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You Be the Programmer for One Evening, Pick 4 Film Noirs

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On Thursday, January 17, 2013, Film Noir Foundation president Eddie Muller will be the guest programmer and co-host—with the legendary Robert Osborne—of "A Night in Noir City," a four-film festival of noir on Turner Classic Movies.



During the month of November, you can win an ultra-cool prize by submitting the best alternative line-up of films. Post your four film line-up on the [FNF Facebook page.|http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=DUQeQ&m=K1snWmQtGRB8kL&b=CgPzs0rHFlbsoUyXQkSceQ]




The two people who program the best alternative selection of films, as judged by Eddie, will receive a prize. The first winner will receive a copy of the TCM Classic Movie Trivia Book and the second, a copy of the NOIR CITY Annual #4. Eddie will inscribe the book to the winners, who will be contacted through a private message on Facebook. The contest will run until midnight Tuesday, November 27.



The winning selections will be re-posted on the FNF Facebook page in December. TCM will announce Eddie's line-up on November 28 and feature an essay by Eddie explaining his choices.



Sounds like a fun contest to me. I am still formulating my choices.






Edited by: Lori3 on Nov 17, 2012 3:25 PM

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Wow, what a delicious idea ! How can I resist?


I don't "do" Facebook, and don't intend to start now, not even for this. So I think I'll just post my 4 film noir program suggestions here. Others can use them and take 'em to Facebook if they want. Although if they'd consider doing that, they're probably interested enough in film noir to come up with their own.


I was kind of hoping you were going to say that the prize was an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2013 TCM Film Festival. Or maybe just joining Eddie and Bob on the Guest Programmer night. I'd have to get my hair done and pick up a new outfit, but that would be possible.


Anyway, I've got a few ideas. But I'm just going to post them here (if I'm allowed to.)

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I'm not sure whether to be flattered or insulted. :0 After all, you have no idea what kind of hair styles I like, but shirley by now you have an inkling as to my tastes in movies. So if you'd prefer the former, I have to infer that you're not all that impressed by the latter. ( ?:| what we need is an emoticon with hair...)


I actually like to think that I know more about film noir than hair. But maybe I can just combine the two by submitting film noir titles that feature women with outstanding hair-do's. Like this:



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misswonderly, you can post them here and I can post them on the FNF Facebook page if you want me to. Just let me know.


Oh, and I like your prize suggestions better, but we take what we are given I guess. Plus it would be nice to know that the Eddie liked our choices. I admire him very much and am looking forward to January 17th when he co-hosts with Robert.


Eddie Muller is an expert on film noir films and the FNF has been responsible for restoring many classic film noirs.






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Now, you are on track. LOL I could go for an evening of Veronica-noir. Take me deep into the lake and drown me with her intoxicating beauty.


My Choices:





THE BLUE DAHLIA (Encore presentation)

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Yeah, that would make a nice slate of films. THE BLUE DAHLIA is the one I love the most...she's luminous, Ladd is more than fine, Bendix has patented his unique brand of noir craziness, Raymond Chandler's script sparkles; and John Houseman's work as producer is top-notch.

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I don't do FaceBook either, so I'll put my four here.


*Pursued* starring Robert Mitchum

*The Big Sleep*, the original 1944 version

*Fallen Sparrow* starring John Garfield

*Christmas Holiday*


I picked these mostly for their quality, and their obscurity.

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I would have to include *Du rififi chez les hommes* (1955) because it is to me the ultimate of the genre..


I can not enter as I have read many articles on security and privacy issues with Facebook and so will never have an account but I it makes me happy to see that they are seeking viewer opinions.

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>I picked these mostly for their quality, and their obscurity.


Thumbs up!


Of the titles you mentioned, I really love PURSUED. Anything with Teresa Wright and anything with Judith Anderson is usually good.


And speaking of Judith Anderson, I would also suggest THE FURIES, which is another western noir she made.

