Film Noir and Neo-Noir on TCM: December, 2022

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

Thursday, December 1, 2:45 PM –
December 2, 8:45 AM

TCM Salutes Ava Gardner

Here are the noirs...

5:00 PM

THE KILLERS (1946): Expanded from the Hemmingway short story, two professional killers come to a small town looking for The Swede (Burt Lancaster). An insurance investigator (Edmond O'Brien) unravels the tangled skein of events that led up to the hit. Ava Gardner plays Kitty, the woman who led the Swede to his doom. Dir. Robert Siodmak

9:15 PM

THE BRIBE (1949): A sultry singer (Ava Gardner) tries to tempt a federal agent (Robert Taylor) from the straight-and-narrow while he investigates an arms surplus racket on a small South American island. Charles Laughton and Vincent Price menace him. Dir. Robert Z. Leonard

11:00 PM

EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE (1949): Wealthy and married Jessie Bourne (Barbara Stanwyck) finds herself attracted to ex-police officer turned author Mark Dwyer but wants to remain loyal to her husband (James Mason). Unfortunately, he's playing around with his ex-flame Isabel (Ava Gardner). Isabel tells Jessie that she has every attention of taking away her husband. Then Isabel winds up dead and Jessie falls under suspicion for the murder. Low rent noir goddess Beverly Michaels does a wonderful turn a trashy gun moll in a small but pivotal role. Dir. Mervyn LeRoy

Saturday, December 3, 5:00 PM – 10:45 PM

Film Noir Double Feature

5:00 PM

PETE KELLY'S BLUES (1955): Ex-doughboy turned jazz musician Pet Kelly (Jack Webb) leads a quartet playing at a Kansas City speakeasy during the Roaring 20s. The quartet gets crossed up with a gangster (Edmond O'Brien) and his alcoholic girlfriend (Peggy Lee). Cynical Kelly finds that he has to take a stand. Ella Fitzgerald makes a memorable cameo as singer Maggie Jacks. Look for Jayne Mansfield as a cigarette girl. Dir. Jack Webb

7:00 PM

ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1959): Desperation forces a racist ex-con, the always great and always scary Robert Ryan, and a black gambler (Harry Belafonte) to plan a bank robbery together. Loads of tension ensues. Shelly Winters co-stars as Ryan's long-suffering wife. Gloria Grahame has a small but memorable role as the couple's sexy, and kind of kinky, neighbor. Dir. Robert Wise

Noir Alley

Saturday, December 3, 9:00 PM &
Sunday, December 4, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

DECOY (1946): One of the most notorious "B" films of all-time! Jean Gillie plays a deliriously nasty femme fatale in this unhinged caper about a man brought back from the dead to lead his gang to buried loot. Dir. Jack Bernhard

Sunday, December 4, 5:00 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, December 4, 3:00 PM &
Friday, December 23, 5:00 PM

REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940): Preston Sturges wrote this Christmas tale which features his unique blend of comedy, romance and pathos. Assistant DA Fred MacMurray brings suspected shoplifter Barbara Stanwyck home for the holidays, so she doesn't have to spend them in jail. This was the first of the four big screen pairings of the incendiary on-screen couple. Three guesses as to how it turns out for them. Dir. Mitchell Leisen

Thursday, December 8, 3:00 AM – 6:15 AM

Hitchcock Double Bill

3:00 AM

THE 39 STEPS (1935): When a beautiful double agent he was trying to help gets killed, and he stands accused of the crime, vacationing Canadian Richard Hannay (Robert Donat) must go on the run across the U.K. both to save himself and to stop a spy ring trying to steal top-secret information. Along the way he handcuffs himself to lovely lass (Madeline Caroll) who thinks he's a bad'un. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

4:30 AM

THE LADY VANISHES (1938): A young bride-to-be Iris (Margaret Lockwood), traveling across Europe by train, meets a charming spinster Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty), who then disappears into thin air. When no believes Miss Froy even existed outside Iris' imagination, including Dr. Hartz (Paul Lukas), a brain surgeon, she turns investigator and finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure. A young musicologist (Michael Redgrave) helps her with her quest. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Thursday, December 8, 9:45 AM &
Friday, December 16, 7:30 PM

GASLIGHT (1940): This is the first and franker big screen adaptation of Patrick Hamilton's play Angel Street about a newlywed (Diana Wynyard) fears she's going mad when strange things start happening at the family mansion where her aunt was murdered ten years earlier. Anton Walbrook plays the seemingly devoted husband. Dir. Thorold Dickinson

