Film Noir and Neo-Noir on TCM: May 2021

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

Saturday, May 1, 2:15 AM

WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967): A commercial artist unknowingly brings a stash of heroin into his home. A trio of bad guys (Richard Crenna, Jack Weston and Alan Arkin) trace the dope to him. They trick him into leaving the house, but, unfortunately, his blind wife (Audrey Hepburn) is there alone. They proceed to first try to trick and then to terrorize her while she tries to figure out how to turn the tables on her unknown assailants. Hepburn earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her remarkable performance. Adapted from the Broadway hit written by Fredrick Knott and directed by Arthur Penn. Dir. Terence Young

Saturday, May 1, 10:00 AM

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (1962) A crazed, aging star (Bette Davis) torments her sister (Joan Crawford) in a decaying Hollywood mansion. This beautiful Hollywood gothic noir features a duet of superbly fearless performances by two legendary actresses. Nominated for five Oscars, but only one win, Best Costume Design, Black-and-White for Norma Koch Dir. Robert Aldrich

Saturday, May 1, 3:00 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

Monday, May 3, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Robert Mitchum Noir Double Feature

6:00 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

8:00 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

Tuesday, May 4, 1:45 AM - 7:30 AM

Murderous Men Triple Bill

1:45 AM & Sunday, May 9, 3:15 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

3:30 AM

NIGHT MUST FALL (1937): Young and charming Danny (Robert Montgomery) worms his way into elderly and wealthy Mrs. Bramosn'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? Montgomery was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar and Whitty for Best Supporting Actress. Dir. Richard Thorpe

5:45 AM

A KISS BEFORE DYING (1956): Beautiful and wealthy Ellen (Virginia Leith) falls in love with Bud Corliss, the fiancé (Robert Wagner) of her dead sister Dorie (Joanne Woodward), not realizing that he's responsible for her sister's death, an apparent suicide. Will she find out the truth before it is too late? Mary Astor gives an outstanding performance as Bud's mother. Adapted from the Edgar Award winning debut novel of Ira Levin. Dir. Gerd Oswald

Wednesday, May 5, 8:45 AM

THE STRANGER (1946): A small-town schoolteacher (Loretta Young) encounters a determined investigator (Edward G. Robinson) who suspects her new husband (Orson Welles) may be an escaped Nazi war criminal. Can he convince her before it's too late? Screenwriter Victor Trivas earned a Best Writing, Original Story Oscar nomination for his script. Dir. Orson Welles

Wednesday, May 5, 2:45 AM

DIABOLIQUE (1955): In this twisting and turning French thriller, the wife (Vera Clouzot) and lover (Simone Signoret) of a sadistic headmaster (Paul Meurisse) plot to kill him. When American producer and schlock-master William Castle saw kids standing in line in the pouring rain to watch this film, he decided that making thrillers was the direction in which to take his independent film production career. Dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot

Wednesday, May 5, 7:00 PM - Thursday, May 6, 3:00 AM

Courtroom Noir Triple Bill

7:00 PM

ANATOMY OF A MURDER (1959): In this drily witty courtroom drama, based on real events, a small-town lawyer (James Stewart) more interested in fishing and playing the piano then practicing law gets the case of a lifetime when he defends a soldier (Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering the man who beat and raped his flirtatious wife (Lee Remick). Eve Arden once again does a lot with a small part as his long-suffering secretary. Duke Ellington composed the jazz score. Dir. Otto Preminger

10:00 PM

CRIMINAL COURT (1946): Lawyer Steve Barnes (Tom Conway) plan to run for D.A. is almost derailed when he accidently kills the owner of a nightclub (Robert Armstrong) where Barnes' girlfriend Georgia Gale (Martha O'Driscoll) sings. Luckily, he's able to conceal his connection to crime. Unluckily, Georgia is arrested for the murder when she finds the body. What to do? Dir. Robert Wise

11:15 PM

MADELEINE (1950): Madeleine Smith (Ann Todd), a beautiful Glasgow socialite stood trial in 1857 for the murder of her lover, Emile L'Angelier who had attempted to blackmail her into marriage. Her trial was much publicized in the newspapers of the day and was labeled "the trial of the century." Dir. David Lean

