Film Noir and Neo-Noir on TCM: May, 2023

*All times are PT. Please check your local listings to confirm dates and times.

Thursday, May 4, 7:00 PM

KEY LARGO (1948): A returning veteran (Humphrey Bogart) tangles with a ruthless gangster (Edward G. Robinson) during a hurricane while falling for his dead war buddy's widow (Lauren Bacall). Claire Trevor steals the film with her Oscar winning performance as the gangster's alcoholic and emotionally abused girlfriend. Dir. John Huston

Friday, May 5, 7:00 PM &
Sunday, May 14, 9:00 AM

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

Noir Alley

Saturday, May 6, 9:00 PM &
Sunday, May 7, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

THE FILE ON THELMA JORDON (1950): Barbara Stanwyck plays Thelma who, as Miss Stanwyck is wont to do, seduces a married Assistant District Attorney (Corey Wendell) and pulls him into a web of theft and murder. When Thelma's boyfriend, a jewel thief, reenters the scene, things, of course, go badly. Dir. Robert Siodmak

Sunday, May 7, 9:00 AM

THE LETTER (1940): Bette Davis gives a masterful performance as a married woman claiming self-defense in the murder of a fellow Britisher on her husband's rubber plantation in Malay. This succeeds both as a film noir and an incisive look into colonialism. Herbert Marshall gives a deeply empathetic performance as the loving husband. Watch for Victor Sen Yung as a solicitous lawyer's clerk. Based on a play by Somerset Maugham, dramatized from his own short story. Nominated for seven Oscars: Best Picture; Best Actress in a Leading Role, Bette Davis; Best Actor in a Supporting Role, James Stephenson; Best Director, William Wyler; Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, Tony Gaudio; Best Film Editing, Warren Low; Best Music, Original Score, Max Steiner. Dir. William Wyler

Sunday, May 7, 7:30 PM

THE BLUE GARDENIA (1953): Based on a story by Vera Caspary, author of Laura, a telephone operator (Anne Baxter) believes that she has killed a creepy pick-up (Raymond Burr) in self-defense but can't remember the details of the encounter. She is suitable terrified that the police will connect her to the crime. Her path soon crosses with that of an intrepid, and attractive) reporter (Richard Conte) determined to crack the case. Ann Sothern co-stars as her sympathetic roommate. Nat King Cole has a cameo as himself and sings the movie's theme song. Dir. Fritz Lang

Tuesday, May 9, 3:00 AM

OUT OF THE FOG (1941): A racketeer (John Garfield) terrorizes a small fishing community and seduces a tailor's daughter (Ida Lupino). The tailor and his friend must figure out how to fight the racketeer to keep their only solace, their fishing boat, from being destroyed in an "accident" and to save the daughter from throwing her life away on the racketeer. Dir. Anatole Litvak

Wednesday, May 10, 5:00 PM –
Thursday, May 11, 4:00 AM

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 for Powell, Best Director, and 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. Writers Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett received a Best Writing, Screenplay Oscar nomination. 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

Friday, May 12, 3:00 AM

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940): An American reporter (Joel McCrea) covering the war in Europe gets mixed up in the assassination of a Dutch diplomat which leads to his uncovering a political conspiracy with the aid of the daughter (Laraine Day) of a prominent politician (Herbert Marshall) and a chap named ffolliott "with two small 'f's" (George Sanders), his rival for the girl's affection. This tremendously entertaining film features several vintage Hitchcock set pieces. The film was nominated for six Oscars. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Noir Alley

Saturday, May 13, 9:00 PM &
Sunday, May 14, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

FLAMINGO ROAD (1949): Carnival dancer Lane Bellamy (Joan Crawford), while stranded in a small town, becomes romantically involved with deputy sheriff Fielding Carlisle (Zachary Scott), a whose career is controlled by Sheriff and corrupt political boss Titus Semple (Sydney Greenstreet). Semple dislikes Bellamy and mounts a campaign against her but she's not one to take things lying down. Dir. Michael Curtiz

Sunday, May 14, 11:30 PM

THE HIT (1984): Hit men (John Hurt, Tim Roth) track down a gangster turned stool pigeon (Terence Stamp) in a remote Spanish village. They take him to Paris-the trip proves interesting. Dir. Stephen Frears

