Film Noir and Neo Noir on TCM: December 2017

*All times are PST. Please check the Turner Classics Movie website to confirm dates and times or additional programming information.

NOIR ALLEY

Sunday, December 3, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

PUSHOVER (1954): A police detective (Fred MacMurray) falls for the bank robber's girlfriend (Kim Novak) who he is supposed to be tailing. You'd think after what Barbara Stanwyck did to him in Double Indemnity, MacMurray would know enough to stay away from the damn blondes. Dir. Richard Quine

Monday, Dec. 4, 3:00 AM—5:00 PM

TCM Prison Marathon

Here are the noirs:

9:30 AM

CAGED (1950): This film noir in women-in-prison clothing details the transformation of a young, naïve and pregnant widow (Eleanor Parker) into a hardened convict. She learns the hard way how to survive in the big house from a sadistic prison guard (Hope Emerson) and the failure of a good hearted warden (Agnes Moorehead) to reform the prison. This is more than an exploitation flick, it's an intelligent social drama and raises the still prescient issue facing the American penal system, is it actually reforming first time offenders or just turning prisoners into career criminal? Nominated for three Oscars including Best Actress for Parker and Supporting Actress for Emerson. Dir. John Cromwell

3:15 PM

BRUTE FORCE (1947): In this brutal film noir, a convict (Burt Lancaster) plans a daring and violent escape from a sadistic prison. Gritty noir photography provided by Oscar winner William Daniels. Dir. Jules Dassin

Tuesday, December 5, 12:30 AM

THE HARDER THEY FALL (1956): A cynical press agent (Humphrey Bogart) tempted by the money, goes to work as a PR flak for the corrupt manager of a naïve boxer. He then must decide between the dough and exposing the inhuman conditions rife in the boxing game. DP Burnett Guffey earned an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White for his work on the film. Dir. Mark Robson

Tuesday, December 5, 3:15 PM

WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956): The owner of a big city news conglomerate dies, leaving it to his ne'er-do-well son (Vincent Price). Said son decides to create a competition among the heads of each department: Dana Andrews, George Sanders, Thomas Mitchell and James Craig. Whoever can discover the identity of the "Lipstick Killer" terrorizing the city will be the new executive editor. Ids Lupino gives a memorable performance as a cynical reporter in cahoots with Sanders. Dir. Fritz Lang

Friday, December 8, 3:15 AM

ACT OF VIOLENCE (1949): An embittered veteran (Robert Ryan) tracks down Frank R. Enley, a POW camp informer (Van Heflin) now a respected member of his community. Mary Astor steals the film as the boozy bar fly and prostitute trying to help Enley. Dir. Fred Zinnemann

Friday, December 8, 10:30 AM

BERLIN EXPRESS (1948): A multinational group of travelers find themselves thrown together to thwart the assassination of a prominent pacifist scientist by defiant Nazis bent on destabilizing post-war Germany. This improbable but intelligent thriller is a true rarity: a shot-on-location look at the resistance Allied powers faced reorganizing the vanquished German citizenry in the aftermath of WWII. Robert Ryan (the laconic American) and Merle Oberon (trying a sketchy French accent) head a cast comprising representatives of each Allied Zone: Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States. Although spiced with shadowy noir dramatics (lensed by Oberon's husband, Lucien Ballard), the film's most fascinating aspect is its time capsule view of global geopolitics in the rapidly closing window between the Marshall Plan and the building of the Berlin Wall. Dir. Jacques Tourn

Friday, Dec. 8, 8:15 PM —12:00 AM

Noir Noel Double Bill

8:15 PM

LADY IN THE LAKE (1947): A lady editor (Audrey Totter) hires Phillip Marlowe to investigate the disappearance of her boss' wife. First time director Robert Montgomery, who also starred as Marlowe, chose to shoot the entire film from Marlowe's POV using a subjective camera in order to replicate visually Raymond Chandler's first person narrative from the novel. Dir. Robert Montgomery

10:15 PM

LADY ON A TRAIN (1945): Nikki Collins (Deanna Durbin) witnesses a murder while waiting for a train, but can't get the police to believe her when no body is discovered. While they dismiss her as daft, she enlists the help of a mystery writer to sleuth out the culprits on her own. Based on a story by veteran mystery writer Leslie Charteris (The Saint), this is a wildly entertaining mix of comedy, musical, and suspense, rendered in evocative noir style by cameraman Woody Bredell (Phantom Lady, Christmas Holiday, The Killers), and featuring a superb cast of sinister and suspicious supporting players swirling ominously around "America's Sweetheart, including noir stalwart Dan Duryea. Dir. Charles David

Saturday, December 9, 3:30 AM

THE MALTESE FALCON (1931): The first adaptation of the legendary pulp novel, made the year after Dashiell Hammett's landmark novel was published. This pre-Code adaptation flaunts a much sexier tone than John Huston's more famous 1941 version. It also features the best interpretation of Spade's secretary Effie, finely played by Una Merkel. Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels star as Spade and Brigid. Dir. Roy Del Ruth.