1:30 AM

BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (1956): At the behest of his future father-in law, newspaper editor Austin Spenser, Tom Garret (Dana Andrews)—a novelist and opponent of capital punishment—frames himself for the murder of a stripper to prove the fallibility of circumstantial evidence. The pair callously decides against taking Garret's fiancée (Joan Fontaine) into their confidence. Dir. Fritz Lang

Saturday, May 8, 1:00 AM

UNDERWORLD, U.S.A. (1961): Teenaged Tolly Devlin is the lone witness when a gang of hoods kill his father. As an adult ex-con, Devlin (Cliff Robertson) dedicates himself to avenging the murder. After rescuing a female drug courier, he uses her to gain access to the syndicate. When the FBI offers a deal as an informant, Devlin strings them along while hatching a plan to eliminate his father's killers. But revenge is so sweet, Devlin doesn't know when to stop. One of Fuller's punchiest smash-mouth crime dramas, Underworld, U.S.A. uses the never-ending war between the cops and crooks as backdrop to an all-consuming vendetta. Dir. Sam Fuller

Saturday, May 8, 5:00 AM

I LOVE TROUBLE (1948) Franchot Tone plays a wisecracking private eye sleuthing his way through a bevy of treacherous dames in this playful homage to Raymond Chandler, written by future TV legend Roy Huggins (77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, The Fugitive) Features an incredible supporting cast: Janet Blair, Janis Carter, Adele Jergens, Glenda Farrell, John Ireland, Raymond Burr. Dir. Sylvan Simon.

Saturday, May 8, 2:45 PM &
Monday, May 17, 5:00 PM

BULLITT (1968): When mobsters kill the witness Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) was assigned to protect, he uses unorthodox methods to investigate the case. Beautiful San Francisco location work and a breathtaking car chase sequence add additional pleasure to watching this fine neo-noir. Dir. Peter Yates

Saturday, May 8, 5:00 PM

THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME (1947): Robert Young is brilliantly cast against type as a married Lothario whose sexual antics lead to tragedy. Director Irving Pichel elicits superb, nuanced performances from Susan Hayward (his latest lover), Jane Greer (his former lover) and Rita Johnson (his beleaguered wife), all full-blooded characters in Jonathan Latimer's sharp-edged screenplay. Produced by Hitchcock protégé Joan Harrison. Dir. Irving Pichel

Sunday, May 9, 11:15 PM

BREATHLESS Á 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

Tuesday, May 11, 7:00 PM

A WOMAN'S FACE (1941): The soon to be queen of the noirs, Joan Crawford, starred in this suspenseful drama as a facially scarred blackmailer who's given a new outlook on life after plastic surgery. Can she adjust to a normal life and stop her ex-accomplice's nefarious plan to murder his nephew? Dir. George Cukor

Friday, May 14, 12:45 AM

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946): In this noir classic, two 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

Friday, May 14, 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

Saturday, May 15, 7:09 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

Saturday, May 15, 9:00 AM

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

Saturday, May 15, 2:45 PM - 9:00 PM

Noir Conspiracies Triple Bill

2:45 PM

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1963): In this late era noir, ex-G.I. Bennett Marco (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 Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey), who is also the stepson of a presidential candidate, is being manipulated by the Communists. Unsurprisingly, Angela Lansbury was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for he unforgettable and unsettling performance as Shaw's mother. Ferris Webster also earned an Oscar nod for Best Film Editing. Dir. John Frankenheimer

5:00 PM

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

6:45 PM

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


Saturday, May 15, 9:00 PM &
Saturday May 16, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

TOUCH OF EVIL (1958): Orson Welles' masterpiece about a narcotics agent (Charlton Heston) who unintentionally put his wife (Janet Leigh) in grave danger when he investigates a crooked cop (Orson Welles). Utterly fantastic supporting performance by Marlene Dietrich as a Mexican Gypsy whore- no, really, I mean it. Dir. Orson Welles

Saturday May 16, 4:45 AM

I WANT TO LIVE (1958): Susan Hayward deservedly won the Best Actress Oscar for her bravura performance as Barbara Grahame, a former prostitute and drug addict, executed for murder. Hayward perfectly captures a possibly innocent woman convicted more for her lifestyle than evidence. Dir. Robert Wise

Saturday May 16, 3:00 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

Tuesday, May 18, 6:45 PM

THE HONEYMOON KILLERS (1970): Con man Raymond Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco) who seduces women steals their money and then abandons them meets his match when he tries his routine on Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler). She proves a master of manipulation and soon exerts an intense emotional control over him. She poses as his sister as he marries and defrauds a series of women; the pair eventually begins murdering their victims. Seems farfetched? The story is based on a real couple "The Lonely Hearts Killers" who operated in the 40s and were actually more ruthless. Dir. Leonard Kastle

Wed, May 19, 5:115 AM - 5:00 PM

Film Noir on the Road Marathon

Call in sick and unplug your phone...

