2024 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Film Festival Palm Springs

Thursday May 9 Opening Night

7:30 PM Body and Soul (1947) Enterprise/Paramount 104 min. D: Robert Rossen. The undisputed champion of boxing movies depicts the seamy world of the so-called “sweet science” as an unforgettable metaphor for loss and redemption. The great John Garfield heads a stellar cast of: Lilli Palmer, Hazel Brooks, Canada Lee, Ann Revere, Joseph Pevney, Lloyd Gough and William Conrad. Nominated for three Academy Awards (Garfield, screenwriter Abe Polonsky and Francis Lyon and Robert Parrish winning for editing) with groundbreaking photography by James Wong Howe. Much of the picture’s superb talent in front of and behind the camera including: Garfield, Canada Lee, Ann Revere, producer Bob Roberts, director Robert Rossen, screenwriter Abraham Polonsky and others would tragically comprise a casting call for the Blacklist several years later.

Scheduled Special Guest: Actor/Writer Jim Beaver

Friday May 10

10:00 AM The Scarlet Claw (1944) Universal/Paramount, 74 min. D: Roy William Neill.  Definitely the most noir-influenced and gothic of the Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce that became preeminent on American theater screens during World War II. The game’s afoot as a series of gruesome murders in a small Quebec village are ascribed to a supernatural monster with Holmes (Rathbone) and Watson (Bruce) proceeding to unravel a seemingly baffling case amid numerous plot twists.  With: Gerald Hamer, Paul Cavanagh and Miles Mander.

The Scarlet Claw (1944) – Trailer

1:00 PM Border Incident (1949) MGM/Warner Bros. 94 min. D: Anthony Mann. Mexican and American federal agents (Ricardo Montalban and George Murphy) go undercover to foil a vicious smuggling ring exploiting Mexican farm workers in Southern California. An uncompromisingly stark film is highlighted by brilliant day for night photography by legendary DOP John Alton. Memorable performances by Montalban, James Mitchell, Howard Da Silva, Arnold Moss, Alfonso Bedoya and a merciless Charles McGraw.

Scheduled special guest: author Luis Reyes. Viva HollywoodThe Legacy of Latin and Hispanic Artists in American Film.

Border Incident (1949) Original Trailer [HD]

4:00 PM No Man of Her Own (1950) Paramount, 98 min. D; Mitchell Leisen.  Barbara Stanwyck stars as an impoverished woman who is dumped by her heel of a boyfriend (Lyle Bettger) after he discovers she’s pregnant. A desperate Babs assumes the identity of a wealthy railroad crash victim, settling in with the deceased’s well-to-do family until….  Adapted from Cornell Woolrich’s short story “They Call Me Patrice” later published as the novel I Married A Dead Man under the pseudonym of William Irish, this cinematic Woolrich fever dream is dominated by Stanwyck whose initial vulnerability morphs into murderous deceit.  Co-starring John Lund, Jane Cowl and Phyllis Thaxter. Scripted by Sally Benson and Catherine Turney (Mildred Pierce, A Stolen Life, Of Human Bondage).

NO MAN OF HER OWN (1950) Theatrical Trailer – Barbara Stanwyck, John Lund, Jane Cowl

7:30 PM Across the Bridge (1957) The Rank Organization, 103 min. D: Ken Annakin. A German born British millionaire (Rod Steiger) turns embezzler and flees via train to Mexico after his malfeasance is discovered. Along the way, he switches his identity with another passenger resulting in much more than he ever bargained for. Adapted from Graham Greene’s 1938 short story, this inexplicably overlooked picture is highlighted by Steiger’s gut-wrenching, tour de force performance and is capped by a mind-blowing finale. Director Ken Annakin (The Longest Day, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines) said this was his favorite and best film. With: David Knight, Bernard Lee, Noel Willman, Maria Landi and Dolores.

Saturday May 11

10:00 AM Crime Wave (1954) Warner Bros. 73 min. D: Andre de Toth Three ruthless convicts (Ted de Corsia, Charles Bronson and Nedrick Young) escape from San Quentin, rob a filling station and hide out at a parolee’s (Gene Nelson) apartment while forcing Nelson and his wife (Phyllis Kirk) to participate in a bank robbery.  A relentless homicide lieutenant (a toothpick chewing Sterling Hayden) figuratively tosses the Constitution in the nearest trash bin by using any means necessary to corral the bad guys. Originally titled The City is Dark, this terrific “B noir is characterized by a breakneck tempo accentuated by location filming in downtown L.A.’s Bunker Hill, Glendale and LAPD’s Homicide Division headquarters at City Hall.

