Film Noir and Neo-Noir on TCM:  May 2022

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

Noir Alley

Saturday, April 30, 9:30 PM &
Sunday, May 1, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

JOHNNY ANGEL (1946): A sailor (George Raft) finds his father's ship abandoned and his father murdered. He returns to port and sets out to investigate. He encounters a couple of beautiful women (Claire Trevor—bringing her serious hat game per usual—and Signe Hasso) as well as a complicated plot, along the way. Dir. Edwin L. Marin

Sunday, May 1, 10:30 AM

LAURA (1944): In this film noir based on the Vera Caspary novel, dedicated detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) investigates the death of the beautiful Laura (Gene Tierney), brutally gunned down at the door of her flat. As he interviews her friends and lovers, a complicated portrait of her emerges and he finds himself falling for the deceased girl. Clifton Webb and Vincent Price give outstanding performances as two bickering rivals for Laura's affections. Joseph LaShelle won the Oscar for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White for his work on the film. Dir. Otto Preminger

Wednesday, May 4, 2:45 PM

THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950): A hoodlum and ex-con (Sterling Hayden) hopes for one last big score that will enable him to go home to his farm in Kentucky. He falls in with a gang of small-time crooks plotting an elaborate jewel heist. Of course, you can never go home again. A young Marilyn Monroe plays a small but juicy part. The film was nominated for four Oscars including a Best Supporting Actor nod for Sam Jaffe as the mastermind undone by his passion for beautiful girls. Based on the novel by W. R. Burnett. Dir. John Huston

Thursday, May 5, 4:15 AM

SERENADE (1956): Warners bought the rights to the James M. Cain novel Serenade due to the previous box office success of the film adaptations of Cain's work. It concerns an opera singer trying to stage his comeback after regaining his voice through the love of a Mexican girl. In the original novel, he lost his voice because he had a homosexual affair. This point necessitated a major revision (and castrating) of the story—the singer (Mario Lanza) losing his voice due to a blonde society girl (Joan Fontaine) breaking his heart. Vincent Price supports the cast as Winthorp—an implicitly gay character. In the book, he was the singer's lover. Dir. Anthony Mann

Friday, May 6, 3:15 AM

SABOTAGE (1936): This early Hitchcock thriller, based on Joseph Conrad's novel The Secret Agent, concerns an undercover detective pursuing a terrorist ring plotting to set off a bomb in London. When the detective's cover is blown, a pulse-pounding cat and mouse chase ensues. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Friday, May 6, 6:15 AM

I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE FBI (1951): Frank Lovejoy stars as Matt Cvetic a steel worker, union representative and Communist. Unbeknownst to anyone, even his own family, Matt is actually an undercover FBI agent out to destroy the Communists infiltrating Pittsburgh. Based on a true story and employing real locations, the film was nominated in the best documentary features category at that year's Oscars. The same source material, a series of autobiographical pieces by Cvetic that appeared in The Saturday Evening Post , was later turned into a best-selling book and a radio series starring Dana Andrews. Dir. Gordon Douglas

Saturday, May 7, 10:30 AM

THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946): Years after a murder drove them apart, an heiress (Barbara Stanwyck) tries to win back her lost love, Sam Masterson (Van Heflin). Her scion husband (Kirk Douglas), a four-star sot, objects. Lizbeth Scott plays the down on her luck girl that falls for Sam and further complicates things. Writer John Patrick earned an Oscar nod for Best Writing, Original Story. Dir. Lewis Milestone

Noir Alley

Saturday, May 7,9:15 PM &
Sunday, May 8, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

NO MAN OF HER OWN (1950): Barbara Stanwyck gives a heartrending performance in this noir, based on Cornell Woolrich's novel I Married a Dead Man. Helen Ferguson (Stanwyck) finds herself unmarried, pregnant and ruthlessly abandoned by her lover, Steve Morley (Lyle Bettger). A bizarre twist of fate involving a train accident gives her a second chance, when she's mistaken for the bride of a now deceased wealthy man. His family takes her in, she and the dead man's brother (John Lund) tentatively fall in love and then—Steve appears—threatening her (and her child's) new found security. Dir. Mitchell Leisen