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I don't do Facebook either, so here are 4 good ones you don't see too much:



THE DARK CORNER (Lucy in a noir)






DARK CITY (Heston's film debut)



THE MONEY TRAP ('60s film that could have been made in the '40s---latter-day Rita)






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Ok, here's my list. This was extremely difficult. Film noir is my favourite type of movie (notice I didn't say "genre", didn't want to open up that Pandora's box again...) so I have many many titles I'd like to suggest. But I finally decided on these four, and I"ll say why (briefly) with each one.


In no particular order:


*DECOY* 1946 Director: Jack Bernhard Cast: Jean Gillie, Edward Norris, and Robert Armstrong



People are always complaining about over-exposed movies on TCM. Well, they won't have this problem with *Decoy.* It's very obscure and hard-to-find. And if you do find it, it's worth the search. This extremely unusual story's got a jaw-dropping opening, the best actress you've never heard of, and an eerie, bizarre concept that rivals the tale of Lazurus. It's an unforgettable film.



*ACT OF VIOLENCE* 1948 Director: Fred Zinnemann Cast: Van Heflen, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh



This one's not as "rare", but it's a great noir. It offers a compelling story, with wonderful "grey" characters who aren't all they seem ( a "bad" good guy, and a "good" bad guy), some of the best actors you'll see in film noir -or any "genre", for that matter. (You gotta love Robert Ryan in this), and best of all, it's got a delicious feast of noir visual tropes - lots of mysterious shadows, lines and bars, dark strange city streets, and vertiginous swirling camera angles. Want an example of a nearly "perfect" noir? You can't go wrong with *Act of Violence.*



*MYSTERY STREET* 1950 Director: John Sturges Cast: Ricardo Montalban, Marshall Thompson, Sally Forrest PLUS ! a brief but thoroughly enjoyable stint by the under-rated Jan Sterling PLUS! a hilarious landlady courtesy of Elsa Lanchester. and let's not forget the parrot...



Again, not the most familiar noir, so if nothing else, it might be a first viewing for a lot of people. This is an interesting "crime procedural", but it's got much more of a noir feel than most "procedurals" do. There's little of the semi-doc approach that many such films use. Instead, we've got Ricardo Montalban (playing completely against type) as a thoroughly investigative police detective who has to deal with subtle racism along with his mystery- solving (very unusual for 1950.) Add the avaricious and truly funny Elsa Lanchester (and her bird cage), sexy, no-nonsense B-girl Jan Sterling, and some classically noir settings, like the great railway-tracks scene at the end, and you've got a great little noir happening. Oh, and let's not forget the skeleton faces.



*PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET* 1953 Director: Sam Fuller Cast: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter



I just couldn't leave out this fine Sam Fuller film, featuring the great Richard Widmark in quite possibly his best performance and Thelma Ritter in definitely her best performance. Jean Peters as the "muffin" ain't so bad either. *Pickup* is a lot of fun, all evil Commies and sea-port shacks, stolen microfilm and nasty boyfriends. It's got one of the most moving scenes in a noir ever, (Thelma Ritter being genuinely noble as she philosophizes eloquently about her life in the face of death), and plenty of "terrain vague" location settings, right in the middle of a deliciously seedy New York City. It's also got one of the sexiest kisses ever. Slight problem: the movie has a "stuck-on" happy ending, don't know why Fuller decided to go with this. But it's easily overlooked in favour of the rest of the film's strengths.



Edited by: misswonderly on Nov 19, 2012 5:41 PM

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Talk about an impossible task, but I went with


*The Killers (1946)*

*Out of the Past (1947)*

Thieves' Highway (1949)

Sudden Fear (1952)


But seriously, once you get past those first two, which are in a higher category altogether, how can you choose among the scores of runnerups?

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All good choices. I am glad you mentioned MYSTERY STREET. It comes from MGM and as you noted, it combines the procedural with noir and plenty of comic relief courtesy Miss Lanchester. It is solid entertainment.


Another one from MGM that I like, and it was made right around this time, is a sharp little picture called DIAL 1119. Have you seen that one? It is not too well known but worth seeking out.

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