Fall Films 2014

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know


Film Noir is obsessed with the femme fatale, the woman of dangerous charm who makes a man forget himself.  But, in this series we will focus on unreliable men; suave murderers, untrustworthy policemen, unscrupulous reporters, principled weaklings and deceptive males of all stripes, men who are Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know. Join us in the shadows, in the only all 35mm venue in the Triangle.  Films are introduced by Film Curator Laura Boyes, except as noted.

September 19:

Strangers on a Train (1951) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.  Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman (101 min).
Silky Bruno has an indecent proposal for a total stranger, exchange murder victims (a wife, a father) and nobody will be the wiser.  Adapted by Raymond Chandler from a Patricia Highsmith novel, this is one of the Master of Suspense’s masterpieces.  “Fast, exciting, and woven with wicked style, this is one of Hitchcock's most efficient and ruthlessly delicious thrillers” (BBC). Film notes for Strangers on a Train.

September 26:

Ace in the Hole (1951) Written and Directed by Billy Wilder.  Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Richard Benedict (111 min)

Exiled to the sticks, a big city newspaperman creates a media circus around a mine cave in, and crosses ethical lines as he exploits the story for selfish gain.  “Here is, half a century out of the past, a movie so acidly au courant it stings: a lurid pulp indictment of exploitation, opportunism, doctored intelligence, torture for profit, insatiable greed, and shady journalism.” (Village Voice). Film notes for Ace in the Hole

October 3:

Maltese Falcon (1941) Written and Directed by John Huston. Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet (100 min).

“The stuff that dreams are made of” a priceless statuette is pursued by a duplicitous beauty, a fat man, and a Eurotrash weasel, mixing themselves up with Sam Spade, a knight errant who follows his own moral code. Huston’s first film as director set the stage for film noir. Library of Congress archive print. Film notes for The Maltese Falcon.

October 10:

Gun Crazy (1950) Directed by Joseph H. Lewis. John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger (86 min).

Bart always carries a gun…”Nobody can tell what might happen.”  Hooking up with a carnal carnival sharpshooter, two wild kids with a passion for firearms embark on an epic crime spree.  “Noir’s most intoxicated lovers on the run…one of the cult B-movie classics of all time” (The Rough Guide to Film Noir). UCLA archive print. Film notes for Gun Crazy

October 17:

On Dangerous Ground (1952) Directed by Nicolas Ray.  Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond (82 min).

A borderline psychotic cop is sent upstate to simmer down, and investigate a murder where a gentle blind woman’s brother is the major suspect. “Ray excels both in the portrayal of the corrupt urban environment, a swirl of noirish shadows and violent movements, and in his exalted vision of the snow-covered countryside, filmed as a blindingly white, painfully silent field for moral regeneration” (Chicago Reader). Film Notes for On Dangerous Ground

October 31:

I Wake Up Screaming (1941) Directed by Bruce Humberstone.  Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Laird Cregar (82 min).

Why is sinister detective Ed Cornell angling to fry a brash publicity hack for the murder of hash slinger Vicky Lynn?  Laird Cregar sears another of his unforgettable villains into the film noir firmament.   “One of the most beautiful black-and-white movies ever made… in which exposure of the killer is secondary to the uncovering of sexual obsession and envy” (New York Sun). Film notes for I Wake Up Screaming

November 7:

Max et les Ferrailleurs (Max and the Junkmen) (1971) Written and directed by Claude Sautet.  Michel Piccoli, Romy Schneider, Georges Wilson (112 min) In French with English subtitles.

Max is a lone wolf cop obsessed with arresting the guilty by catching them in the act.  Determined to entrap some petty thieves in big time larceny, he whiles away the hours with a melancholy streetwalker. “Sautet was an original, a tough and subtle dramatist with a gift for teasing moral complications out of straightforward genre scenarios” (NY Times). Film Notes.

November 14:

Secret Beyond the Door (1947) Directed by Fritz Lang.  Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave, Anne Revere (99 min).

A Manhattan socialite marries a mystery man during the heat of a Mexican holiday, and finds herself exiled to his stately manse.  Lang’s bubbling Freudian cauldron (dream sequence by Disney!) simmers with gothic menace. “It deserves rediscovery, despite a production history that rivals the convoluted plot of this film,… created by a cast and crew near the height of their powers” (www.tcm.com) UCLA Archive print. Film Notes for Secret Beyond the Door.

November 21:

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) Directed by Tay Garnett.  Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway (113 min).

Drifter Frank is a goner the moment he spots sexpot Cora, shimmering in white, the terribly bored young wife of a roadside café owner. Can murder solve her restless cravings?  “The best version of James M. Cain's torrid, hard-hitting romance…The studio threw in the towel on Turner's sweet persona and let her turn on the blowtorch” (TV Guide). Notes.


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All films are shown in 35mm, and begin Fridays at 8:00 pm

The galleries and Iris Restaurant will be open prior to screenings

Box Office: (919) 715-5923

Tickets: $7.00/$5.00 NCMA Members

Introductions are by Film Curator Laura Boyes unless otherwise noted.

For more information about the NC Museum of Art: ncartmuseum.org

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