Film Noir and Neo Noir on TCM: February 2020

*All times are PST. Please check the Turner Classics Movie website to confirm dates and times or additional programming information. Prefer streaming to cable? We have you covered. Check out our classic noir streaming column written by critic Sean Axmaker.

Sunday, February 2, 9:00 AM

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, February 4, 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 Cody Jarrett, James Cagney in a stand out performance. The gang plans a daring payroll heist that is undermined by Jarrett's mental instability. 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. Pointless trivia: Naked Gun 33 1/3 borrowed the plot. Dir. Raoul Walsh

Thursday, February 6, 6:15 AM

CAGED (1950): This film noir in women-in-prison clothing details the transformation of a young, naïve and pregnant widow (Eleanor Parker) into a hardened convict. She learns the hard way how to survive in the big house from a sadistic prison guard (Hope Emerson) and the failure of a good hearted warden (Agnes Moorehead) to reform the prison. This is more than an exploitation flick, it's an intelligent social drama and raises the still prescient issue facing the American penal system, is it actually reforming first time offenders or just turning prisoners into career criminal? Nominated for three Oscars including Best Actress for Parker and Supporting Actress for Emerson. Dir. John Cromwell

Thursday, February 6, 10:15 PM

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

Saturday, February 8, 7:00 PM

ATLANTIC CITY (1980): An aging low-level mobster (Burt Lancaster) falls in love with his younger, beautiful neighbor (Susan Sarandon). To secure a future with her, and to get rid of her troublesome estranged husband, he plots a dangerous grift. Nominated for five Oscars: Best Picture, Denis Héroux; Best Actor in a Leading Role, Burt Lancaster; Best Actress in a Leading Role, Susan Sarandon; Best Director, Louis Malle and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, John Guare Dir. Louis Malle

Sunday, February 9, 3:45 AM

MYSTERY STREET (1950): A Cape Cod coroner (Ricardo Montalban) and a Harvard criminal pathologist (Bruce Bennett) try to solve a possible murder with nothing but the victim's bones to go on. Elsa Lanchester steals the show as the victim's shady landlady. Leonard Spigelgass received an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story. Dir. John Sturges

Tuesday, February 11, 1:15 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

Tuesday, February 11, 9:00 AM

JULIE (1956): Doris Day crosses over to the dark side, in this ultimate example of the "woman-in-peril" film. Shot on-location in Carmel and San Francisco, it literally takes the "husband from hell" premise to new heights in an off-the-charts climax that finds stewardess Day fighting for her life aboard a soaring airliner. Implausibility is steamrolled with berserk gusto, leaving the audience helplessly entertained. Louis Jordan plays Julie's dangerous spouse. Barry Sullivan co-stars. The film earned two Oscar nominations: Best Writing, Best Screenplay – Original for Andrew L. Stone and Best Music, Original Song for Leith Stevens (music) and Tom Adair (lyrics) for the song Julie. Dir. Andrew L. Stone

Saturday, Feb 15, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Oscar Wining Noir Double Bill

1:00 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

3:00 PM

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

Saturday, February 15, 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

Sunday, February 16, 1:45 AM

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 three 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

Sunday, February 16, 9:45 PM

TAXI DRIVER (1976): Paul Schrader wrote the script for this tale about a loner (Robert De Niro) who becomes fixated on a beautiful campaign worker (Cybill Shepherd) and befriends a teen prostitute (Jodie Foster) with violent results. Director Martin Scorsese's choices of composer, Bernard Hermann and cinematographer, Michael Chapman, added immeasurably to the film's impact. Hermann was posthumously nominated for an Oscar for Music, Original Score. De Niro and Foster each earned Oscar nods for their performances. The film was also nominated for Best Picture. Dir. Martin Scorsese.

