Hard-boiled cinema fans are in for a treat! Starting this Friday, July 22-28, SIFF and Film Noir Foundation will present Noir City 2016: Film Noir From A to B. The week-long festival will feature 18 classic noir films from the 1940s at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian, all of them in glorious 35mm. And make no mistake: These are some deep cuts in the noir world.
It’s clear the curators expect you’ve already seen Double Indemnity and The Maltese Falcon. Just the titles make you want to smoke cigarettes and solve murder mysteries…never mind all the trouble with dames!
Here are all 18* films playing at Noir City 2016, ranked in order of how intriguing I think the film sounds based on its imdb.com plot description. (For a more complete summary of the films, along with showtimes and ticket info, better to visit Noir City’s event page.)
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) 89 min
Whilst on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and attempts to prevent it.
Gun Crazy (1950) 86 min
A well-meaning, crack-shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.
The Seventh Victim (1943) 71 min
A woman in search of her missing sister uncovers a Satanic cult in New York’s Greenwich Village, and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling’s sudden disappearance.
Woman on the Run (1950) 77 min
Frank Johnson flees police after becoming an eyewitness to murder. He is pursued around scenic San Francisco by his wife, a reporter, the police, and…the real murderer.
The Reckless Moment (1949) 82 min
After discovering the dead body of her teenage daughter’s lover, a housewife takes desperate measures to protect her family from scandal.
Phantom Lady (1946) 87 min
A beautiful secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn’t murder his selfish wife.
Scarlet Street (1945) 103 min
When a man in a mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of some of the fortune she thinks he has.
Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) 64 min
An aspiring reporter is the key witness at the murder trial of a young man accused of cutting a café owner’s throat, and is soon accused of a similar crime himself.
The Guilty (1947) 71 min
Two guys, sharing an apartment, meet twin girls. One is like Shirley Temple grown-up, and the other is a major piece of bad news. The nice one is murdered and her boyfriend is accused of the crime. The wrong-man-wrong-victim plot strikes again.
Desert Fury (1947) 96 min
The daughter of a Nevada casino owner gets involved with a racketeer, despite everyone’s efforts to separate them.
Dead Reckoning (1947) 100 min
A soldier runs away rather than receive the Medal of Honor, so his buddy gets permission to investigate, and love and death soon follow.
The Dark Corner (1946) 99 min
A secretary tries to help her boss, who is framed for a murder.
I Wake Up Screaming (1941), 82 min
Why is Inspector Ed Cornell trying to railroad Frankie Christopher for the murder of model Vicky Lynn?
This Gun for Hire (1947) 81 min
When assassin Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.
*Dr. Broadway (1942), My Name is Julia Ross (1945) and Night Editor (1946) have no usable plot summaries, and I haven’t seen them, so they truly are mysteries. You can investigate user reviews on IMDB in advance…or venture into the unknown.
Noir City 2016: Film Noir From A to B
When: July 22-28
Where: SIFF Cinema Egyptian (805 E Pine St)
Festival passes are available at the SIFF Box Office for $150 or $15 for single films