Once again that magical time of year has arrived – The Noir City Film Festival at the Music Box Theater here in Chicago. Run by the Film Noir Foundation, Noir City: Chicago 3 features double bills of well-known films and little-seen gems. The last two summers were awesome and I expect nothing less from this summer’s festivities.
You can check out the Film Noir Foundation here: http://www.filmnoirfoundation.org/
And… I have many, many movies piled up on my “To Be Watched” Shelves and many, many of those are noir, so some of those are going to be mixed in as well.
So, dark days are here again!
City of Fear (1959) – Home Viewing
Directed by Irving Lerner. Screenplay by Robert Dillon & Steven Ritch. Starring Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot and Patricia Brown.
Vince Edwards escapes from San Quentin and steals a container of what he thinks is pure Heroin. What’s really in the container is… HIGHLY RADIOACTIVE COBALT-60! The rest of the film goes like this: scene with police searching and saying they can’t find the convict anywhere – scene with the convict slowly dying from radiation poisoning – scene with police saying they can’t find the convict anywhere – scene with the convict slowly dying from radiation poisoning – and so on. It wasn’t bad, but there could’ve been more to it.
2.5 out of 5 stars.
I also read the short story “You’ll Always Remember Me” by Steve Fisher. Fisher wrote the novel “I Wake Up Screaming” which was the basis for what many people consider the first film noir.
The Dark Mirror (1946) – Noir City
Directed by Robert Siodmak. Screenplay by Nunnally Johnson from a story by Vladimir Pozner. Starring Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres and Thomas Mitchell
Olivia de Havilland plays a pair of twins, one good and one insane. The bad twin kills a man, but no one can figure out which one is the murderer. What are the police to do, they can’t send both of them to prison. Than a clever psychiatrist realizes that he can pinpoint the bad one if he dates both of them.
The first film I made it to for this year’s Noir City Festival. Alan K. Rode, one of the directors of the Film Noir Foundation, introduced the film and held a Q & A afterwords.
3 out of 5 stars.
I also read the short story “Gun Crazy” by MacKinlay Kantor. This story was the basis for the film of the same name. The movie is an excellent adaptation, the only major difference being that they turn it into a couple on the run instead of just a man by himself.
Loophole (1954) – Noir City
Directed by Harold D. Schuster. Screenplay by Dwight V. Babcock, George Bricker and Warren Douglas. Starring Barry Sullivan, Charles McGraw and Dorothy Malone.
A bank teller has $49,900 stolen from him in a clever con. An incredibly aggressive investigator tries to ruin his life so he’ll confess to the crime. This was a very entertaining little film with some good performances, although it does have some outlandish coincidences.
Another film at the Noir City Festival and, once again, Alan K. Rode introduced the film and held a Q & A afterwords.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
I also read the short story “Missing the Morning Bus” by Lorenzo Carcaterra. A Man thinks one of his poker buddies is having an affair with his wife, but he’s in for a surprise! Lots and lots and lots of exposition.