Film Noir and Neo-Noir on TCM: January 2021

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

Saturday, January 2, 6:45 PM

VERTIGO (1958): An old friend hires ex-cop Scotty (Jimmy Stewart) to follow his beautiful but emotionally disturbed wife (Kim Novak) through the gorgeously shot streets of San Francisco. Stewart gives an intensely dark performance as Scotty spirals further and further into romantic obsession. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock


Saturday, January 2, 9:00 PM &
Sunday, January 3, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY (1945): Trust me, it is pretty damn strange. Small-town designer Harry Quincey (George Sanders) finally meets the right woman (Ella Raines), but his possessive and possibly insane sister Lettie (Geraldine Fitzgerald) has no intention of letting him go. A dark and mordant psycho-sexual drama (with lots of spicy wit) in which director Robert Siodmak creatively undermines the Hollywood Production Code. Fitzgerald is remarkable, and it is one of Sanders' best performances, if not the best. Dir. Robert Siodmak

Tuesday, January 5, 7:45 AM

GILDA (1946): A gambler (Glenn Ford) discovers an old flame (Rita Hayworth) in South America, but she's married to his new boss (George Macready), and… um… friend—homoerotic noir at its best. If that weren't enough, there's Hayworth's incredibly steamy rendition of "Put the Blame on Mame" Whoof! Dir. Charles Vidor

Tuesday, January 5, 7:00 PM

THE MALTESE FALCON (1941): How do I love this movie, let me count the ways… In arguably the first, and greatest, film noir, hard-boiled detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) gets caught up in the deadly search for a priceless statue. Along the way he tangles with a murderous liar (Mary Astor), a foppish thug (Peter Lorre) and an obese mastermind (Sydney Greenstreet). Director John Huston brilliantly adapted it from the Dashiell Hammett novel and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Screenplay. The film also garnered nominations for Best Picture and for Sydney Greenstreet, in his film debut, Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Dir. John Huston

Tuesday, January 5, 11:00 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 stand out 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

Wednesday, January 6, 1:15 AM

THE SEA WOLF (1941): In this gripping yarn based on a Jack London story, shipwrecked fugitives (John Garfield and Ida Lupino) try to escape a brutal sea captain who's losing his mind, Edward G. Robinson in a powerhouse performance. The film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Effects, Special Effects. Dir. Michael Curtiz

Saturday, January 9, 9:00 AM

THE BIG HEAT (1953): In this seminal noir, a police detective (Glenn Ford) whose wife was killed by the mob teams with a gangster's moll (Gloria Grahame) to bring down a powerful racketeer (Alexander Scourby). Lee Marvin steals the film as Grahame's abusive boyfriend and eventual object of her revenge. Dir. Fritz Lang

Saturday, January 9, 12:45 PM

FAMILY PLOT (1976): Lighthearted suspense film about a phony psychic/con artist and her taxi driver/private investigator boyfriend who encounter a pair of serial kidnappers while trailing a missing heir in California. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Saturday, January 9, 7:30 PM

SABOTEUR (1941): Aircraft factory worker Barry Kane (Robert Cummings) goes on the run across the United States when he is wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend. He finds love along the way with a girl (Priscilla Lane) who's positive he's guilty. Can he clear himself and win her love? The film is full of quirky touches (my favorite an abductee is charged for a milkshake by her captors), unusual supporting characters (Norman Lloyd and Otto Kruger among others), and some outstanding set pieces, including the famous Statue of Liberty finale. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock


Saturday, January 9, 9:30 PM &
Sunday, January 10, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

THE GLASS KEY (1942): This well-made adaptation of the Dashiell Hammett novel unwinds a tale of murder and political corruption, involving Ned (Alan Ladd), his boss and best friend, Paul (Brian Donlevy) and the woman (Veronica Lake) who comes between them. Dir. Stuart Heisler