Sunday, May 8, 1:00 PM

BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING (1965): In this 1960's post noir, based on the novel by Evelyn Piper, a distraught mother (Carol Lynley) searches for her daughter, while the police, led by a seasoned detective (Laurence Olivier), question the girl's very existence. Is she just a figment of the woman's imagination? Noël Coward and Kier Dullea plays Ann's lecherous landlord and brother respectively. Dir. Otto Preminger

Tuesday, May 10, 7:15 PM

BREATHLESS À BOUT DE SOUFFLE (1960): Small-time crook Michel Poiccard (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a ne'er-do-well with a headful of cinematic delusions, falls for Patricia (Jean Seberg), a sexy young American in Paris. Action, ennui, and tragedy ensue. On one level, a loving tribute to Hollywood B moviemaking, but more crucially a simple tale told in nontraditional, exhilarating cinema verité style; it heralded not only the arrival of France's nouvelle vague, but a seismic shift in movie style and technique. One of two noir-tinged films released in 1960 that forever changed international cinema. Dir. Jean-Luc Godard

Wednesday, May 11, 2:15 AM

KNIFE IN THE WATER (1962): Sportswriter Andrzej and his beautiful wife Christine pick up a hitchhiker on their way to the lake. Andrzej asks the young man to join them on a sailing trip. The men develop a deadly rivalry during a boating weekend that extends to Christine. Dir. Roman Polanski

Friday, May 15, 5:00 PM

THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955): Bogus preacher Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) marries an outlaw's widow (Shelly Winters in a stunning performance) in search of the dead man's hidden loot. The widow's son (Billy Chapin) sees through him, and tries to keep the secret of the treasure location and protect his mother, sister and himself from Powell. Lillian Gish plays the force of good in opposition to Mitchum's evil. Dir. Charles Laughton

Friday, May 15, 9:15 PM

THE THIRD MAN (1949): This fantastic film about a naive American, Joseph Cotten, investigating the death of his friend, Orson Welles, in post-World War II Vienna never loses its impact no matter how many times you watch it. "Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock". Director of Photography Robert Krasker won the Oscar for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White for the film. The film also garnered Oscar nominations, Carol Reed for Best Director and Oswald Hafenrichter for Best Film Editing. Dir. Carol Reed

Saturday, May 14, 3:00 AM

PARTY GIRL (1958): Don't miss this great Nick Ray film, not available on DVD, a gritty bringing down the racket story featuring an interesting love story between a beautiful showgirl (Cyd Charisse) and a gangster's mouthpiece (Robert Taylor) set in Chicago during the mob infested nineteen twenties. See if you can see spot the scene Brian De Palma stole for The Untouchables. Dir. Nicholas Ray

Saturday, May 14, 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Noir Double Feature

9:00 AM

CROSSFIRE (1947): In this seminal noir, an upright district attorney (Robert Young) investigates a seemingly motiveless murder. As he digs further the prime suspect (George Cooper) seems less and less likely to have done it and an ugly motivation begins to appear. Robert Mitchum and Robert Ryan play a couple of GIs caught up in the case, one trying to clear the suspect and the other trying to frame him. Gloria Grahame earned a best supporting actress nomination for her role as an embittered taxi dancer. Dir. Edward Dmytryk

10:45 AM

EDGE OF THE CITY (1957): A black stevedore, (Sidney Poitier) and a white army deserter, (John Cassavetes) forge a deep bond while attempting to stand up to union corruption. Jack Warden co-stars as their abusive boss. Dir. Martin Ritt

Noir Alley

Saturday, May 14, 9:15 PM &
Sunday, May 15, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

THE KILLER IS LOOSE THE KILLER IS LOOSE (1956): A seemingly mild mannered embezzler (Wendell Corey), recently released from prison, tries to avenge his wife's accidental shooting by Detective Sam Wagner (Joseph Cotton) by killing Sam's wife (Rhonda Fleming). Can Sam stop him? Dir. Budd Boetticher

Saturday, May 14,11:15 PM

RANSOM! (1956): The father of a kidnapped boy (Glenn Ford) contends with the police, the press and his family as he struggles to find the best strategy to recover his son safely which may or may not include paying the ransom. Remade in 1996 with Mel Gibson in the lead. Dir. Alex Segal

