Film Noir and Neo-Noir on TCM: September 2020

*All times are PT. 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.

Tuesday, Sep 1, 3:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Hitchcock Marathon

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

4:45 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

6:30 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

8:45 AM

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. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

10:45 AM*

STAGE FRIGHT (1950): Jane Wyman maybe the star of the film, but Marlene Dietrich walks away with it. Wyman plays a mousey RADA student out to clear her crush, Jonathan (Richard Todd) suspected of murdering the husband of a glamorous actress-singer (Dietrich). Things get complicated when she falls for the detective, "Ordinary" Smith (Michael Wilding) who is searching for Jonathan. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock *Repeats Tuesday, September 15, 3:00 PM

12:45 PM

DIAL M FOR MURDER (1954): A man (Ray Milland) hires a friend to murder his wealthy wife (Grace Kelly). His plan goes awry when she stabs the would-be-murderer. Then he decides he can still get rid of her, by eroding her self-defense claim. Her ex-lover (Robert Cummings) tries to save her. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

2:45 PM

THE WRONG MAN (1956): In this gritty documentary style noir, victims of a robbery misidentify a musician (Henry Fonda) for the culprit, destroying the lives of him and his wife (Vera Miles). This film was based on the true story of Manny Ballestro and used extensive locations shooting in New York City. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Thursday, September 3, 3:00 AM

THE WINDOW (1949): A young boy (Bobby Driscoll) with a penchant for telling tall tales overhears a murder while sleeping alone on a fire escape. Of course, no one believes him except the murderers (Paul Stewart and Ruth Roman) who ruthlessly hunt him down. This excellent adaptation of a Cornell Woolrich story will keep you on the edge of your seat. Dir. Ted Tetzlaff

Thursday, September 3, 9:15 AM

A STOLEN LIFE (1946): Wealthy amateur painter Kate (Bette Davis) meets lighthouse keeper Bill (Glenn Ford) and falls in love with him. Her twin sister Pat (Davis) steals him away an marries him. Kate dedicates herself to her art finds a mentor/teacher in Karnock (Dane Clark) who is, frankly, rude but honest and a good painter. When he makes a play for her, she realizes that she's still in love with Bill. Fate puts both sisters in a sailboat during a storm and Pat dies. Kate takes on Pat's identity, but things don't go as she planned. Dir. Curtis Bernhardt


Sunday, September 7, 7:00 AM
No Screening on Saturday, September 6

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

NIGHT EDITOR (1946): Is there anything more romantic than trysting in Lover's Lane only to see a woman brutally beaten to death? Rich girl Jill Merrill (Janis Carter) doesn't think so. When just that thing happens while canoodling with her illicit lover, married cop Tony Cochrane (William Gargan), Carter's expression of lust is a wonder to behold. Naturally, not being a psychopath, Tony is appalled and wants to report the murder. However, Jill plays him like a violin, reminding him that his marriage would be over if he reveals they were together. Complications ensue, including the arrest of an innocent man, and Tony is soon in over his head with the dangerous Jill. Carter plays Jill as a succubus, thriving on sexuality, violence, and manipulation. If you haven't discovered Carter yet, this is a wonderful introduction to her. Dir. Henry Levin

Tuesday, Sep 8, 3:00 AM – 12:45 PM

Heist Noir Marathon

3:00 AM

ARMORED CAR ROBBERY (1950): In this awesome little action-packed noir, a police officer, Charles McGraw in a rare outing as a good guy, tries to find half a million dollars stolen by gangsters. Dir. Richard Fleischer

4:30 AM

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

6:30 AM

HIGH SIERRA (1941): Humphrey Bogart plays Roy Earle, a hardened criminal with a heart of gold, who finds love, redemption and a not so happy ending with the lovely and vulnerable Ida Lupino in this noir classic. This was one of three roles that George Raft refused that Bogart accepted, ironically the three roles that shot him into stardom after years of playing second bananas at Warner Brothers to among others, George Raft. Dir. Raoul Walsh

8:15 AM

RIFIFI (1954): Four thieves (Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel and Jules Dassin) plan a daring jewelry heist, expertly shot in complete silence by blacklisted director Jules Dassin. A woman proves their downfall or really a man's desire to impress a woman leads to their undoing. Dir. Jules Dassin