Tuesday, January 12, 9:00 AM

HIS KIND OF WOMAN (1951): In this self-parodying noir, Robert Mitchum plays a drifter who accepts an offer for a job in Mexico that proves to be too good to be true. A beautiful singer posing as an heiress (Jane Russell) and the target of her con, a hammy Hollywood actor (Vincent Price), complicate matters for him. Dir. John Farrow

Tuesday, January 12, 1:30 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

Wednesday, January 13, 7:15 AM

THE NANNY (1965): Before the studio exploded on the world cinematic stage with its legendary cycle of horror films mostly starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, Hammer Studios produced a series of excellent, low budget thrillers, often featuring American stars on the wane. This is one of the best. Bette Davis plays the title character, an aging nanny now taking care of the children of her old charge. To be more accurate, looking after the one remaining child, Bobby, recently released from a home for disturbed children, who claims Nanny was responsible for his sister's drowning two years ago. Too bad no one believes him. Dir. Seth Holt

Wed, January 13, 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Children in Peril Triple Feature

10:30 AM

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

12:15 PM

SÉANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON (1964): In this extremely downbeat, late-era Brit noir, noted stage actress Kim Stanley gives a tour de force performance as a medium who kidnaps a child so that she can help the police solve the crime. Richard Attenborough provides an equally impressive counterpoint as the psychic's weak-willed husband and accomplice. Based on a novel by Mark McShane, imaginatively and impressively adapted a second time by Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa as Séance in 2000. Score by the legendary John Barry. Dir. Bryan Forbes

2:30 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 play Ann's lecherous landlord and brother respectively. Dir. Otto Preminger

Friday, January 15, 3:00 PM

CRY OF THE HUNTED (1953): In this crazy "swamp noir" a L.A. cop (Barry Sullivan) hunting a Cajun fugitive (Vittorio Gassman) back to the bayou, "assisted" by a hateful partner (William Conrad). Sounds straightforward . . . but nothing is "straight" in 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

Fri, January 15, 7:00 PM – 11:15 PM

Americans Abroad and in Trouble Double Bill

7:00 PM

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956): A family vacationing in Morocco accidentally stumble on to an assassination plot and the conspirators are determined to prevent them from interfering. Jay Livingston and Ray Evans garnered the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song for the film's song "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)". Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

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, January 16, 1:00 PM

REAR WINDOW (1954): A wheelchair-bound photographer passes the time of his disability by spying on his neighbors. One day he witnesses a murder. Or does he? This iconic mystery was adapted from a story by Cornell Woolrich and earned a Best Writing, Screenplay Oscar nomination for screenwriter John Michael Hayes. The film earned three more Oscar nods for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Color and Best Sound, Recording. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Saturday, January 16, 3:00 PM

IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967): In a small Mississippi town, racist Police Chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) mistakenly accuses African American Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) of the recent murder of a prominent Northern industrialist. When Gillespie discovers that Tibbs is a Homicide detective from Philadelphia, he enlists his help to solve the murder. This ground-breaking neo-noir won five Oscars, including Best Picture. Dir. Norman Jewison


Saturday, January 16, 9:00 PM & Sunday, January 17, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

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

Sunday, January 17, 5:00 PM

THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE (1974): Lieutenant Garber (Walter Matthau) races the clock to thwart the plot of four criminals Blue (Robert Shaw), Green (Martin Balsam), Grey (Hector Elizondo) & Brown (Earl Hindman). They're holding a subway car full of passenger's hostage and threaten to shoot one each minute until a one-million-dollar ransom is fully paid. Dir. Joseph Sargent

Tuesday, January 19, 11:00 PM

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946): In this noir classic, illicit lovers (John Garfield and Lana Turner) plot to kill the woman's older husband. She wants to own her own restaurant, the eternal ambition of heroines created by James M. Cain, author of the original novel. The producers managed to stay quite faithful to the book while excising the sado-masochistic nature of the character's sexual relationship. Audrey Totter contributes a brief but memorable performance. Dir. Tay Garnett