5:15 AM

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

7:15 AM

JEOPARDY (1953): A suburban housewife (Barbara Stanwyck) on holiday in rural Mexico with her son and husband, desperately seeks help. Her husband is trapped in pilings on the shore of the ocean and the tide is coming in. She encounters an escaped criminal (Ralph Meeker) and will do anything in exchange for his aid. "How long has it been since you talked to a woman?" Dir. John Sturges

8:45 AM

THE HITCH-HIKER (1953): In this gripping suspense piece, a murderous madman (William Talman) on the lam from the law kidnaps two businessmen (Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy) on a hunting trip. Noir siren Ida Lupino both directed and co-wrote the film which was produced by The Filmmakers, the independent production company she founded with her then husband Collier Young. Dir. Ida Lupino

10:15 AM

TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY (1951): I'll leave this one for FNF president Eddie Muller to describe. "When I first encountered this exceptional film more than a decade ago, I declared it "Gun Crazy [1950] scripted by John Steinbeck." A minor masterpiece in the filmography of the virtually forgotten Felix Feist, this is one of the best "love on the lam" tales in all noir. Steve Cochran--the Elvis of Noir—is perfect as a vulnerable ex-con who falls hard for bruised "taxi dancer" Ruth Roman (as a blonde! And never better!). Thwarted passions, a dank hotel room, a dirty cop—a gunshot! And suddenly our luckless lovers are fugitives fleeing cross-country. It's high time for this fantastic film to finally come out of hiding and get the recognition it deserves." Dir. Felix Feist

12:00 PM

DETOUR (1946): A hitchhiker (Tom Neal) takes on a dead man's identity only to face blackmail by an unscrupulous woman (Ann Savage)—possibly the meanest woman in the history of cinema. Dir. Edgar G. Ulmer

1:15 PM

GUN CRAZY (1949): In this justly legendary noir, a gun obsessed reform school graduate (John Dall) meets the girl of his dreams, a circus sharpshooter (Peggy Cummins). They get married in a fever, but she gets fed up living without the finer things of life. The two go on a crime spree, but her blood lust had fatal consequences. Dir. Joseph H. Lewis

3:00 PM

THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (1949): Nicholas Ray's fiercely romantic noir about a young innocent, Farley Granger who gets mixed-up with hardened criminals and a violent escape after serving an unjust prison sentence. Cathy O'Donnell plays the girl who becomes his lover in an ill-fated romance. Based on the Edward Anderson novel Thieves Like Us. Dir. Nicholas Ray

Thursday, May 20, 11:00 PM

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

Friday, May 21, 7:30 PM

THE CRIMSON KIMONO (1959): Two cops, and former war buddies (Glenn Corbett and James Shigeta), investigate the shooting of a stripper in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo. Conflict arises between the two when they both fall for the same girl (Victoria Shaw), a key witness in the case. Dir. Sam Fuller

Saturday, May 22, 7:08 AM

THE FALCON'S BROTHER (1942): Gay Lawrence, aka "The Falcon," investigate his brother Tom's apparent suicide with the help of his sidekick Lefty (Don Barclay). He uncovers a Nazi plot along the way. Gay and Tom are portrayed by real life brothers George Sanders and Tom Conway. Look for Keye Luke in a small part. Dir. Stanley Long

Saturday, May 22, 9:00 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

Saturday, May 22, 1:30 PM

POINT BLANK (1967): Existential neo-noir at its best. Lee Marvin stars as a wraith like criminal out to get his share of the loot from a robbery after his partner shots him, leaves him for dead and absconds both with all the money and his wife. Angie Dickinson co-stars as his sympathetic sister-in-law who aids him. Dir. John Boorman