NOIR ALLEY

Sunday, December 10, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

THE BREAKING POINT (1950): This film faithfully retells the story of Hemingway's To Have and Have Not. Charter-boat skipper Harry Morgan (John Garfield) will do anything to save his boat from creditors, even smuggle illegal aliens. Things get ugly when he attempts to double cross a gangster that hires him to spirit away a group of thieves hot off a racetrack heist. Patricia Neal co-stars as the sultry moll who tries to seduce the married Morgan. Dir. Michael Curtiz

Sunday, December 10, 9:00 AM

HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949): Big bad Bob Mitchum is on the run from one of his RKO noir thrillers when he gets a job as house dick at a department store and busts adorable Janet Leigh, who's spying for the competition. Okay, it's not noir. It's a warm and witty romantic Christmas movie minus all the sappy sentiment. Hey, a little love never killed anybody! Dir. Don Hartman

Monday, December 11, 4:45 AM

SCARLET STREET (1945): A henpecked cashier and weekend painter, Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson), falls for heartless tramp Kitty (Joan Bennett) whom he meets by chance. She and her pimp/boyfriend Johnny (Dan Duryea) play the sucker for everything he has. Then Chris starts to embezzle to keep his lady love happy and things go from bad to worse. Dir. Fritz Lang

Tuesday, December 12, 5:00 PM

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946): In this noir classic, illicit lovers (John Garfield and Lana Turner) plot to kill the woman's older husband. She wants to own her own restaurant, the eternal ambition of heroines created by James M. Cain, author of the original novel. The producers managed to stay quite faithful to the book while excising the sadomasochistic nature of the character's sexual relationship. Dir. Tay Garnett

Tuesday, December 12, 9:30 PM

JOHNNY EAGER (1942): A handsome racketeer (Robert Taylor) seduces the D.A.'s daughter (Lana Turner) for revenge, but then falls in love with her. Edward Arnold plays the D.A. Sharp eyed viewers will recognize this as one of the films used in Carl Reiner's noir parody Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982). Dir. Mervyn LeRoy

Friday, December 15, 7:00 PM

HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949): Big bad Bob Mitchum is on the run from one of his RKO noir thrillers when he gets a job as house dick at a department store and busts adorable Janet Leigh, who's spying for the competition. Okay, it's not noir. It's a warm and witty romantic Christmas movie minus all the sappy sentiment. Hey, a little love never killed anybody! Dir. Don Hartman

Saturday, December 16, 10:45 AM

MEET JOHN DOE (1941): In this final collaboration between director Frank Capra and actress Barbara Stanwyck, she plays cynical sob sister Ann Mitchell who publishes a fake letter to her own column from "John Doe" in order to save her job after the newspaper she works for is bought out. John Doe is disgusted by the state that America is in and pledges to protest it by jumping from the roof of City Hall at midnight on Christmas Eve. When the mayor wants to meet him, Ann and her new managing editor D. B. Norton (Edward Arnold) hire an ex-baseball player on the skids (Gary Cooper) to impersonate her fictional creation. As John Doe becomes nationally famous, Norton develops a plan to use him for his own agenda. Dir. Frank Capra

NOIR ALLEY

Sunday, December 17, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946): In this noir classic, illicit lovers (John Garfield and Lana Turner) plot to kill the woman's older husband. She wants to own her own restaurant, the eternal ambition of heroines created by James M. Cain, author of the original novel. The producers managed to stay quite faithful to the book while excising the sadomasochistic nature of the character's sexual relationship. Dir. Tay Garne

Monday, December 18, 11:00 AM

OUT OF THE PAST (1947): In this quintessential film noir, small town gas station owner Jeff Bailey's (Robert Mitchum) past catches up with him when a stranger passing through town recognizes him. He tells his girlfriend Ann Miller (Virginia Huston) about his previous via flashback, of course. Jeff was a private eye falls for the gangster's moll (Jane Greer) that he's supposed to find for her lover Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas). She's allegedly stolen $40,000 from Whit and he wants her and the dough back. As in all good noirs, nothing is really as it seems. Watch for future noir siren Rhonda Fleming as a duplicitous secretary. Based on Geoffrey Homes' excellent pulp novel Build My Gallows High and shot by legendary cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca. Dir. Jacques Tourneur