10:30 AM

THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN (1960): Time for a proper British heist, what? We meet Lieutenant Colonel Hyde climbing out of a sewer in a tuxedo. Chapped at being cashiered from the service, he's decided to rob a bank using a pulp novel as his manual and a band of stiff-upper-lip miscreants adrift after World War II as his crew. A who's who of beloved UK character actors, including Jack Hawkins, Roger Livesey, Richard Attenborough, (and screenwriter Forbes in an acting role), take their marching orders from Ealing Studios veteran Basil Dearden, for whom this was a career high point. Dir. Basil Dearden

Wednesday, Sep 9, 8:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Women in Peril Double Bill

8:30 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

10:00 AM

CRY TERROR! (1958): James Mason stars in this nerve-wracking thriller about a married couple forced to assist in the insane schemes of a criminal mastermind. (Rod Steiger) into making a bomb. He soon finds himself embroiled in a blackmail plot and his family held hostage by psychopaths including a ruthless moll played to perfection by Angie Dickinson. Dir. Andrew L. Stone

Wednesday, Sep 9, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Noir Double Feature

2:00 PM

DIAL 1119 (1950): A murderous mental patient, (Marshall Thompson) escapes from an institution and holds the customers at a bar hostage. He wants to see the psychiatrist who committed him, and he'll kill to make it happen. Dir. Gerald Mayer

3:30 PM

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

Thursday, Sep 10, 10:00 AM – 1:15 PM

Robert Wise Film Noir Double

10:00 AM

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

11:45 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, September 12, 9:00 AM

DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944): Barbara Stanwyck—in a platinum blonde wig—plays Phyllis Dietrichson—the consummate femme fatale who lures insurance salesman and all-around chump Walter Neff (Fred McMurray) into a plot involving murder and insurance fraud. His friend, and insurance adjuster, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) smells a rat. Nominated for seven Oscars: Best Actress in a Leading Role; Best Cinematography, Black-and-White; Best Director; Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture; Best Picture; Best Sound, Recording; and Best Writing, Screenplay. Dir. Billy Wilder

Saturday, Sep 12, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Jacques Tourneur Noir Double Feature

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

EXPERIMENT PERILOUS (1944): A chance meeting on a train with a stranger leads psychiatrist Huntington "Hunt" Brailey (George Brent) into the orbit of a beautiful married woman (Hedy Lamarr) whom he believes is in danger and whose husband (Paul Lukas) claims that she's insane. Dir. Jacques Tourneur


Sunday, September 12, 9:00 PM & Sunday, September 13, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

DANGER SIGNAL (1945): A man suspected of murder (Zachary Scott) charms a stenographer (Faye Emerson) into helping him. When her little sister, Rosemary DeCamp, inherits $25,000, he shifts his attentions to her. Dir. Robert Florey

Monday, September 14, 10:30 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. Dir. John Sturges

Monday, September 14, 3:30 PM

CAST A DARK SHADOW (1955): A charmer (Dirk Bogarde) decides to make his fortune by marrying and murdering older women. He meets his match when he plots against his latest victim (Margaret Lockwood). Dir. Lewis Gilbert

Tuesday, Sep 15, 12:15 PM – 3:00 PM

Detective Maclain Double Feature

12:15 PM

EYES IN THE NIGHT (1942): Blind detective Duncan Maclain (Edward Arnold) gets mixed up with enemy agents and murder when he tries to help an old friend (Ann Harding) with a rebellious stepdaughter, Donna Reed. Dir. Fred Zinnemann

1:45 PM

THE HIDDEN EYE (1945): Blind detective Duncan Maclain (Edward Arnold) returns to help another young woman in need. This time he's helping her clear her fiancé of a murder charge. Dir. Richard Whorf

Thursday, Sep 17, 4:45 AM – 5:00 PM

TCM Salutes Otto Preminger

Here are the noirs...

4:45 AM

ANGEL FACE (1953): An ambulance driver (Robert Mitchum) romances a beautiful but unstable woman (Jean Simons) who gets him a job as a chauffeur and promises him the capital to open his own garage. Murder and disaster follows. Mona Freeman plays the girlfriend he dumps for better things. Her reaction to his behavior, especially when he tries to come back to her, makes her character transcend the usual thankless good girl roles in noir. Dir. Otto Preminger

8:15 AM

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

10:15 AM

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (1955): A recovering heroin addict (Frank Sinatra) struggles to stay clean when returning to Chicago's South side, to old friends and old temptations, after a prison stint. His drug dealer Nifty Louie (Darren McGavin) wants to get his hooks back into Frankie, but his love for Molly (Kim Novak) and his dreams of becoming a jazz drummer keep him on the straight and narrow. When Louie is killed, the cops figure him for the murder and come after him. Dir. Otto Preminger