Friday, December 9, 10:45 AM

I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES (1955): Gangster Big Mac (Lon Chaney, Jr.) pulls strings to get a lifer, Roy (Jack Palance), out of prison. In return, Roy had to pull a big jewelry heist. Big Mac saddles him with incompetent henchmen and things go badly. Especially when they pick up a taxi dancer (Shelley Winters) who causes considerable tension and then falls in love with Roy. W.R. Burnett based his screenplay on his own novel High Sierra, previously adapted by John Huston and Burnett in 1941 for Raoul Walsh's film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lupino. Dir. Stuart Heisler

Friday, December 9, 3:00 PM &
Sunday, December 25, 7:15 PM

THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1968): A bored business tycoon (Steve McQueen) turns to bank robbery and courts the insurance investigator (Faye Dunaway) assigned to bring him in. Hard to decide which of the leads is prettier. Dir. Norman Jewison

Saturday, December 10, 7:00 PM

SOMETHING WILD (1986): Louise Brooks cosplayer Lulu (Melanie Griffith) sweeps banker Charles (Jeff Daniels) off his feet and takes him on a series of adventures. When Lulu has Charles pose as her husband at a high school reunion, things take a dangerous turn when her violent, ex-con ex-husband shows up at the event. Look for cameos by directors John Sayles and John Waters. Dir. Jonathan Demme

Noir Alley

Saturday, December 10, 9:15 PM &
Sunday, December 11, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

WALK SOFTLY, STRANGER (1950): Drifter Chris Hale (Joseph Cotton) moves to a small Ohio town where a kindly woman (Spring Byington) offers him a home and he finds a job at the local shoe factory. He meets and falls in love with the owner's disabled daughter (Alida Valli). His old life threatens his new one when an old criminal associate (Paul Stewart) proposes a heist. Dir. Robert Stevenson

Sunday, December 11, 3:00 AM

DARK PASSAGE (1947): Adapted from a story by David Goodis, this noir follows convicted wife murderer Vincent Parry's (Humphrey Bogart) escape from jail and subsequent hunt for the real killer of his wife. Sympathetic stranger Irene (Lauren Bacall) encounters him during his jail break and aids him. Agnes Moorehead steals the show as Irene's shrewish friend who knew Vincent and his wife prior to the murder. Dir. Delmer Daves

Sunday, December 11, 1:15 PM
Wednesday, December 21, 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 25, 1:15 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

Tuesday, December 13, 4:00 AM – 5:00 PM

TCM Salutes Jean Brooks

Here are the noirs...

4:00 AM

THE FALCON IN DANGER (1943): The daughter of an industrialist appeals to "The Falcon" (Tom Conway) for help when her father is kidnapped. Dir. William Clemens

5:30 AM

THE FALCON AND THE CO-EDS (1944): Tom Lawrence (Tom Conway) aka "The Falcon" investigates the murder of a professor at the Blue Cliff Seminary for Girls. Look for Dorothy Malone as one of the co-eds. Dir. William Clemens

6:45 AM

THE FALCON IN HOLLYWOOD (1944): a vacation in Los Angeles and winds up investigating the murder of an actor. Dir. Gordon Douglas

8:00 AM

THE FALCON'S ALIBI (1946): Tom Lawrence (Tom Conway) aka "The Falcon" takes sets out on the trail of a society matron's lost jewels. Dir. Ray McCarey

9:15 AM

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 responsible for the deaths of several young women. Based on Cornell Woolrich's novel, Black Alibi. Dir. Jacques Tourneur

10:30 AM

THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943): A young woman (Kim Hunter) leaves school to investigate the disappearance of her beautiful and mysterious older sister (Jean Brooks). She finds out some interesting facts, one, her sister was married and two, she was part of a satanic set. The husband (Hugh Beaumont), a poet (Erford Gage) and a psychiatrist (Tom Conway) aid her search for the truth about her sister. Produced by horror icon Val Lewton. Dir. Mark Robson

1:15 PM

YOUTH RUNS WILD (1944): Producer Val Lewton shone a light on the timely topic of emotionally neglected children being led into crime and other kinds of trouble due to wartime parental neglect. Lawrence Tierney, unsurprisingly, is a bad influence on the impressionable teenagers Studio interference (test screenings) led to the excision of several boundary pushing scenes. It's still worth your time with a cast that includes Bonita Granville, Kent Smith, Jean Brooks and Dickie Moore at Dir. Mark Robson

