snag the killers and bust a huge smuggling ring in the bargain. This snappy B programmer—with plenty of verve to spare, delivers the goods and then some. Starring William Eythe, Marjorie Reynolds, Griff Barnett. Directed by Seymour Friedman. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 71 mins. 1950. NOT ON DVD. THURS at 8:00 only!


A rarely screened, ingenious B noir that offers up a short but twisted tale of duplicity involving a dangerous femme fatale and her uncanny ability to manipulate the fates of no fewer than three formidable chumps at one time! Swift and unpredictable, this film is a well-kept secret destined to become a fixture in the noir universe. Starring Kent Taylor, Virginia Grey, Milburn Stone, John Litel. Directed by Charles Barton. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT! 64 mins. 1947. NOT ON DVD! THURS at 6:40 and 9:30

This film is a comedy, an intentional one at that, but it’s also an exciting thriller—people get killed! And so fully enrolled in the early 40s noir ethos, it seems like a natural fit for this year’s Roxie line-up. A married pair of amateur detectives go head to head with the cops in an effort to solve a string of grisly murders. Guns, gals, and gags; whatta deal! Starring Evelyn Keyes, Allyn Joslyn, Edmund Lowe, and William Demarest. Directed by Leigh Jason. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 81 mins. 1943. NOT ON DVD! FRI at 8:00 only!


This frisky and swiftly-paced Columbia B potboiler tells the sordid tale of a down-on-her-luck young woman who works as a “percentage girl” at the Club 46—hustling unsuspecting boozers and setting them up for the big roll at the hands of the goons who work the door. Coming at the very start of the noir cycle, this curio survives as a knowing nod to what was lurking just down the alley. Starring Ann Dvorak, Preston Foster, and Bruce Bennett. Directed by Sidney Salkow. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT! 65 mins. 1940. NOT ON DVD!
FRI at 6:40 and 9:40

 A world of doom and deception unfolds in a Mexican border town when an American stranger steps off the bus one fateful afternoon. What is his mysterious mission and why has the lovely young Mexican girl taken to following his every move? One of the most eagerly anticipated films of our series, this full-blown noir epic, is primed for major revival status. Starring Robert Montgomery, Wanda Hendrix, Andrea King, Thomas Gomez, and Art Smith. Directed by Robert Montgomery. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 101 mins. 1947. NOT AVAILABLE ON DVD! SAT at 3:45 and 7:30

Private eye Stuart Bailey finds himself up to his neck in exactly the kind of trouble that made him a prime example of the hardboiled movie dick in the postwar era. This snazzy Columbia B was Bailey’s only film appearance: ten years later the same character (created by Roy Huggins) would take the form of Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. in the TV noir cult classic 77 SUNSET STRIP. Here, the role goes to Franchot Tone. Co-starring Janet Blair, Janis Carter, Glenda Farrell, and Stevan Geray. Directed by S. Sylvan Simon In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 93 mins. 1948. NOT AVALABLE ON DVD! SAT at 2:00, 5:45, and 9:30


An ambitious working stiff quickly rises to the top of the L.A. gambling rackets only to be challenged by ruthless gangsters looking to take control of his burgeoning criminal empire. Tough and hard-boiled from the pseudo-docu-noir school, it shows its iconic star to full advantage. Starring Edmond O’Brien, Joanne Dru, Otto Kruger. Directed by Joseph M. Newman. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 102 mins. 1950. NOT ON DVD.
SUN at 3:45 and 7:30


An elaborate frame-up sends an eager but hasty lawyer headlong into a morass of mayhem and murder when he agrees to be the armed bodyguard for an eccentric millionaire. As usual our hero is in way over his thick head as every turn he takes pulls him closer to certain death! Featuring an all-star cast at peak form: Edmond O’Brien, Ella Raines, William Bendix, and Vincent Price. Directed by Michael Gordon. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 87 mins. 1947. NOT ON DVD!
SUN at 2:00, 5:45, and 9:30

Johnny Legend presents two ultra-lost 35mm gems of prime 50s sleaze-noir!

If this ultra-bizarre girl-gang opus reminds you of an Ed Wood film it’s because Wood wrote it (but didn’t direct) in the prime of his incredible career. See what happens when neglected teenage girls turn their anger and frustration to lives of vicious crime and shockingly vulgar sexuality! Starring Jean Moorhead, Arthur Milan, Theresa Hancock, Timothy Farrell. Screenplay by Edward D. Wood, Jr. Directed by Thomas Morgan. Presented in a RARE 35mm PRINT! In B&W. 65 mins. 1956. MON at 8:00 only!


