Film Noir

Notorious

June 6, 2019

Does Notorious work better for us than Spellbound did? How are Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman as a couple? And does Claude Rains convincingly play a Nazi war criminal? Tune in to this week’s show to get these answers and more!

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Spellbound

May 30, 2019

Who do we buy more – Ingrid Bergman as a psychotherapist or Gregory Peck as her boss? How does this mystery hold up against Hitchcock’s other films? And what about that Dalí dream sequence? Tune in to this week’s show to get these answers and more!

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Gaslight (1944)

May 23, 2019

How different is this version than the 1940 version? Did Ingrid Bergman deserve her Academy Award? And why was MGM trying to gaslight the world? Tune in to this week’s show to get these answers and more!

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Ministry of Fear

June 9, 2016

“Ministry of Fear” was Fritz Lang’s third film of four anti-Nazi movies that he made, but it feels less anti-Nazi and more just straight up Hitchcockian thriller. And while Lang didn’t like the final result of the film and Graham Greene, who wrote the novel on which the movie’s based, also didn’t like the film, it’s a very fun film to watch and feels a bit like Lang lite. 

Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our Lang series with his 1944 film, “Ministry of Fear.”

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Sweet Smell of Success

June 12, 2015

James Wong Howe and director Alexander Mackendrick knew right away that to tell this story properly, they really needed to film on the streets of New York City at night. So they did, and in the process created a stunningly gorgeous and dark film noir that feels like it truly lives in the city, not on some Hollywood soundstage. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Black-and-White Cinematography of James Wong Howe series with Mackendrick’s wonderful 1956 film, “Sweet Smell of Success.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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