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Where Film Noir Lives...Too!

The Film Noir Series: The Naked City: New York Noir and Neorealism...Screenings at LACMA in L.A.

The Naked City (Universal International, 1948). Australian One Sheet (27" X 40"). Crime. Starring Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart and Don Taylor. Directed by Jules Dassin. This Australian one sheet has a dust shadow over the image, fold separations backed by tape, a three-inch tear near the top of the vertical fold, tack holes with rust marks, fold wear, chips and small tears along the edges, minor corner bumps and losses and stains. One of the top classic crime stories. Fine-...Sold for: $21.00

 

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Starting in 1945, Stanley Kubrick produced thousands of negatives for the biweekly magazine Look. Though his published photographs varied in subjects and locales, many of his images depict the uncanny everyday life in the streets and spaces of his native New York. When Kubrick decided to try his hand at motion pictures, his filmmaking debut, Day of the Fight (1951), was a cinematic adaptation of his own 1949 pictorial essay “Prizefighter” for the magazine about a Big Apple boxer. In addition, the film that he preferred to consider as his feature debut—Killer’s Kiss (1953)—also owed a debt to his work for the magazine and was shot throughout Manhattan.

Naked City (Universal International, R-1956). Lobby Card Set of 8 (11" X 14"). "There are eight million stories in the naked city." NYPD detectives Dan Muldoon and Jimmy Halloran (Barry Fitzgerald and Don Taylor) investigate the murder of a model in this realistic police procedural that was filmed on the streets of New York. This reissue lobby card set has light edge wear, corner creases, and soiling and stains. There is a Quebec censor stamp on each card, and an edge tear on one card. A nice looking set, with great shots of Fitzgerald, Taylor, Howard Duff and Dorothy Hart. Fine/Very Fine...Sold for: $31.00

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This series presents ten features shot on location in and around New York during the period when Kubrick was documenting the city, up until and including Killer’s Kiss. Channeled through the tropes of film noir—a genre whose fatalistic tailspins of crime and passion befits New York’s cramped and anarchic cityscape—as the genre brushed against and sometimes cross-pollinated with the salt-of-the-earth lyricism of a budding American Neorealism, these films reveal a restless metropolis where you’re either on your way up, on your way down, or just laying low. It’s a city where you can never really disappear, no matter how dark the back alleys or how crowded the boulevards may be. Cinematically, Kubrick wouldn’t return to New York for another four decades after Killer's Kiss, albeit on a London back lot for his final film Eyes Wide Shut, where he came full circle with this vast, dark wonder of American modernity.

Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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Tags: Of, angeles, angels, city, film, garfield, john, los, naked, neo-realism, More…new, noir, ten, york

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Comment by Darkness To Light... on February 8, 2013 at 9:52am

[editor's note: For more information just follow the link to:

Series: The Naked City: New York Noir and Neorealism... Events in t...

Comment by Darkness To Light... on February 8, 2013 at 9:50am
1948/b&w/96 min.

The Naked City...Friday, February 8, 2013 | 7:30 pm

Scr: Albert Maltz, Malvin Wald; dir: Jules Dassin; w/ Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart, Don Taylor, Frank Conroy, Ted de Corsia. | Print courtesy of the Constellation Center Collection at the Academy Film Archive.

Inspired by Weegee’s seminal warts-and-all 1945 tabloid pictorial on life and death on the streets of the Big Apple, similarly titled Naked City, Jules Dassin’s policier is a bravura portrait of his native New York rendered with the crispness and authenticity of a newsreel. 

When a woman’s body is found in the bathtub of her West 83rd Street apartment, the Tenth Precinct’s Lt. Dan Muldoon (Barry Fitzgerald) and sidekick Jimmy Halloran (Don Taylor) pursue multiple leads from Park Avenue to the Lower East Side and ultimately to a thrilling chase down Delancey Street that climaxes atop the Williamsburg Bridge with a stunning panorama of the East River below. A thundering score by Miklos Rozsa (Double Indemnity, The Asphalt Jungle), Oscar-winning cinematography by William Daniels (Garbo’s favorite lenser), a brief cameo by Weegee himself, a tight script co-written by Albert Maltz (who was arrested during production by the House Un-American Activities Committee), and the use of more than a hundred individual locations secures The Naked City’s place in the pantheon of classic New York noirs. (Stanley Kubrick’s original “Press Pass” gaining him access to Dassin’s shoot is on display in the museum’s exhibition.)