Thursday, January 21, 2:20 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

Friday, January 22, 3:00 AM – 6:00 AM

Marie Windsor Double Feature

3:00 AM

THE NARROW MARGIN (1952): In this seminal noir, a tough cop (Charles McGraw) meets his match when he has to guard a gangster's moll, (Marie Windsor) on a tense train ride. Can he keep her alive long enough for her to testify? Dir. Richard Fleischer

4:15 AM

THE UNHOLY WIFE (1957): Wealthy vintner Paul Hochen (Rod Steiger) meets call girl Phyllis (Diana Dors) in a bar and seemingly impulsively marries her. Winds up Paul only wed her so he could adopt her son, a war wound left him incapable of having any of his own. Evidently this "wound" prevents him from loving her physically or mentally. She soon finds solace with rodeo rider San (Tom Tyron). Her thoughts soon turn to murder. A rare Hollywood outing for Britain's answer to Marilyn Monroe. Marie Windsor has a small role as her co-hooker and friend. Dir. John Farrow

Friday, January 22, 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Audrey Totter Quadruple Bill

8:00 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 ward's estate, only to have his plans thwarted when his niece (Joan Caulfield) 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 book by Charlotte Armstrong. Dir. Michael Curtiz

10:00 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

12:00 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

1:45 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

Saturday, January 23, 3:00 AM

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, Jan 23, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Robert Mitchum Noir Double

5:00 PM

OUT OF THE PAST (1947): In this quintessential film noir, small town gas station owner Jeff Bailey's (Robert Mitchum) past catches up with him when a stranger passing through town recognizes him. He tells his girlfriend Ann Miller (Virginia Huston) about his previous via flashback, of course. Jeff was a private eye falls for the gangster's moll (Jane Greer) that he's supposed to find for her lover Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas). She's allegedly stolen $40,000 from Whit and he wants her and the dough back. As in all good noirs, nothing is really as it seems. Watch for future noir siren Rhonda Fleming as a duplicitous secretary. Based on Geoffrey Homes' excellent pulp novel Build My Gallows High and shot by legendary cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca. Dir. Jacques Tourneur

7:00 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


Saturday, January 23, 9:00 PM & Sunday, January 24, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

BORN TO KILL (1947): This utterly bizarre film noir details the torrid affair between a killer (Lawrence Tierney) and the narcissistic woman (Claire Trevor) who witnessed his crime. He marries her sister and things really heat up between the amoral pair. Dir. Robert Wise

Monday, January 25, 6:45 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

Monday, January 25, 5:00 PM

CRISS CROSS (1949): A lovelorn loner (Burt Lancaster) returns to Los Angeles and quickly falls under the spell of his one-time flame (Yvonne De Carlo), who is now in thrall to a sinister gangster (Dan Duryea). A daring armored car robbery becomes the fulcrum of their dangerous triangle as the two men play each other while vying for the dame's loyalty. Siodmak creates one of the most seductive and spellbinding tales of l'amour fou in the entire noir canon—a complex and elegantly told tale of desire, desperation and sudden death. Dir. Robert Siodmak

Tuesday, January 26, 3:00 AM

THE CROOKED WAY (1949): A war hero (John Payne) with amnesia finds himself paying for his forgotten sins as a gangster. Along the way, he meets the ex-wife (Nina Martin) that he previously brutalized. Can he outwit his old criminal associates, one of whom is trying to kill him? More importantly, is it too late for him to redeem himself? Shot by the legendary cinematographer John Alton. Dir. Robert Florey

Tuesday, January 26, 7:00 AM

HYSTERIA (1965): In this late era noir from Hammer studios, an American (Chris Webber) wakes up in a London hospital with amnesia after being in a car accident. He moves into a flat provided by the same mysterious benefactor who paid his hospital bills. He hires a private detective (Maurice Denham) to help him find out who he is and the truth behind the accident he was in. Dir. Freddie Francis

Tuesday, January 26,10:30 PM

THE BLUE DAHLIA (1946): A newly returned veteran (Alan Ladd) fights to prove he didn't kill his cheating wife (Doris Dowling). His shell-shocked war buddy (William Bendix) and a new love interest (Veronica Lake) try to help him find the real culprit. Original screenplay penned by Raymond Chandler. Dir. George Marshall