Tuesday, May 17, 3:00 AM

PURPLE NOON (1960): This lush adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's renowned crime novel The Talented Mr. Ripley stars a young and extremely handsome Alain Delon as the titular character. Dir. René Clément

Wednesday, May 18, 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

Wednesday, May 18, 7:00 PM

WHITE HEAT (1949): "Top of the world, Ma!" a G-man (Edmond O'Brien) infiltrates a gang run by a mother-fixated psychotic, James Cagney in a standout performance. This film marks the cinematic movement away from the traditional Warner Brothers' portrayal of the gangster to the more cynical and psychological film noir interpretation. Virginia Kellogg garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story for the film. Pointless trivia: Naked Gun 33 1/3 borrowed the plot. Dir. Raoul Walsh

Thursday, May 19, 1:00 AM

THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT (1940): Truck driver Joe Fabrini (George Raft) finds himself the victim of sexual harassment by his boss's amorous wife (Ida Lupino) in a movie stealing performance. When Joe refuses her advances, she murders her husband and then tries to frame him for it. Humphrey Bogart portrays Raft's brother and trucking partner. Dir. Raoul Walsh

Thursday, May 18, 8:00 AM -11:00 AM

Film Noir Double Bill

8:00 AM

CRY OF THE HUNTED (1953): Barry Sullivan is an L.A. cop hunting a Cajun fugitive (Vittorio Gassman) back to the bayou, "assisted" by a hateful partner (William Conrad). Sounds straightforward . . . but nothing is "straight" in Jack Leonard's screwy script or Lewis's delirious direction, which veers from goofy to brutal without missing an off-kilter beat. Dir. Joseph H. Lewis

9:30 AM

HIGHWAY 301 (1950): Director Andrew L. Stone was known primarily for musicals before suddenly switching to a solid decade of hardboiled yarns shot largely on authentic locations. This was the first in that vein, and one of the best. Steve Cochran is a cold-blooded outlaw leading the Tri-State Gang on a robbery and murder spree through Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. The film combines the popular early-1950s "documentary" approach with flashes of wildly stylized and (for the time) graphic violence. With Virginia Grey, Gaby Andre and Robert Webber in his feature film debut. Dir. Andrew L. Stone

Friday, May 20, 10:15 AM

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

Friday, May 20, 1:30 PM

WITNESS TO MURDER (1954): An interior decorator (Barbara Stanwyck) fights to convince the police that she witnessed a murder. The cops may not believe her, but the murderer (George Sanders) sure does. Shot by ace cinematographer John Alton. Dir. Roy Rowland

Friday, May 21, 1:15 PM

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, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith. D.P. Robert Burks' outstanding work earned an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Friday, May 21, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

TCM Salutes Cy Enfield

5:00 PM

THE ARGYLE SECRETS Harry Mitchell (William Gargan) is your typical hardboiled noir newspaper columnist, eager for a front-page scoop and willing to do anything to get it. When he gets a hot tip from a rival about "The Argyle Album," Mitchell risks life and limb to find it, tangling with a rag-tag band of nefarious treasure-hunters determined to steal the book and the scandalous secrets it contains. Clearly intended as a tongue-in-cheek parody of The Maltese Falcon, the politically astute Cy Endfield hit a few hot buttons as well, particularly the suggestion that some American industrialists were happy to welcome a fascist regime in the United States had America lost WWII. Borne of a wordy radio play, about three films-worth of plot is stuffed into a brisk 64 minutes, with well-wrought set-pieces played in a whirlwind of hardboiled dialogue. The Argyle Secrets shows fledgling writer-director Cy Endfield playfully exploring all sorts of cinematic chicanery.