Bing Theater | $10 for the general public; $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club members | Price includes both films on double-bill | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online

Comment by Darkness To Light... on February 8, 2013 at 9:47am
1947/b&w/98 min.

Kiss of Death...Friday, February 8, 2013 | 9:15 pm

Scr: Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer; dir: Henry Hathaway; w/ Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray, Richard Widmark

Opening with a Christmas Eve jewelry heist and a bare-knuckle getaway in a packed elevator slowly descending the Chrysler Building, Henry Hathaway’s taut noir deals frankly with the dilemma facing petty crook Nick Bianco (Victor Mature). Should he snitch and return to his family or keep his trap shut and end up behind bars in Sing Sing. Learning of his wife’s suicide while in the pen, Bianco decides to flip and chance his fate with a persuasive D.A. (Brian Donleavy). He begins a new life with girlfriend Nettie (Coleen Gray, later of Kubrick’s The Killing) and his two little girls in Astoria Park—only to end up in the crosshairs of the sadistic, maniacally cackling gangster Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark, in one of the most memorable debuts in cinema). An unpretentious thriller that melds hard-boiled punch with neorealist soulfulness, Kiss of Death was cited by Claude Chabrol as, “a supreme example of all the features of the detective story genre combined . . . swansong of a formula, end of a recipe and the bottom of a gold mine.”

Bing Theater | Included with admission to The Naked City | $5 for this film only | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online

Comment by Darkness To Light... on February 8, 2013 at 9:44am
1950/b&w/95 min.

Where the Sidewalk Ends...Friday, February 15, 2013 | 7:30 pm

Scr: Ben Hecht; dir: Otto Preminger; w/ Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merril Bert Freed, Tom Tully, Karl Malden

Otto Preminger reunites Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney, his Laura leading couple, for a bitter noir about a hardened detective who cannot control his violent impulses. Demoted for his aggressive interrogation methods, Andrews ends up assigned to investigate a gangland murder in a gaming joint. But while questioning an obstinate suspect, Dixon accidentally kills him—a scene rendered in a single tense take by cinematographer Joseph LaShelle (The ApartmentLaura). Dixon resists his immediate and ethical impulse to report the incident to his superiors, deciding instead to hide the body and frame it as a hit by Gary Merrill’s mob. Trying to negate his crime while investigating the very case he’s just become embroiled in, Andrews slowly comes apart at the seams.  

Scriptwriter par-excellence Ben Hecht—who cut his teeth on classics of the 1920s and 1930s (ScarfaceUnderworld, which won the first Oscar for best original story) and finished his career with a screenplay for Henry Hathaway’s Kiss of Death—gives Andrews a psychological complexity clearly relished by Preminger. Looking like he was born in a fedora and overcoat, Andrews’s rugged good looks and chiseled jaw provide a sharp contrast to the oily Merrill—who has a bizarre fixation with a nasal inhaler—and his hired goons (Neville Brand, Herbert Lytton). Preminger’s final film for Fox blends location work (including a standoff in an amusement park, which was sadly cut at the behest of Daryl Zanuck) with studio shots. The film plays in perpetual night across New York’s side streets, dark alleys, and back rooms where nothing is quite as it appears.

Bing Theater | $10 for the general public; $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club members | Price includes both films on double-bill | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online

Comment by Darkness To Light... on February 8, 2013 at 9:38am

The Naked City: New York Noir and Neorealism

1952/b&w/86 min./16mm
The Thief...Friday, February 15, 2013 | 9 pm

|Scr: Clarence Greene, Russell Rouse; dir: Russell Rouse; w/ Ray Milland, Martin Gabel, Rita Gam

In a tour-de-force performance, Ray Milland plays as an American nuclear physicist caught up in a spy ring smuggling top-secret U.S. schematics straight from Washington, D.C., to unknown whereabouts overseas. But when one of his couriers is hit by a New York taxi and found to be carrying microfilm with confidential information, the heat, quietly but surely, comes down on Milland and his conspirators. 