Tuesday, December 19, 6:45 AM

RAGE IN HEAVEN (1941): A jealous man (Robert Montgomery in a rare bad guy role) plots to fake his own death and incriminate his wife's (Ingrid Bergman) and her suspected lover—the always dependable George Sanders in a rare good guy role. Dir. W.S. Van Dyke II

Friday, December 22, 7:00 PM

REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940): It's not a noir, but you should watch this pre-Double Indemnity teaming of Barbra Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray anyway. Preston Sturges wrote this Christmas tale which features his unique blend of comedy, romance and pathos. An Assistant DA (MacMurray) bring a suspected shoplifter (Stanwyck) home for the holidays, so she doesn't have to them in jail. Dir. Mitchell Leisen

Sunday, December 24, 11:15 AM

HOLIDAY AFFAIR (1949): Big bad Bob Mitchum is on the run from one of his RKO noir thrillers when he gets a job as house dick at a department store and busts adorable Janet Leigh, who's spying for the competition. Okay, it's not noir. It's a warm and witty romantic Christmas movie minus all the sappy sentiment. Hey, a little love never killed anybody! Dir. Don Hartman

Monday, December 25, 3:45 AM

MEET JOHN DOE (1941): In this final collaboration between director Frank Capra and actress Barbara Stanwyck, she plays cynical sob sister Ann Mitchell who publishes a fake letter to her own column from "John Doe" in order to save her job after the newspaper she works for is bought out. John Doe is disgusted by the state that America is in and pledges to protest it by jumping from the roof of City Hall at midnight on Christmas Eve. When the mayor wants to meet him, Ann and her new managing editor D. B. Norton (Edward Arnold) hire an ex-baseball player on the skids (Gary Cooper) to impersonate her fictional creation. As John Doe becomes nationally famous, Norton develops a plan to use him for his own agenda. Dir. Frank Capra

Monday, December. 25, 5:00 PM — Tuesday, December 26, 5:00 PM

Spend Christmas with Hitchcock!

5:00 PM

REAR WINDOW (1954): A wheelchair-bound photographer (James Stewart) passes the time of his disability by spying on his neighbors. One day he witnesses a murder. Or does he? This iconic mystery was adapted from a story by Cornell Woolrich and earned a Best Writing, Screenplay Oscar nomination for screenwriter John Michael Hayes. The film earned three more Oscar nods for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Color and Best Sound, Recording. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

7:00 PM

NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959): Foreign agents mistake suave and swinging advertising man Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) for a spy. He takes it on the lam and encounters a beautiful blonde (Eva Marie Saint) who may or may not be trusted. This film earned 3 Oscar nominations: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color; Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen; and Best Film Editing Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

9:30 PM

DIAL M FOR MURDER (1954): A man (Ray Milland) hires a friend to murder his wealthy wife (Grace Kelly). His plan goes awry when she stabs the would-be-murderer. Then he decides he can still get rid of her, by eroding erode her self-defense claim. Her ex-lover (Robert Cummings) tries to save her. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

11:30 PM

THE BIRDS (1963): Beautiful heiress Melanie (Tippi Hedren) takes a sudden fancy to a handsome architect Mitch (Rod Taylor) who lives in a remote Californian costal village with his overly affectionate mother (Jessica Tandy) and little sister. Creepily Melanie follows him there and pretends to be an old friend of his ex-girlfriend (Suzanne Pleshette).Even more creepily, after her arrival, the village is besieged by flocks of killer birds. Look for noir toughie Charles McGraw in a supporting role. Legendary animator turned special effects expert Ub Iwerks won the Oscar for Best Effects, Special Visual Effects for his work on the film. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

1:45 AM

VERTIGO (1958): An old friend hires ex-cop Scotty (Jimmy Stewart) to follow his beautiful but emotionally disturbed wife (Kim Novak) through the gorgeously shot streets of San Francisco. Stewart gives an intensely dark performance as Scotty spirals further and further into romantic obsession. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

4:00 AM

SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943): A young girl (Teresa Wright) fears her favorite uncle may be a killer, Joseph Cotten in the best performance of his career. "Do you know the world is a foul sty? Do you know, if you rip off the fronts of houses, you'd find swine? The world's a hell. What does it matter what happens in it?" Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