Wednesday, February 19, 3:00 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, February 20, 12:45 PM

Not Quite Noir Oscar Double Bill

Not exactly film noir, but you'll love 'em

11:00 AM

ALGIERS (1938): This Hollywood remake of Julien Duvivier's poetic realist masterpiece Pépé le moko features Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamarr as the star-crossed lovers who meet in the Casbah. Nominated for four Oscars: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Charles Boyer; Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Gene Lockhart; Best Cinematography, James Wong Howe and Best Art Direction, Alexander Toluboff. Dir. John Cromwell

12:45 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

Saturday, February 22, 5:00 AM

WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1958): A British lawyer (Charles Laughton) gets caught up in a couple's tangled marital affairs when he defends the husband for murder. Laughton's wife Elsa Lanchester plays the nurse trying to keep him on his diet and off the cigars and brandy. This first rate film features both one of Tyrone Power's and one of Marlene Dietrich's best performances Based on the play written by Agatha Christie, adapted from her own short story. The film was nominated for six Oscars: Best Picture,Arthur Hornblow Jr.; Best Actor in a Leading Role, Charles Laughton; Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Elsa Lanchester; Best Director, Billy Wilder; Best Sound, Recording, Gordon Sawyer (Samuel Goldwyn SSD); and Best Film Editing, Daniel Mandell. Dir. Billy Wilder

Sunday, February 23, 2:00 AM

KIND LADY (1951): In this period noir, Ethel Barrymore stars as a wealthy art collector who takes in a young painter and his ill wife. When another couple shows up, things get ugly and she finds herself held captive in her own home. Walter Plunkett and Gile Steele received Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White for their work on the film. Dir. John Sturges

Sunday, February 23, 1:00 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 novel After the Fact. 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, February 25, 6:30 PM

NIGHT MUST FALL 1937): Young and charming Danny (Robert Montgomery) worms his way into elderly and wealthy Mrs. Bramson's (Dame May Whitty) household. Her sexually repressed niece (Rosalind Russell) suspects him of larceny and possibly a local murder while being strongly attracted to him. What's in that hatbox? Both Whitty and Montgomery were nominated for Oscars for their performances. Dir. Richard Thorpe

Tuesday, February 25, 6:30 PM

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 power house performance. The film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Effects, Special Effects. Dir. Michael Curtiz

Wednesday, February 26, 1:00 PM

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

Thursday, February 27, 3:30 AM

JOHNNY EAGER (1942): Handsome racketeer Johnny Eager (Robert Taylor) seduces the D.A.'s daughter (Lana Turner) for revenge, but then falls in love with her. Van Heflin steals the film as Eager's devoted and alcoholic best friend; his performance rightfully garnered him an Oscar nomination. Edward Arnold plays the D.A. Sharp eyed viewers will recognize this as one of the films used in Carl Reiner's noir parody Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982). Dir. Mervyn LeRoy

Thursday, February 27, 7:00 PM

KISS OF DEATH (1947): A psychotic gangster (Richard Widmark in an Oscar nominated performance) torments a small-time crook (the strapping Victor Mature) who has given state's evidence against him in this classic New York City crime drama. Widmark gives as career-making performance as the giggling menace. Screenwriter Eleazar Lipsky was also nominated for an Oscar, Best Writing, Original Story. Dir: Henry Hathaway

Noir Alley with FNF prez Eddie Muller will be on hiatus during Turner Classic Movies' 31 days of Oscars. Eddie will be back on March 7 with Ride The Pink Horse (1947). The schedule for this year's Noir Alley presentations is available on the official Noir Alley website.

James Cagney, Steve Cochran and Virginia Mayo in White Heat on February 4

Agnes Moorehead and Eleanor Parker in Caged on February 6

Blacklisted director Edward Dmytryk's Crossfire on February 6

Susan Sarandon and Burt Lancaster in Atlantic City on February 8

Ricardo Montalban in Mystery Street on February 9

Kirk Douglas, Van Heflin and Barbara Stanwyck in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers on February 11

Doris Days stars in Julie on February 11

Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer in the 1949 version of Gaslight on February 15

Humphrey Bogart, Claire Trevor and Lauren Bacall in Key Largo on February 15

A spry Spencer Tracey in Bad Day at Black Rock on February 16

Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver on February 16

Sterling Hayden in The Asphalt Jungle on February 19

Hedy Lamarr in Algiers on February 20

After the Thin Man featuring a 1936 San Francisco screening February 20

Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrech in Witness for the Prosecution on February 22

Ethel Barrymore stars in Kind Lady on February 23

Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant in Suspicion on February 23

Dame May Whitty and Robert Montgomery in Night Must Fall on February 25

Ida Lupino, Edward G. Robinson and John Garfield star in The Sea Wolf on February 25

Hitchcock's Foreign Correpondent on February 26

Robert Taylor stars in Johnny Eager on February 27

Richard Widmark and Victor Mature in Kiss of Death on February 27

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