Monday, May 15, 5:00 AM

CONSPIRATOR (1949): After a whirlwind courtship, Melinda (Elizabeth Taylor) marries an older Englishman, Michael (Robert Taylor). She soon suspects that he is a Communist spy. Meanwhile, his Soviet contacts, worried that his identity will be revealed by her, instruct Michael to kill his bride. Dir. Victor Saville

Monday, May 15, 9:30 AM

GASLIGHT (1944): A newlywed (Ingrid Bergman) fears she's going mad when strange things start happening at the family mansion where her aunt was murdered ten years earlier. Joseph Cotten stars as the handsome stranger who aids her. Charles Boyer stars as the handsome husband who terrorizes her. Angela Lansbury plays the pretty maid who may be in league with Boyer. Based on Patrick Hamilton's Angel Street. The film won two Oscars, Best Actress in a Leading Role for Ingrid Bergman and Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Black-and-White for Cedric Gibbons, William Ferrari, Edwin B. Willis, Paul Huldschinsky, and earned five more nominations. Dir. George Cukor

Monday, May 15, 1:30 PM – 8:15 PM

Film noir quadruple feature

1:30 PM

CAT PEOPLE (1942): Produced by the legendary Val Lewton, this atmospheric and heartbreaking horror film tells the tale of Irina (Simone Simon), a beautiful and charming Serbian emigree who meets and marries all-American architect Oliver (Kent Smith). She is reluctant to consummate their marriage and he turns to his friend and coworker Alice (Jane Rudolph) with tragic and frightening results. Producer Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur styles merge to produce one of the greatest films of the genre. Lensed by the noted noir cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca. Dir. Jacques Tourneur

3:00 PM

STOP ME BEFORE I KILL! (1961): In this late era Brit noir, produced by Hammer studios, a racetrack driver (Ronald Lewis) recovering from a traumatic car accident, struggles with fantasizes about killing his wife (Diane Cilento). He seeks therapy from Dr. Prade (Claude Dauphin), a psychologist he met while on vacation with his wife in the Cote D'Azur. Based on the novel, The Full Treatment by Ronald Scott Thorn. Dir. Val Guest

5:00 PM

HE RAN ALL THE WAY (1951): John Garfield plays a desperate criminal on the run from a robbery that ended with a shooting. He takes refuge in the family apartment of a naïve young woman (Shelley Winters). She falls in love with him, complicating further a tense hostage situation. Dir. John Berry

6:30 PM

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957): A desperate press agent (Tony Curtis) stoops to new depths to help an egotistical columnist (Burt Lancaster) in an emotionally repugnant, but brilliant, performance, break up his sister's romance. Suitably noirish cinematography by James Wong Howe and an acidic script by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman combine with an excellent cast to deliver a remarkable film. Dir. Alexander Mackendrick. Also screening May 30.

Tuesday, May 16, 7:15 AM – 5:00 PM

TCM Salutes Noir Goddess Audrey Totter

7:15 AM

THE UNSUSPECTED (1947): The star and producer of a radio crime series, a rather nasty Claude Rains, commits the perfect crime in order to cover some irregularities concerning his late niece's estate, only to have his plans thwarted when his niece Constance Bennett is found alive and well. Audrey Totter plays her slutty cousin who stole her fiancé and now has designs on her husband. Based on the novel by Charlotte Armstrong. Dir. Michael Curtiz

9:00 AM

THE SELLOUT (1951): Big-city newspaper Editor Haven D. Allridge (Walter Pidgeon) crusades to smash a small-town sheriff Burke (Thomas Gomez) after falling victim to his corruption. After Allridge is suddenly intimidated into silence, state's attorney Chick Johnson (John Hodiak) continues the fight for right. He discovers that the sheriff is keeping Allridge quiet by threatening to reveal the criminal activities of Allridges son-in-law Randy Stanton (Cameron Mitchell). Audrey Totter plays the tart with the golden heart sent after Chick to lead him astray. Dir. Gerald Mayer

10:30 AM

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 to replicate visually Raymond Chandler's first-person narrative from the novel. Dir. Robert Montgomery