6:00 AM

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951): Childlike but charming psychopath Bruno (Robert Walker) suggests that he and Guy (Farley Granger), a tennis player with political ambitions, crisscross murders. Unfortunately, Guy realizes too late that Bruno wasn't joking. Guy's unwanted wife shows up murdered and he has no alibi. Screenplay by Raymond Chandler and Czenzi Ormonde. D.P. Robert Burks' outstanding work earned an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

8:00 AM

THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY (1955): This quirky black comedy reverses the whodunit genre as multiple residents of a Vermont hamlet believe themselves responsible for Harry's death and the disposal of his body. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

10:00 AM

TOPAZ (1969): A complicated espionage thriller involving a Soviet spy in French General De Gaulle's retinue, drawn from Leon Uris's novel. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

12:15 PM

MARNIE (1964): A forceful millionaire (Sean Connery) blackmails a beautiful thief (Tippi Hedren), who attempted to rob him, into marrying him. He tries to unravel the mystery of her compulsion to steal. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

2:45 PM

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956): A family vacationing in Morocco accidentally stumble on to an assassination plot and the conspirators are determined to prevent them from interfering. Jay Livingston and Ray Evans garnered the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song for the film's song "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)".Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Wednesday, December 27, 2:30 PM

THE LEOPARD MAN (1943): Legendary B horror producer Val Lewton strays into noir territory with this suspenseful tale of a leopard on the prowl for human prey in a small New Mexican town. The night club performer (Jean Brooks) responsible for letting the leopard loose and her manager (Dennis O'Keefe), who dreamed up the stunt, began to suspect that a man, and not the leopard, is actually responsible for the deaths of several young women. Based on Cornell Woolrich's novel, Black Alibi. Dir. Jacques TourneurN

Friday, Dec. 29, 1:00 PM—5:00 PM

Film Noir Double Feature

1:00 PM

NORA PRENTIS (1947): In this noir tale, a decorous doctor becomes obsessed with a beautiful nightclub singer, (Ann Sheridan). Interestingly, uber straight man Kent Smith, best known as Irina's husband in Val Lewton's Cat People (1942) (Dir. Jacques Tourner) gets the chance to play a man who will stop at nothing to possess the object of his desire. Dir. Vincent Sherman

3:00 PM

MILDRED PIERCE (1945): Joan Crawford won an Oscar for her performance as a woman who builds herself up from grass widow to successful restaurateur in a desperate effort to win the love of the most ungrateful brat in the history of cinema, her daughter Veda, brilliantly played by Ann Blyth. A marriage of convenience, adultery and murder ensue. At least Mildred has the greatest best friend ever, a wisecracking Eve Arden. Based on the James M. Cain story. Dir. Michael Curtiz

Sunday, Dec 30, 8:00 AM—11:30 AM

Film Noir Double Bill

8:00 AM

THE WINDOW (1949): A young boy (Bobby Driscoll) with a penchant for telling tall tales overhears a murder while sleeping alone on a fire escape. Of course, no one believes him except the murderers (Paul Stewart and Ruth Roman) who ruthlessly hunt him down. This excellent adaptation of a Cornell Woolrich story will keep you on the edge of your seat. Dir. Ted Tetzlaff

9:45 AM

THIS WOMAN IS DANGEROUS (1952): After pulling off a daring heist in New Orleans, a lady gangster (Joan Crawford) leaves her lover and partner in crime behind and checks into an Indianapolis hospital to undergo experimental surgery to save her failing eyesight. When she falls for her handsome doctor (Dennis Morgan), will she change her ways and will her lover let her go without a fight? Dir. Felix Feist

Sunday, December 31, 5:00 PM — 3:45 AM

New Year's Eve Thin Man Marathon

5:00 PM

THE THIN MAN (1934): Dashiell Hammett's urbane but fun loving sleuths Nick and Nora Charles, along with their pup Asta, investigate the disappearance of an inventor in this classic blend of laughs and suspense. Shot in just two weeks by director Woody "One-Shot'' Van Dyke and cinematographer James Wong Howe, this gem set the gold standard for the sophisticated comedy—inspiring five sequels as well as countless inferior imitations. Van Dyke previously directed Myrna Loy and William Powell in Manhattan Melodrama and spotted the terrific chemistry of their off screen banter between takes. He insisted on casting the pair as Hammett's hard-drinking super-couple and the glamorous pair became one of the movies' great romantic teams. Shot by the legendary cinematographer James Wong Howe. The film garnered four Oscar nominations, Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role for Powell, Best Director for W.S. Van Dyke Best Writing, Adaptation for Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. Dir. Woody Van Dyke