12:30 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

3:15 PM

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

Saturday, September 19, 3:30 AM

BLACKMAIL (1929): Alice White (Anny Ondra) blows off a date with her steady beau Detective Frank Webber (John Longden) to see a charming young artist. The artist talks her into coming up to his studio and she kills him when he attempts to rape her. The next day, Frank discovers Alice's glove at the crime scene and removes the evidence. A blackmailer (Donald Calthrop) who can place Alice at the scene of the crime then confronts the pair. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock


Sunday, September 19, 9:00 PM & Sunday, September 20, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

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

Monday, Sep 21, 5:15 AM – 11:00 AM

Noir Triple Bill


TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1944): Watch Bogie and Baby fall in love on and off the screen in this classic adventure tale. A skipper-for-hire's (Humphrey Bogart) romance with a beautiful drifter and bar singer (Lauren Bacall) is complicated by his growing involvement with the French resistance. Walter Brennan plays the drunken first mate and Hoagie Carmichael plays Bacall's accompanist. Dir. Howard Hawks

7:15 AM

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

9:30 AM

POSSESSED (1947): In this excellent examination of obsession and mental illness, Joan Crawford gives a terrific—and Oscar nominated—performance as a married woman whose passion for a former love (Van Heflin) drives her towards a nervous breakdown. Crawford wandering through the streets of Los Angeles at dawn in a dissociative state is an indelible opening. Raymond Massey plays her compassionate husband. Dir. Curtis Bernhardt

Thursday, September 24, 10:30 PM

NO WAY OUT (1950): Events spiral out of control when a racist gangster (Richard Widmark) blames a black doctor (Sidney Poitier) for the death of his brother. Linda Darnell plays the widow of the dead brother. Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz


Sunday, September 26, 9:15 PM & Sunday, September 27, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

THEY WON'T BELIVE 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

Monday, September 28, 3:15 PM

LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE (1951): After being stranded in a small Texas town, an actress (Ruth Roman) champions the cause of a man (Richard Todd) recently acquitted in a re-trial for murdering his wife, but still under suspicion by the local townsfolk. The local womanizer (Zachary Scott) and a dude ranch owner (Mercedes McCambridge) complicate thing. Dir. King Vidor

Hitchcock's The 39 Steps screens September 1

Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne in The Lady Vanishes on September 1

Foreign Correspondent screens September 1

Marlene Dietrich and Jane Wyman in Stage Fright on September 5 and September 15

Grace Kelly stars in Dial M for Murder on September 1

Bobby Driscoll stars in The Window on September 3

Davis v. Davis - A Stolen Life on September 3

Eddie Muller presents Night Editor on NOIR ALLEY on September 7

Charles McGraw in Armored Car Robbery on September 8

Sam Jaffe and Sterling Hayden in The Asphalt Jungle on September 8

Jules Dassin's masterful heist film, Rififi, on September 8

Ralph Meeker and Barbara Stanwyck in Jeopardy on September 9

Inger Stevens and Neville Brand in Cry Terror! on September 9

Marshall Thompson stars in Dial 1119 on September 9

Unwanted revelations: Audrey Long overhears Claire Trevor and Lawrence Tierney in Born To Kill on September 10

The Set-Up starring Robert Ryan on September 15

Double Indemnity screens September 12

Dickie Moore and Virginia Moore in top-noir Out of the Past on September 12

Hedy Lamarr stars in Jacques Tourneur's Experiment Perilous on September 12

Eddie Muller presents Danger Signal on NOIR ALLEY on September 12 and 13

Dirk Bogarde and Margaret Lockwood in Cast a Dark Shadow on September 14

Ann Harding and Edward Arnold in Eyes in the Night on September 15

Mona Freeman and Jean Simmons in Angel Face on September 17

Otto Preminger's Bunny Lake Is Missing on September 17

Frank Sinatra stars in The Man with the Golden Arm on September 17

Saul Bass' poster for Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder screening September 17

Hitchcock and Anny Ondra on the set of Blackmail on September 19

Eddie Muller presents Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford in Gilda on NOIR ALLEY September 19 and 20

Lauren Bacall holds court in To Have and Have Not on September 21

Joan Crawford on the set of Possessed screening September 21

Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell and Sidney Poitier in No Way Out on September 24

Robert Young and Jane Greer in They Won't Believe Me on September 26 and 27

Mercedes McCambridge and Darryl Hickman in Lightning Strikes Twice on September 28

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