6:15 PM

THE UNDERWORLD STORY (1950): The classic noir stars Dan Dureya as Mike Reese, an unethical journalist turned newspaper publisher who becomes involved in creating the news and not just writing it when there's a murder case involving another publisher (Herbert Marshall). Mike starts out doing what's best for him, but when an innocent African American maid is framed, he starts to waver in pursuing his self-interests. Dir. Cy Endfield

8:00 PM

HELL DRIVERS (1957): An ex-con (Stanley Baker) trying to go straight takes a job driving for a corrupt trucking company, where the bosses pit the drivers against each other in a dangerous competition that leads to higher profits and . . . death! Peggy Cummins is the saucy secretary who flirts her way through an array of up-and-coming stars—Patrick McGoohan. Sean Connery and Herbert Lom. A gear-grinding masterpiece! Dir. Cy Endfield

Noir Alley

Friday, May 21, 10:00 PM &
Sunday, May 22, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS (1945): In this noir based on Anthony Gilbert's The Woman in Red, a young woman desperate for work, Nina Foch, takes a job in London as a companion to the seemingly respectably Mrs. Hughes, Dame May Whitty. However, she wakes up one morning in Cornwall where everyone insists that she is Marion Hughes, the wife of Mrs. Hughes son. Arthur Penn later remade the film as Dead of Winter (1987). Dir. Joseph H. Lewis

Sunday, May 22, 5:00 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, May 22, 11:00 PM

ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS (1960): Visconti's operatic panorama of the vicissitudes of life for five brothers in the tenements of Milan. Family ties are strained and sundered as one brother turns to crime. Dir. Luchino Visconti

Thursday, May 26, 6:15 PM

IMPACT (1949): A woman's (Helen Walker) plot to kill her wealthy husband (Brian Donlevy) goes awry and her lover is killed instead, and the body misidentified as the husband's. So, hubby goes into hiding, so that she'll fry for murder. Things get complicated when he falls for a sweet and beautiful widow (Ella Raines). Dir. Arthur Lubin

Noir Alley

Saturday, May 28, 9:00 PM &
Sunday, May 29, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (1955): A one-armed veteran (Spencer Tracy) uncovers small-town secrets when he tries to visit an Asian-American war hero's family. Noir icon Robert Ryan shines as the bigoted boss of the town. This film earned 3 Oscar nominations: Spencer Tracy for Best Actor in a Leading Role; John Sturges for Best Director; and Best Writing, Screenplay for Millard Kaufman. Dir. John Sturges

Tuesday, May 31, 5:30 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

Eddie Muller presents Johnny Angel on the April 30 and May 1 edition of NOIR ALLEY

Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in Laura on May 1

Sam Jaffe distracted —The Asphalt Jungle on May 4

Oscar Homolka and Silvia Sidney star in Hitchcock's Sabotage on May 6

Frank Lovejoy stars in I Was a Communist for the FBI on May 6

Kirk Douglas, Van Heflin and Barbara Stanwyck in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers on May 7

Eddie Muller presents No Man of Her Own on NOIR ALLEY May 7 and 8

Otto Preminger's Bunny Lake Is Missing on May 8

Roman Polanski's Knife in the Water on May 11

Orson Welles in The Third Man on May 15

Cyd Charisse and Robert Taylor star in Party Girl on May 14

Gloria Grahame in Crossfire on May 14

Sidney Poitier and John Cassavetes in Edge of the City on May 14

Eddie Muller presents The Killer Is Loose on NOIR ALLEY on May 14 and 15

Glenn Ford stars in Ramsom! on May 14

Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck star in Frank Capra's Meet John Doe screening May 18

Bad timing—James Cagney, Steve Cochran and Virginia Mayo in White Heat on May 18

Vittorio Gassman and Barry Sullivan in Cry of the Hunted on May 18

Steve Cochran stars in Highway 301 on May 18

Audrey Totter and Robert Taylor star in High Wall on May 20

Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train on May 21

The Argyle Secrets screens on May 21

Dan Duryea stars in The Underworld Story on May 21

Sean Connery in Hell Drivers on May 21

Eddie Muller presents My Name Is Julia Ross on NOIR ALLEY on May 21 and 22

Joan Crawford stars in Mildred Pierce on May 22

Annie Girardot and Alain Delon in Rocco and His Brothers on May 22

Helen Walker, Brian Donlevy and Ella Raines in Impact on May 26

Eddie Muller presents Bad Day at Black Rock on NOIR ALLEY on May 28 and 29