6:45 PM

AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936): In this delightful follow up to The Thin Man, Nick (William Powell) and Nora (Myrna Loy) return to their home in San Francisco determined to rest up from their previous New York adventures, but Nora's snooty family unintentionally embroils them in a murder mystery. Joseph Calleia, Sam Levene, George Zucco and a young Jimmy Stewart add to the fun. Dir. W. S. Van Dyke

8:45 PM

ANOTHER THIN MAN (1939): Another fun outing with hard drinking husband and wife team Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) and their faithful companion Asta. This time their son Nicky, Jr. is along for the ride. In this third installment of the series, Nick and Nora venture out to Long Island to aid Nora's former business manager Colonel MacFay (C. Aubrey Smith). An old enemy of the Colonel's, the mysterious Mr. Church (Sheldon Leonard), claims that he's seen MacFay die in a dream and has come to watch his premonition come true. It does and the police quickly suspect him of McFey's murder. However, the Charleses soon find McFey was surrounded by quite a few people who benefited from his death. Based loosely on one of Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op stories, "The Farewell Murder". Dir. W S Van Dyke II

10:45 PM

SHADOW OF THE THIN MAN (1941): Dashiell Hammett's hard drinking power couple Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) return for their fourth outing in MGM's sophisticated and witty whodunit series. This time, the pair investigates a murder at a racetrack with the help of their son Nick, Jr. and faithful wirehaired terrier Asta. Dir. W. S. Van Dyke II

12:30 AM

THE THIN MAN GOES HOME (1945): Nick Charles (William Powell) takes Nora (Myrna Loy) and Asta to his hometown of Sycamore Springs to visit his parents and celebrate his birthday. A murder and espionage soon disrupt their holiday and Nora's plans to buy Nick the perfect gift. Dir. Richard Thorpe

2:15 AM

SONG OF THE THIN MAN (1947): This was the last outing for Nick (William Powell), Nora (Myrna Loy) and Asta Charles, they investigate the shooting of a band leader in New York. Gloria Grahame plays a sultry jazz singer whose romantic missteps lead to death, another foreshadowing of her career in noir. Dir. Edward Buzzell

Eddie Muller presents Pushover starring Kim Novak and Fred MacMurray on the December 3 edition of NOIR ALLEY

On the set of Caged featured in TCM's Prison Marathon on December 4

Burt Lancaster stars in Brute Force on December 4

Eddie Muller presents The Harder They Fall on the December 5 edition of NOIR ALLEY

Dana Andrews vs. the Lipstick Killer in Fritz Lang's While the City Sleeps on December 5

Act of Violence starring Van Heflin and Robert Ryan on December 8

Noir spy-thriller, Berlin Express, screening December 8

On the set with Audrey Totter in Lady in the Lake on December 8

Deanna Durbin in The Lady on the Train on December 8

Bebe Daniels stars in the 1931 version of The Maltese Falcon on December 9

Patricia Neal and John Garfield in The Breaking Point on the December 10 edition of NOIR ALLEY, presented by Eddie Muller

Pre-Psycho Janet Leigh with Robert Mitchum in Holiday Affair on December 10 and 24

Dan Duryea and Joan Bennett in Scarlet Street on December 11

The Postman Always Rings Twice screens December 12 and on NOIR ALLEY on December 17

Robert Taylor stars in Johnny Eager on December 12

Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper in Frank Capra's classic Meet John Doe on December 16

Dickie Moore is asked a pivotal question by Virginia Huston in quintessential noir, Out of the Past, screening December 18

Robert Montgomery and Ingrid Bergman in Rage in Heaven on December 19

Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in Remember the Night on December 22

Grace Kelly in Rear Window on December 25

Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder on December 25

On the set of The Birds screening December 25

Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright in Shadow of a Doubt on December 21

Farley Granger v. Robert Walker in Hitchcock's spectacular Strangers on a Train

John Forsythe is a C.I.A. agent in Hitchcock's Topaz on December 25

Sean Connery and Tippi Hedrin in Marnie screening December 25

Val Lewton's The Leopard Man on December 27

Kent Smith and Ann Sheridan in Nora Prentis screening December 29

Joan Crawford stars in Mildred Pierce on December 29

Bobby Driscoll stars in the spectacularly shot The Window screening December 30

Joan Crawford as a lady gangster in This Woman Is Dangerous on December 30

TCM hosts a Thin Man marathon on New Year's Eve

 

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