Saturday, May 22, 9:00 PM &
Saturday May 23, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

THE BROTHERS RICO (1957): Based on a novel by French mystery writer Georges Simenon, a reformed mob accountant (Richard Conte) tries find his missing gangster brothers Johnny (James Darren) and Gino (Paul Picerni) before the mob eliminates him. His misplaced loyalty to his former boss (Larry Gates) threatens his, his brothers' and their wives' safety. "Thanks, Uncle Sid." Dir. Phil Karlson

Monday, May 24, 11:30 PM

IN COLD BLOOD (1967) Bleak adaptation of Truman Capote's groundbreaking true crime book. Two men (Robert Blake and Scott Wilson) brutally murder a small-town Kansas family, thinking that ten thousand dollars is hidden in the house. They flee with the forty-three dollars they actually found, and the FBI hunts them. Dir. Richard Brooks

Tuesday, May 25, 11:30 AM

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 groundbreaking neo-noir won five Oscars, including Best Picture. Dir. Norman Jewison


Saturday, May 29, 9:00 PM &
Saturday May 30, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

ACT OF VIOLENCE (1949): An embittered veteran (Robert Ryan) tracks down Frank R. Enley, a POW camp informer (Van Heflin) now a respected member of his community. Mary Astor steals the film as the boozy bar fly and prostitute trying to help Enley. Dir. Fred Zinnemann

Saturday May 30, 9:00 AM

JOURNEY INTO FEAR (1942): This playful film features Joseph Cotten, who adapted the novel for the screen, as a munitions expert who gets tangled up in an espionage plot in Turkey. Watch for Orson Welles as an amorous army officer. Karl Struss served as director of photography. Dir. Norman Foster

Audrey Hepburn stars in Wait until Dark on May 1

Joan Crawford in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane on May 1

Cagney awaits his moment in White Heat on May 1

Gloria Grahame in Edward Dymtryk's Crossfire on May 3

Robert Mitchum menaces in The Night of the Hunter on May 3

Farley Granger stars in Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train on May 4

Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent screens May 6

Joanne Woodward and Robert Wagner in A Kiss before Dying on May 6

Vera Clouzot and Simone Signoret in Diabolique screening May 5

Lee Remick in Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder on May 5

Rarely screened Robert Wise's Criminal Court on May 5

Ann Todd stars in David Lean's Madeleine on May 5


Cliff Robertson stars in Sam Fuller's Underworld U.S.A. on May 8

Franchot Tone and Janis Carter in I Love Trouble on May 8

Bullitt screens May 8 and 17 starring Steve McQueen

Jane Greer and Robert Young in They Won't Believe Me on May 8

Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in Breathless on May 9

Joan Crawford stars in A Woman's Face on May 11

The Postman Always Rings Twice screens May 17

George Sanders stars in The Falcon Takes Over on May 15

Robert Ryan stars in The Set-up on May 15

Angela Lansbury and Laurence Harvey in The Manchurian Candidate on May 15

Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin in The Big Heat on May 15

Eddie Muller presents Orson Welles' Touch of Evil on NOIR ALLEY on May 15 and 16

Joan Crawford stars in Mildred Pierce screening May 16

Tony Lo Bianco and Shirley Stoler in The Honeymoon Killers on May 18

Stanley Baker and Peggy Cummins in Hell Drivers on May 19

Barbara Stanwyck and Ralph Meeker in Jeopardy screening May 19

William Talman becomes one scarey backseat driver in The Hitch-hiker on May 19 

Ruth Roman and Steve Cochran in Tomorrow Is Another Day screening May 19 

Ann Savage and Tom Neal star in Detour on May 19 

Peggy Cummins and John Dall in Gun Crazy on May 19 

Claire Trevor and Lawrence Tierney star in Born to Kill on May 20

Sam Fuller's The Crimson Kimono screens May 21

Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent on May 22

Angie Dickinson and Lee Marvin star in Point Blank on May 22

Eddie Muller presents The Brothers Rico on NOIR ALLEY on May 22 and 23

Robert Blake and Scott Wilson in In Cold Blood screening May 24

Mary Astor and Van Heflin in Act of Violence presented by Eddie Muller on NOIR ALLEY on May 29 and 30

Joseph Cotten in Journey into Fear on May 

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