The brilliant sick comic Lenny Bruce appeared in only one dramatic feature, and this is it: an early 50s sub-poverty row curio that must be seen to be believed! Bruce, who also wrote it, plays a hopped-up sadistic killer, the henchman of a local gangster whose sleazy dance-hall is really a front for a illicit rackets. Honey Bruce, Lenny’s then real-life wife, plays a stripper while his mom, one-time vaudeville performer Sally Marr, plays the club hostess. Ultra-lost! Directed by Phil Tucker. In B&W. Presented in a RARE 35mm print! Approx 60 mins. 1953.
MON at 6:40 and 9:20

 This somewhat fictionalized retelling of the Caryl Chessman story—the man who met his controversial fate in San Quentin’s gas chamber—is a thrill-packed noir crime saga throbbing with B movie energy. Extremely rare and not to be missed! Starring William Campbell, Marian Carr, Kahtryn Grant, and Vince Edwards. Directed by Fred F. Sears. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 77 mins. 1955. NOT ON DVD. TUES at 8:00 only!


Exciting, two-fisted B crime drama about a tough, crusading newspaper reporter who goes undercover in a rural prison chain gang in order to expose the sadistic conditions there. When his ruse is discovered his chances of survival grow increasingly dim. Starring Douglas Kennedy, Marjorie Lord, Emory Parnell. Directed by Seymour Friedman. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 70 mins. 1950. NOT ON DVD. TUES at 6:30 and 9:30


Incredibly rare low-budget cold-war drama that oddly presages its notorious director’s next film, KISS ME DEADLY (see tomorrow!) with its timelier than ever doomsday preoccupations. A brash soldier-of-fortune in Singapore finds himself tied up in a plot to kidnap a scientist—one of only three people in the world who know how to detonate an Atomic Bomb! Starring Dan Duryea, Patric Knowles, Marian Carr, Gene Lockhart. Directed by Robert Aldrich. In B&W. Digital transfer from one of the only known film prints. 82 mins. 1954. NOT ON DVD!
WED at 8:00 only!

THE 49th MAN
 Another rare and red-hot cold-war B noir! When grimly determined federal agents get wind of an insidious plot to smuggle A-Bomb parts into the US in order to nuke a major American city, a desperate race against the clock is ignited! Starring John Ireland, Richard Denning, Suzanne Dalbert, and Mike Connors. Directed by Fred F. Sears. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 73 mins. 1953. NOT ON DVD. WED at 6:30 and 9:40


Mickey Spillane’s brutal private dick, Mike Hammer, blasts his way through the darkest and most corrupt corridors of Los Angeles in search of the “great whatsit,” an elusive and explosive key to nothing less than the end of the world. One of Noir’s most deliberately adult films, visually and thematically innovative—then and now. Starring Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Maxine Cooper, Gaby Rodgers, and Jack Elam. Directed by Robert Aldrich. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 106 mins. 1955. THURS at 8:00 only!


One of the great, unsung noirs of the 1950s is this sizzling psychological stunner. Brilliantly photographed by John Alton, it stars Barbara Stanwyck as a woman who witnesses a murder one night when she sees her neighbor in an apartment across the street strangle a woman to death. But will anyone other than the killer believe her? Similar to and released the same year as Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW, it actually trumps that film in sheer perversity. The incredible supporting cast includes George Sanders, Gary Merrill, and Juanita Moore. Directed by Roy Rowland. In B&W. 35mm STUDIO ARCHIVE PRINT. 83 mins. 1954. NOT ON DVD.
THURS at 6:15 and 10:00

More details about this event and upcoming films at the Roxie Theater can be gleaned here.


Laura said...

This is a completely amazing festival. So many films I'd either love to see on a big screen or love to see for the first time, like I LOVE TROUBLE. I'm extremely fortunate to be able to spend quite a bit of time at the Film Noir Foundation's festival in Hollywood this year, but it's hard not to be jealous of this remarkable movie lineup!

Have a great weekend, Moira! Hope you are doing well. :)

Best wishes,

Moira Finnie said...

Hi Laura,
I enjoyed your posts on your blog, Laura's Miscellaneous Musings, about your visit to the Film Noir Foundation's fantastic Noir City Festival in Los Angeles very much.

Thanks to the dedicated people like Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode and others at the FNF, and individual programmers and film historians such as Elliot Lavine, I am constantly discovering more of these gritty and poetic films. Without people like them who have worked so hard to unearth and restore Film Noirs, far too many of these films would have been allowed to disappear.

If you have a chance to be in San Francisco next month, I hope that you'll stop by the Roxie. Elliot is a heckuva nice guy and a walking encyclopedia of film knowledge.

I wish I could visit the Roxie with you in May!

Caftan Woman said...

Why does the thought of all that dark obsession and screen violence make me so doggone happy?!

I am jealous of all those fortunate enough to attend what looks like an outstanding festival and celebration of film noir.

The Lady Eve said...

I'm feeling blessed - Noir City a couple of months ago and now this. Thanks for the schedule, Moira. Looking it over, there are some legendary films and some less well known I'm hoping to see.


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