Wednesday, January 27, 3:00 AM

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

Wednesday, January 27, 3:00 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

Wednesday, January 27, 5:00 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. Dir. W. S. Van Dyke

Wednesday, January 27, 8:30 PM

GREEN FOR DANGER (1946): In this taught Brit noir, a Scotland Yard inspector (Alistair Sim) investigates two deaths at a rural English hospital during. Trevor Howard and Sally portray two of the suspected hospital staff. WWII. Dir. Sidney Gilliat.

Friday, January 29, 11:00 PM

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1963): In this late era noir, an ex-G.I. (Frank Sinatra) slowly begins to realize that he was brainwashed by the Koreans while he was a P.O.W. He soon suspects that his former comrade in arms (Laurence Harvey), who is also the stepson of a presidential candidate, is being manipulated by the Communists. Dir. John Frankenheimer


Saturday, January 30, 9:30 PM & Sunday, January 31, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

THE KILLERS (1964): This hard-hitting remake of Mark Hellinger's 1946 noir classic was intended as the first "made for TV" feature film, until network execs balked at the film's amorality and casual brutality. Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager play hit-men obsessed with discovering why their victim (John Cassavetes) accepted his death. The blood-spattered hunt leads through femme fatale Angie Dickinson to . . . Ronald Reagan! Reagan's best performance by far. Screenplay by Gene L. Coon based on the Hemingway short story. Dir. Don Siegel

Kim Novak stars in Vertigo screening January 2

Eddie Muller presents The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry on NOIR ALLEY January 2 and 3

John Huston's The Maltese Falcon on January 5

James Cagney , Steve Cochran and Virginia Mayo in White Heat on January 5

Ida Lupino, Edward G. Robinson and John Garfield in The Sea Wolf on January 6

Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin in The Big Heat on January 9

Robert Cummings and Norman Lloyd in Saboteur on January 9

William Bendix and Alan Ladd in The Glass Key on NOIR ALLEY presented by Eddie Muller on January 9 and 10

Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell in His Kind of Woman on January 12

Robert Ryan stars in The Set-up on January 12

William Dix and Bette Davis in The Nanny on January 13

The Night of the Hunter starring Robert Mitchum screens January 13 and 23

Kim Stanley stars in Séance on a Wet Afternoon on January 13

Otto Preminger's Bunny Lake Is Missing screens January 13

Vittorio Gassman stars in Joseph H. Lewis' Cry of the Hunted on January 15

Hitchcock's 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much on January 15

Joseph Cotten in The Third Man on January 15

Hitchcock's Rear Window screens January 16

Academy Award-winning In the Heat of the Night screens January 16

Eddie Muller presents Witness to Murder starring Barbara Stanwyck on NOIR ALLEY on January 16 and 17

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three screens January 17

Margaret Lockwood stars in Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes on January 21

Marie Windsor in The Narrow Margin on January 22

Marie Windsor and Diana Dors in The Unholy Wife on January 22

Michael Curtiz' The Unsuspected screens January 22

Robert Taylor and Audrey Totter in High Wall on January 22

Audrey Totter and Richard Basehart in Tension on January 22

Beverly Michaels and Van Heflin in East Side, West Side on January 23

Top-noir Out of the Past screens January 23

Eddie Muller presents Born To Kill on NOIR ALLEY January 23 and 24

Gale Sondergaard and Bette Davis in The Letter on January 25

Dan Duryea in Siodmak's Criss Cross on January 25

John Payne stars in The Crooked Way on January 26

Hammer noir, Hysteria, on January 26

Glenn Ford and Donna Reed star in Ransom! on January 27

Brit noir, Green for Danger, screens January 27

Angela Lansbury mothers Lawrence Harvey in The Manchurian Candidate on January 29

Clu Galager and Lee Marvin in The Killers on NOIR ALLEY, presented by Eddie Muller on January 30 and 31

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