Entirely devoid of dialogue, The Thief is a sinuous pas-de-deux between cinematographer Sam Leavitt (Carmen JonesThe Crimson Kimono) and Milland, already an expert in portraying desperate isolation thanks to The Lost Weekend a few years earlier. The film’s first half—set in the nondescript offices, stately government buildings, and seemingly abandoned streets of the capital—has a Kafkaesque dimension. But when Milland splits for New York in the hopes of boarding an ocean liner, the film basks in the city’s congested immensity. When not sequestered in his grimy flophouse—where the smoldering femme fatale down the hall (Rita Gam) won’t stop making eyes at him—Milland drifts through the city: from Central Park to neon-soaked Times Square to the observation deck of a high-rise for a fateful showdown. Reuniting the team behind the Los Angeles crime classic D.O.A.—Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene—this singular cold war curio is a whirlpool of surrealist delirium in noir garb.

Bing Theater | Included with admission to Where the Sidewalk Ends. | $5 for this film only | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online

Comment by Darkness To Light... on February 8, 2013 at 9:36am
1953/b&w/80 min.

Little Fugitive...Saturday, February 16, 2013 | 7:30 pm

Scr/dir: Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin, Ray Ashley; w/ Richie Andrusco, Ricky Brewster.

Double-crossed by a brother who’s just faked his own death, Joey Norton hops a train out of the big city and hides out amid the hordes of Coney Island. In fairness, Joey is a seven-year-old Brooklyn kid. His brother Lennie is sick of having him tagging along. So with a little bit of ketchup and help from his pals, Lennie pranks Joey into believing that he’s been shot dead. Over the course of a blistering summer day and night, Joey wanders through the swarming masses and takes in the sights, smells, and other sensations the boardwalk has to offer, all the while accompanied by Eddy Manson’s wraithlike harmonica score.

As captured by famed street photographer and native Brooklynite Morris Engel with a customized 35mm camera—admired by Stanley Kubrick and Jean-Luc Godard alike—Little Fugitive offers an electrifying, palpably real portrait of a Coney Island now long gone. Bridging the gap between genre cinema, neorealism, and the American and European independent scenes to come in its wake, Little Fugitive is a landmark at the crossroads of film history. Another Kubrick connection: after Engel’s film won the Silver Lion in Venice, it was picked up for U.S. distribution by Joseph Burstyn, who the same year released Kubrick’s debut feature Fear and Desire. “Our New Wave would never have come into being if it hadn’t been for Morris Engel’s fine movie. It showed us the way.”—François Truffaut

New 35mm print.

An Artists Public Domain/Cinema Conservancy Release. Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Film Foundation and The Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Fund.

Bing Theater | $10 for the general public; $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club members | Price includes both films on double-bill | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online

Comment by Darkness To Light... on February 8, 2013 at 9:32am
1949/b&w/73 min.

The Window...Saturday, February 16, 2013 | 9 pm

Scr: Mel Dinelli; dir: Ted Tetzlaff; w/ Bobby Driscoll, Barbara Hale, Arthur Kennedy, Paul Stewart, Ruth Roman. | New 35mm print courtesy of The Film Noir Foundation Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive

One hot summer night, notorious fibber Tommy (Bobby Driscoll, on loan from Disney) climbs onto the fire escape of his Lower East Side tenement for a cool breeze. But he gets much more than he bargained for when he witnesses a murder in the apartment above. His parents dismiss his story as just another one of his “tall tales,” but Tommy’s frustration soon turns to terror when he discovers that the couple who committed the murder—the Kellertons—are onto him. 

Though best known at the time as a cinematographer of such glossy entertainments as My Man Godfrey and The Talk of the Town, director Ted Tetzlaff uses his experience behind the camera to vividly register the squalor of the LES—derelict buildings, litter-strewn alleys, ubiquitous clotheslines, and encroaching elevated trains. He also channels the Master of Suspense whose Notorious he shot three years earlier, as Tommy and the Kellertons play a perilous game of cat-and-mouse high above the city’s streets and through a condemned apartment house. Based on a Cornell Woolrich story titled “The Boy Cried Murder,” the film’s screenplay is penned by Mel Dinelli—best known for noirs that share The Window’s atmosphere of claustrophobia and despair (The Spiral Staircase, The Reckless Moment).

New 35mm print.

Bing Theater | Included with admission to Little Fugitive. | $5 for this film only | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online

Comment by Darkness To Light... on February 8, 2013 at 9:26am
1954/b&w/108 min.