12:15 PM

HIGH WALL (1947): Quintessential postwar noir! Brain-damaged vet Robert Taylor confesses to murdering his unfaithful wife and is sentenced to a sanitarium. His doctor (sexy Audrey Totter) gradually realizes he might not be guilty. Taylor gives his best performance ever in this neglected gem, which glistens with director Curtis Bernhardt's feverish rain-soaked noirscapes. Dir. Curtis Bernhardt

2:00 PM

THE SET-UP (1949): An aging boxer (Robert Ryan) defies the gangsters who've ordered him to throw his last fight, believing that he can still be a champ. Audrey Totter plays his devoted wife who begs him to retire from boxing before he's destroyed. Dir. Robert Wise

3:15 PM

TENSION (1950): A cuckolded husband (Richard Basehart) plans the perfect murder in order to kill his wife's lover. Then he finds true love with an understanding neighbor (Cyd Charisse) and decides against implementing his plot. Unfortunately, he becomes the prime suspect when somebody else kills his previously intended victim. Audrey Totter shines as his devious mate. Dir. John Berry

Tuesday, May 16, 9:00 PM

TEQUILA SUNRISE (1988): Two friends on the opposite sides of the law, a drug dealer trying to go straight, Mac (Mel Gibson) and L. A. detective Nick (Kurt Russell) find their friendship tested by a Mexican drug lord named Carlos (Raul Julia), the DEA, the Mexican feds and their mutual love interest Jo Ann (Michelle Pfeiffer). Dir. Robert Towne

Wednesday, May 17, 10:45 AM – 3:00 PM

Classical Music Film Noir Double Feature

10:45 AM

HUMORESQUE (1946): Noirish romance about an equally talented and narcissistic classical musician (John Garfield) from the New York slums who falls in love with wealthy neurotic (Joan Crawford) with expectedly problematic results. Crawford's performance as a self-destructive alcoholic raises the level of the film beyond its melodramatic script. Dir. Jean Negulesco

1:00 PM

DECEPTION (1946): Aspiring pianist Christine Radcliffe (Bette Davis) is reunited with her lover, cellist Karel Novak (Paul Henreid), who she feared had perished in a Nazi concentration camp. Unfortunately, she's now the mistress of internationally renowned composer Alexander Hollenius (Claude Rains). Christine tries to orchestrate a productive professional relationship between the three that will allow all their artistic ambitions to flourish. Hollenius, however, is as creative in manipulating human emotions as he is in conducting an orchestra. Dir. Irving Rapper

Noir Alley

Saturday, May 20, 9:00 PM &
Sunday, May 21, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

DIAL 1119 (1950): A murderous mental patient (Marshall Thompson) escapes from an institution and holds the customers at a bar hostage. He wants to see the psychiatrist who committed him, and he'll kill to make it happen. Dir. Gerald Mayer

Sunday, May 21, 12:30 PM

SUSPICION (1941): A handsome gambler Johnny Aysgarth (Cary Grant) pursues the shy and wealthy Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine). He courts and marries her. After the honeymoon she discovers unsettling things about his character. She becomes increasingly suspicious of him when Johnny's friend and business partner, Beaky (Nigel Bruce) dies mysteriously. Based on Anthony Berkeley Cox's outstanding novel After the Fact. Seriously, read the book. Fontaine won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in the film. Composer Franz Waxman was nominated for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture. The film also earned a nomination for Best Picture. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Tuesday, May 23, 5:00 PM

ONCE A THIEF (1965): French superstar Alain Delon's first leading role in an English-language film highlights this ultra-hip 1960s heist yarn, shot entirely on location in San Francisco. The debonair Delon plays an ex-con settled into domestic semi-bliss with wife Ann-Margret, but when dogged cop Van Heflin puts the finger on him for a job he didn't pull, Delon has no choice but to throw in with his brother Jack Palance (!!!) on an actual robbery. Based on a novel by local mystery man Zekial Marko, who also acts in the film and provides exceptional '60s-hipster dialogue. Dir. Ralph Nelson

Wednesday, May 24, 3:00 AM

THE GHOST SHIP (1943): In this dark thriller, a young merchant marine officer (Russell Wade) begins to suspect that his ship's captain (Richard Dix) is mentally unbalanced when crewman Louie (Lawrence Tierney) dies in a horrible accident after challenging the captain's authority. However, as more mysterious deaths occur, his shipmates are convinced that the ship is haunted. Dir. Mark Robson