2:30 PM

TWO O'CLOCK COURAGE (1945): In this charming programmer, an amnesiac (Tom Conway) discovers he's wanted for murder. Ann Rutherford plays the spunky cab driver who helps him after she nearly runs him over. Jane Greer and Jeanne Brooks play the women in the case. Dir. Anthony Mann

Tuesday, December 13, 5:00 PM –
Wednesday, December 14, 3:00 AM

Phillip Marlowe Marathon

5:00 PM

MURDER, MY SWEET (1944): The film that graduated Dick Powell from romantic musical lead to noir tough guy. Raymond Chandler's detective and knight errant, Philip Marlowe's (Powell) search for a singer name Velma, leads him through a tangled web of blackmail and murder. Along the way, he finds himself embroiled with a wealthy man's unscrupulous gold-digging wife (Claire Trevor) and the step-daughter that despises her (Anne Shirley). Mike Mazurki gives a standout performance as the mentally challenged and extremely physically powerful ex-con that hires Marlowe to find Velma. "Cute as pants." Dir. Edward Dmytryk

7:00 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

9:00 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

11:00 PM

FAREWELL, MY LOVELY (1975): Robert Mitchum plays Phillip Marlowe in this nostalgic adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel. Moose Malloy (Jack O'Halloran) hires Marlowe to find his lost love. He soon picks up a second case, a routine ransom exchange for a necklace that ends with him getting knocked out and framed for murder. He eventually finds the necklace's owner, Helen Grayle (Charlotte Rampling). More problems follow. In a neat cameo for hardboiled fiction fans, novelist Jim Thompson plays Mr. Grayle. Dir. Dick Richards

1:00 AM

MARLOWE (1969): Raymond Chandler's detective and knight errant, Philip Marlowe (James Garner) probes the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles in search of a woman's missing sister. The case leads Marlowe to an exotic dancer (Rita Moreno), a blackmailed television star (Gayle Hunnicutt) and a dangerous gangster (H. M. Wynant). Screen legend Bruce Lee has a memorable cameo. Dir. Paul Bogart

Friday. December 16, 11:30 AM – 2:15 PM

Val Lewton Double Feature,

11:30 AM

ISLE OF THE DEAD (1945): Gen. Nikolas Pherides (Boris Karloff) takes leave from the 1912 Balkan War to visit a small island in Greece, where his wife is buried. While there, a plague breaks out—Pherides and a group of travelers are is forced to quarantine there. Soon, locals and foreigners alike succumb to the influence of Madame Kyra (Helene Thimig), who accuses a nurse (Ellen Drew) of being a vampire and the true cause of the recent deaths. The film's script was inspired by the painting Isle of the Dead by Arnold Böcklin, which appears behind the title credits. It was written by producer Val Lewton's frequent collaborator Ardel Wray. Dir. Mark Robson

12:45 PM

THE BODY SNATCHER (1945): In this Val Lewton production, based on the real-life resurrection men Buke and Hare, Dr. Toddy MacFarlane (Henry Daniell) needs cadavers for his medical experiments, ultimately intended to treat a young disabled girl. He turns to the services of John Gray (Boris Karloff) and his assistant, Joseph (Bela Lugosi), to dig up recently buried corpses. Eventually, Gray crosses the line into murder. Dir. Robert Wise

Saturday, December 17, 3:00 AM

FALLEN SPARROW (1943): In this suspenseful and atmospheric adaptation of the Dorothy B. Hughes novel, John Garfield stars as a Spanish Civil War veteran struggling against Nazi sympathizers and post-traumatic shock disorder. To top it all off, he meets a beautiful woman (Maureen O'Hara), but can't decide if she's there to hurt or help. Stunningly photographed by master cinematographer, Nicholas Musuraca. Dir. Richard Wallace

Saturday, December 17, 7:08 AM

THE FALCON TAKES OVER (1942): The Falcon (George Sanders) replaces Phillip Marlowe in this adaptation of Raymond Chandler's pulp classic, Farewell, My Lovely. The Falcon still has his sidekick Goldy (Allen Jenkins) and his friend on the force, Inspector Mike O'Hare (James Gleason). Ward Bond co-stars as Moose Malloy. Dir. Irving Reis

Noir Alley

Saturday, December 17, 9:00 PM &
Sunday, December 18, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

MR. SOFT TOUCH (1949): Glenn Ford stars as Joe Miracle, a WWII vet who's returned to San Francisco seeking vengeance on the gangsters who stole his nightclub and murdered his partner. He hides from the heat in a homeless shelter run by angelic (but still sexy) Evelyn Keyes. This bizarre mix of tight-lipped noir and broad comedy features an array of actual San Francisco locations Dir. Henry Levin