Crime Wave (1954) – Original Theatrical Trailer

1:00 PM Dead Reckoning (1946) Sony-Columbia, 100 min. D; John Cromwell Humphrey Bogart is a decorated WWII paratrooper investigating the disappearance of his comrade in arms as both men are enroute to Washington DC. He tracks the missing soldier to the Gulf Coast and untangles his pal’s past involving an alluring chanteuse (Lizabeth Scott) and a sinister nightclub owner (Morris Carnovsky). Bogie and Liz never looked or sounded better than in this classic post war noir replete with flashbacks, ominous characters and smarmy dialogue with murder and mayhem folded in. Artfully directed by John Cromwell and scripted by a collage of writers including Steve Fisher and Allen Rivkin.

Dead Reckoning 1947 trailer

4:00 PM Woman in Hiding (1950) Universal, 93 min.  A car careens off a bridge into a river in the Great Smoky Mountains with the driver (Ida Lupino) observing the search for her body from a hiding place while reflecting on the events resulting in the accident. A suspenseful “woman in peril” film penned by Oscar Saul and Roy Huggins is directed to maximum effect by Michael Gordon two years before he was blacklisted. Co-starring: Ida’s future hubby Howard Duff, the always sinister Stephen McNally, Peggy Dow, John Litel and Taylor Holmes.

7:30 PM Day of the Outlaw (1959) United Artists, 91 minutes. D: Andre de Toth. A simmering range dispute between a ruthless cattle rancher (Robert Ryan) and a group of homesteaders explodes into chaos when a gang of sadistic renegades led a sociopathic ex-Army officer (Burl Ives) takes over and runs amuck. This noir stained western with an emphasis on adult themes boasts an incredible cast led by Ryan, Ives, Tina Louise, Alan Marshal, Nehemiah Persoff, Jack Lambert, Elisha Cook Jr and Mike McGreevey among many other familiar faces. Filmed on location near Bend, Oregon.

Scheduled special guest: Actor/Producer/Director Mike McGreevey.

Day of the Outlaw (1959) Original Trailer [HD]

Sunday May 12

10:00 AM The Enforcer (1951) Warner Bros./Paramount, 88 min. D: Brentaigne Windust.  Mid 20th century audiences were introduced to alternate meanings of “hit” and “contract” by this groundbreaking film.  In his final Warner Bros. feature, Humphrey Bogart stars as a crusading district attorney (inspired by actual racket buster Burton Turkus) who takes on a vicious murder-for-hire organization led by a lethal Everett Sloane and an ominously sweaty Ted de Corsia, Co-starring a splendid Zero Mostel, Roy Roberts, Michael Tolan and Bob Steele. Partially directed by an uncredited Raoul Walsh, this fact based picture was the initial cinematic rendering of the infamous 1940s Murder Inc. case.

The Enforcer Trailer (Humphrey Bogart, 1951) HD

1:00 PM Escape in the Fog (1945) Sony-Columbia, 65 min. D: Budd Boetticher.  A woman recovering from shock (Nina Foch) in a San Francisco hotel room has a nightmare about a murder on the Golden Gate Bridge and screams uncontrollably. After the innkeeper and a stranger awakens her, she recognizes the stranger as the intended murder victim in her dream! This nifty World War II espionage-themed programmer is directed with fast paced verve by Budd Boetticher and also stars Otto Kruger. With: William Wright, Konstantin Shayne and Ivan Triesault.

Scheduled Special Guest: Emmy Award winning screenwriter/producer Kirk Ellis.

4:00 PM Shadow of a Doubt (1942) Universal, 108 min. D: Alfred Hitchcock.  Hitchcock’s all-time favorite of his 60-odd films is based on an actual 1938 event in Connecticut. A revered uncle (Joseph Cotten) visiting his sister’s (Patricia Collinge) family in a peaceful California town is being surreptitiously tracked by the authorities.  When his namesake niece (Teresa Wright) discovers her beloved uncle’s horrific secret, the ramifications become shatteringly deadly. Adapted for the screen by Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson and Alma Reville (Hitchcock’s wife) from an Oscar nominated original story by Gordon McDonnell, this classic has been digitally restored and is a must see on the big screen! With: Macdonald Carey, Henry Travers, Hume Cronyn and Wallace Ford.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Trailer