Thursday, May 25, 12:30 AM

CROSSROADS (1942): A recently wed French diplomat (William Powell) is accused of being a master criminal. He is suffering from amnesia and must find out for himself if the accusations are true. The women in the case are his new bride (Hedy Lamarr) and a witness against him (Claire Trevor). Dir. Jack Conway

Thursday, May 25, 9:15 PM

DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975): In New York city, a bank robbery turns into a media circus when Sonny (Al Pacino) tries to steal enough money for his lover's (Chris Sarandon) sex change operation and takes the bank's employees hostage. The film earned five Oscar nominations, only Frank Pierson won the Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay for the film, based on true events. Surprisingly co-star John Cazale was not nominated for his excellent performance as Sal, Sonny's partner in crime. Dir. Sidney Lumet

Friday, May 26, 2:00 AM

STRAY DOG (1949): In this post-War Japanese noir, a rookie detective, Toshiro Mifune, loses his gun, and he tears apart the underworld to get it back and save his career. He has little success finding the gun until an older detective, Takashi Shimamura, aids him. Dir. Akira Kurosawa

Noir Alley

Saturday, May 27, 9:00 PM &
Sunday, May 28, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

THE FALLEN SPARROW (1943): A Spanish Civil War veteran (John Garfield) journeys to New York to investigate the death of his policeman friend. He suspects the suicide is in fact a murder. Nazis, as well as a beautiful woman (Maureen O'Hara), complicate his search for the truth. Based on the novel by pulp great Dorothy B. Hughes who also wrote the novels In a Lonely Place (1947) and Ride the Pink Horse (1946). Dir. Richard Wallace

Tuesday, May 30, 3:00 PM – 11:45 PM

Film Noir Triple Bill

3:00 PM

THE BIG SLEEP (1946): In Howard Hawks' clever and sophisticated adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel, private eye Philip Marlowe's (Humphrey Bogart) investigates the involvement of an opium addled (and nymphomaniacal) society girl (Martha Vickers) in the murder of a pornographer. He also must determine if her sister (Lauren Bacall) is helping or hindering him. Dir. Howard Hawks

5:00 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

7:00 PM

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957): A desperate press agent (Tony Curtis) stoops to new depths to help an egotistical columnist (Burt Lancaster) in an emotionally repugnant, but brilliant, performance, break up his sister's romance. Suitably noirish cinematography by James Wong Howe and an acidic script by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman combine with an excellent cast to deliver a remarkable film. Dir. Alexander Mackendrick

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in Key Largo on May 4

Eddie Muller presents The File on Thelma Jordon on the May 6-7 edition of NOIR ALLEY

Fritz Lang's The Blue Gardenia screens May 7

Ida Lupino in Out of the Fog on May 9

The Thin Man marathon starts May 10

Nick and Nora return for Another Thin Man on May 10

Gloria Grahame in Song of the Thin Man on May 11

Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondence screens May 12

Eddie Muller presents Flamingo Road on the May 13-14 edition of NOIR ALLEY

Stephen Frears' The Hit screens May 14

Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor in Conspirator on May 15

Brit noir, Stop Me before I Kill! screens May 15

John Garfield and Shelley Winters in He Ran All the Way on May 15

Tony Curtis in Sweet Smell of Success on May 15 and May 30

Audrey Totter and Ted North in The Unsuspected on May 16

Audrey Totter stars in The Sellout on May 16

Audrey Totter and Robert Ryan publicity shoot for The Set-Up screening May 16.

Audrey Totter in Tension on May 16

John Garfield and Joan Crawford in Humoresque on May 17 

Paul Henreid and Bette Davis in Deception on May 17

Eddie Muller presents Dial 1119 on the May 20-21 edition of NOIR ALLEY  

Alain Delon and Ann-Margret stars in Once a Thief on May 23

Richard Dix stars in The Ghost Ship on May 24

Hedy Lamarr in Crossroads on May 25

Toshiro Mifune stars in Kurosawa's Stray Dog on May 26

Eddie Muller presents The Fallen Sparrow on the May 27-28 edition of NOIR ALLEY

The Big Sleep screens on May 30

James Mason and Martin Landau in Hitchcock's North by Northwest on May 30