Monday, December 19, 5:00 AM

ROADBLOCK (1951): This film provides a change of pace for noir stalwart Charles McGraw who usually played heavies. This time he plays the sucker who destroys himself by turning to a life of crime to woo and then to keep the beautiful Diane, (Joan Dixon). Screenplay by screenwriter and novelist Steve Fisher. Dir. Harold Daniels

Monday, December 19, 2:45 PM &
Saturday, December 24, 8:30 PM

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" 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

Tuesday, December 20, 6:00 AM

KIND LADY (1935): In this period noir, a wealthy art collector (Aline MacMahon) takes in a young painter (Basil Rathbone) and his ill wife. When his extended family shows up, things get ugly, and she finds herself held captive in her own home. Remade in 1951 with Ethel Barrymore in the lead role. Dir. George B. Seitz

Tuesday, December 20, 11:00 AM – 11:15 PM

Christmas Noir Double Feature

11:00 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

1:00 PM

BACKFIRE (1950): On Christmas Eve, wounded war veteran Bob Corey (Gordon MacRae), recovering from multiple surgeries is approached by a mysterious woman (Viveca Lindfors) who tell him that his army buddy (Edmond O'Brien) who disappeared has been in an accident and wants to commit suicide. Bob gets out of the hospital and is promptly questioned by the police about Steve who they believe murdered a local gambler and racketeer. Bob and his nurse and girlfriend (Virginia Mayo) try to find evidence to clear him. Dir. Vincent Sherman

Thursday, December 22, 4:45 AM – 7:45 AM

Christmas Noir Double Feature

4:45 AM

THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (1944): This is far from a traditional sequel as it focuses on the trauma resulting from the events of the first film. The survivors from Cat People, Oliver (Kent Smith) and Alice (Jane Randolph) are now married and have a child, Amy (Ann Carter). Oliver fears Amy's vivid imagination, due to the events leading to the death of his first wife Irena (Simone Simon) whom he believes was driven mad by her belief in her homeland's legends. When the lonely Amy wishes for a friend, Irena appears. Meanwhile, Amy is also befriended by an elderly neighbor whose daughter envies their connection to an unhealthy degree and who may well be dangerous. Dir. Gunther von Fritsch & Robert Wise

6:00 AM

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

Thursday, December 22, 11:15 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 corpse 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

NOIR ALLEY Takes a Holiday

NOIR ALLEY will be off the weekend of Christmas and New Year's and will return on January 7 when Eddie presents Don't Bother to Knock. You will have Eddie the first three weekends of December when he presents Decoy, Walk Softly Stranger and Mr. Soft Touch.

Burt Lancaster stars in The Killers on December 1

Ava Gardner and Robert Taylor star in The Bribe on December 1

Odds against Tomorrow screens December 3

Eddie Muller presents Decoy on NOIR ALLEY on December 3-4

Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in Remember the Night screens December 4 and 23

Hitchcock's The 39 Steps on December 8

Diana Wynyard in the 1940 version of Gaslight on \December 8 and 16

Shelley Winters and Jack Palance in I Died a Thousand Times on December 9

Melanie Griffith stars in Something Wild on December 10

Eddie Muller presents Walk Softly, Stranger on the December 10-11 edition of NOIR ALLEY

Bogart in late 40's San Francisco — Dark Passage on December 11

Three chances to watch Janet Leigh and Robert Mitchum in Holiday Affair on December 11, 21, and 25

Tim Conway stars in The Falcon in Danger on December 13

Jean Brooks in Val Lewton's The Seventh Victim on December 13

Val Lewton's Youth Runs Wild on December 13

Dick Powell on drugs — Murder, My Sweet on December 13

Martha Vickers on drugs — The Big Sleep on December 13

Robert Mitchum in Farewell, My Lovely on December 13

Bruce Lee and James Garner in Marlowe on December 14

Val Lewton's The Body Snatcher screens December 16

Maureen O'Hara and John Garfield in Fallen Sparrow on December 17

Eddie Muller presents Mr. Soft Touch on the December 17-18 edition of NOIR ALLEY

Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper in Meet John Doe on December 19 and 24

Ethel Barrymore stars in Kind Lady on December 20

Robert Montgomery's Lady in the Lake on December 20

Virginia Mayo and Gordon MacRae star in Backfire on December 20

Simone Simon stars in The Curse of the Cat People on December 22

Myrna Loy and William Powell in The Thin Man on December 22

Dan Duryea and Deanna Durbin in Lady on a Train on December 22