On the Waterfront...Friday, February 22, 2013 | 7:30 pm

Scr: Budd Schulberg; dir: Elia Kazan; w/ Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint

In a performance that would define his career, Marlon Brando plays Terry Malloy, a onetime prizefighter now resigned to backbreaking work as a longshoreman on docks ruled by a ruthless union boss (Lee J. Cobb) with mob ties. But as the New York State Crime Commission starts closing in, Malloy begins to question his loyalties, not a simple matter considering Cobb’s right-hand man is Malloy’s own brother (Rod Steiger).

Elia Kazan’s urban masterpiece benefits from its stellar contributors both onscreen—Karl Malden also shines as a priest sympathetic to Malloy’s cause, while Eva Marie Saint is indelible as the sister of a fellow stevedore, a role that garnered her only Oscar statuette—and behind the scenes. Budd Schulberg’s dynamite, Oscar-winning script features one of cinema’s most beloved speeches, Leonard Bernstein’s potent score proved his lone effort in composing solely for film, and the stately cinematography of Boris Kaufman (The Pawnbroker, Baby Doll) and gritty production design by Richard Day (The Grapes of Wrath and Kubrick favorite Roxie Hart), both Oscar winners for their work here, intensify the film’s impact. 

Bing Theater | $10 for the general public; $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club members | Price includes both films on double-bill | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online

Comment by Darkness To Light... on February 8, 2013 at 9:23am
1949/b&w/78 min.

|Force of Evil...Friday, February 22, 2013 | 9:30 pm

Scr: Abraham Polonsky, Ira Wolfert; dir:Abraham Polonsky; w/ John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, Marie Windsor, Howland Chamberlin. | 35mm restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preservation funded by The Film Foundation and the Archive

Screenwriter Abraham Polonsky was hailed as a promising new director with this intense crime drama about a cynical New York lawyer who gets in too deep with the numbers racket. Adapting Ira Wolfert’s sprawling novel Tucker’s People, Polonsky and Wolfert co-wrote a screenplay that hones the book down to its darkest elements. John Garfield stars as a partner in a tony law firm that straddles both sides of the law and aims for a massive payday with a lottery scam. The only obstacle in his way: his own older brother (played with fevered intensity by Thomas Gomez). 

Polonsky’s devastating, fast-paced noir has a pronounced social consciousness—capitalism never seemed so ruthless—not to mention a ferocious fraternal struggle worthy of Shakespeare (“All Cain did to Abel was murder him,” quips Gomez). Shot in and around Wall Street and climaxing under the George Washington Bridge on the Upper West Side, Force of Evil’s impeccable photography is done by veteran cinematographer George Barnes (Rebecca, Spellbound), and the film also features a femme-fatale turn by Marie “Bedroom Eyes” Windsor (later of Kubrick’s The Killing). A major influence on Martin Scorsese, Force of Evil proved to be Polonsky’s sole directorial effort before he was blacklisted in 1951. He would not helm another picture for twenty years.

Restored 35mm print.

Bing Theater | Included with admission to On the Waterfront. | $5 for this film only | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online

Comment by Darkness To Light... on February 8, 2013 at 9:20am
1955/b&w/64 min.

|Killer’s Kiss...Saturday, February 23, 2013 | 7:30 pm

Scr: Howard O. Sackler; dir: Stanley Kubrick; w/ Frank Silvera, Jamie Smith, Irene Kane, Jerry Jarret;

In Kubrick’s first film noir, he weds the moody urban milieu of his debut documentary Day of the Fight with the narrative experimentation that he would explore further in his subsequent crime thriller, The Killing. Fading boxer Jamie Smith falls for the girl next door, or in this case, the girl on the other side of his flophouse courtyard: Irene Kane, a taxi dancer who works for lecherous Frank Silvera at Pleasureland, a midtown dive. With his hired guns in tow, Silvera pursues Smith through the sordid underbelly of New York. Shot on location throughout the Big Apple, Killer’s Kiss prominently features the old Penn Station, Times Square, and a chase across the vast rooftops that overlook the industrial expanse now known as DUMBO. Disowning his debut feature Fear and Desire and blocking it from ever being screened after its original release in 1953, Kubrick preferred to have his fiction filmography begin here.

Bing Theater | $10 for the general public; $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club members | Price includes both films on the double bill | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online

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