Film Noir

Fritz Lang's 1953 crime film noir The Big Sleep

The Big Heat • Member Bonus Episode

May 31, 2021

How about some hot coffee in the face? No? Well, Gloria Grahame sure gives it a shot here in this brutal crime noir film directed by Fritz Lang in 1953, starring Glenn Ford as a ruthless cop hellbent on stopping the local crime syndicate, no matter who dies in his way. This is our May 2021 Member Bonus Episode, voted on by you – our members. It’s a dip back into our Fritz Lang series from 2016, and a solid film to finally review.

Listen Now

Touch of Evil

April 24, 2015

Orson Welles never was one who could direct in the Hollywood studio system without a hitch, and his last studio picture he directed, 1958’s “Touch of Evil,” stands testament to that fact. While the shoot itself went well, the film ran into its issues in post, leaving a truncated version that Welles wasn’t a part of (nor happy with) released on the bottom of a double bill. Now, with a re-edited re-release, the film now stands as not only one of the great films noirs but also as one of Welles’ finest cinematic achievements. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we finish our film noir series with this magnificent, and dark, film.

Listen Now

Ace in the Hole

April 17, 2015

Released in 1951, Ace in the Hole came out a time when neither the public nor the critics were ready for something like it and it flopped. Hard. But with time, it’s found a new audience and has been canonized as one of Billy Wilder’s greatest achievements. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Film Noir series with “Ace in the Hole.”

Listen Now

Out of the Past

April 10, 2015

The two films most often cited as the ultimate representations of film noir are Billy Wilder’s 1944 film “Double Indemnity” and Jacques Tourneur’s 1947 film “Out of the Past.” Tourneur’s film gives us Robert Mitchum at his laconic best, Jane Greer at her sexiest and Kirk Douglas in one of his earliest roles but already defined by his machismo. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Film Noir series with “Out of the Past.”

Listen Now

Scarlet Street

April 3, 2015

Fritz Lang may have often had conflicts with his producers, but when he turned out a great film, he made so great that it’s easy to look past his argumentative nature and just focus on the end product. Well, perhaps more so now than at the time. Sure, he had his stinkers, but looking at a magnificent film like “Scarlet Street,” it’s easy to forgive any battles he started and just relish the brilliance of the story. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Film Noir series with Lang’s 1945 masterpiece, “Scarlet Street.”

Listen Now

Detour

March 27, 2015

There are good films noir and there are bad films noir. But rarely do you have a case like 1945’s “Detour,” directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, where the poor quality that would make it a bad film could actually be construed as elements that make it a good film. In fact, this is arguably the only case where that happened. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Film Noir series with Ulmer’s “Detour.”

Listen Now

Double Indemnity

March 20, 2015

Nobody knew they were making films noir when the genre started in the 40s — it wasn’t until much later when the French dubbed this new run of American films that had a darker bent with snappy dialogue, lots of shadows and femme fatales film noir. Billy Wilder was setting out to make a crime thriller; he didn’t realize at the time that his film “Double Indemnity” would be considered the first real film noir. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we begin our Film Noir series with Wilder’s brilliant film from 1944.

Listen Now