Film Noir and Neo-Noir on TCM: September, 2023

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

Saturday, September 3, 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM

Film Noir Double Feature

11:00 AM

THE BIG SLEEP (1946): In Howard Hawks' clever and sophisticated adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel, private eye Philip Marlowe's (Humphrey Bogart) investigates the involvement of an opium addled (and nymphomaniacal) society girl (Martha Vickers) in the murder of a pornographer. He also must determine if her sister (Lauren Bacall) is helping or hindering him. Dir. Howard Hawks

1:00 PM

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

Noir Alley

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

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

THE SECRET FURY (1950): A mysterious figure interrupts the wedding ceremony of a concert pianist (Claudette Colbert) and an architect (Robert Ryan) claiming that she's already married. When the betrothed pair investigates, they find evidence to back up his claim. Their search for the truth becomes clouded by her admission that she might have amnesia. Kelly Dir. Mel Ferrer

Wednesday, September 6, 3:00 AM

KILLER MCCOY (1947): After Tommy McCoy (Mickey Rooney) knocks out his mentor in the ring and accidentally kills, gambler Jim Caighn (Brian Donlevy) sees opportunity and buys his contract. He wants to manipulate McCoy to better the odds on the boxing matches to make himself more money. To make matters worse, Tommy falls in love with Jim's daughter, Sheila (Ann Blyth). Dir. Roy Rowland

Thursday, September 7, 4:30 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

Saturday, September 9, 11:00 AM – 2:45 PM

The Lighter Side of Film Noir Double Bill

11:00 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

1:15 PM

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

Noir Alley

Saturday, September 9, 9:00 PM &
Sunday, September 10, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

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

Sunday, September 10, 3:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Alfred Hitchcock Mini-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

5:00 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

7:00 AM

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

9:00 AM

I CONFESS (1953): In Quebec, a priest (Montgomery Clift) hears the confession of a murderer and then finds himself accused of the crime. He can't break the sanctity of the confessional and must find another way to clear himself. To complicate matters his ex-sweetheart (Anne Baxter), who still loves him, was being blackmailed by the victim. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

10:45 AM

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

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

3:00 PM

PSYCHO (1960): Miriam Crane (Janet Leigh) impulsively embezzles $10,000 dollars from her employer and takes it on the lam. She checks into the Bates Motel, meets the queer but attractive Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), takes a shower and makes cinematic history. A detective (Martin Balsam), Miriam's sister (Vera Miles) and her boyfriend (John Gavin) all arrive to look for the missing Miriam. Long time Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann created the rightfully legendary score. The immensely talented old time radio actress Virginia Gregg provides the voice of Norman's mother Norma Bates. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Tuesday, September 12, 7:00 PM – 10:15 PM

Noir Double Feature

7:00 PM

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

8:30 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

Wednesday, September 13, 9:45 AM

THE SECRET FURY (1950): A mysterious figure interrupts the wedding ceremony of a concert pianist (Claudette Colbert) and an architect (Robert Ryan) claiming that she's already married. When the betrothed pair investigates, they find evidence to back up his claim. Their search for the truth becomes clouded by her admission that she might have amnesia. Kelly Dir. Mel Ferrer

Thursday, September 14, 8:30 PM

THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1948): An Irish sailor (Orson Welles) gets caught between a corrupt tycoon (Everett Sloane) and his voluptuous wife (Welles' real-life wife Rita Hayworth) and their plans to eliminate one another in this wonderfully convoluted noir. Trivia: Columbia chief Harry Cohn sent future horror icon William Castle along on location to keep Welles in line, on time and under budget, to no avail. Dir. Orson Welles

Noir Alley

Saturday, September 16, 9:00 PM &
Sunday, September 17, 10:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

OUT OF THE FOG (1941): A racketeer (John Garfield) terrorizes a small fishing community and seduces a tailor's daughter (Ida Lupino). The tailor and his friend must figure out how to fight the racketeer to keep their only solace, their fishing boat, from being destroyed in an "accident" and to save the daughter from throwing her life away on the racketeer. Dir. Anatole Litvak

Sunday, September 17, 8:00 PM

ISLE OF THE DEAD (1945): Gen. Nikolas Pherides (Boris Karloff) takes leave from the 1912 Balkan War to visit a small island in Greece, where his wife is buried. While there, a plague breaks out—Pherides and a group of travelers are is forced to quarantine there. Soon, locals and foreigners alike succumb to the influence of Madame Kyra (Helene Thimig), who accuses a nurse (Ellen Drew) of being a vampire and the true cause of the recent deaths. The film's script was inspired by the painting Isle of the Dead by Arnold Böcklin, which appears behind the title credits. It was written by producer Val Lewton's frequent collaborator Ardel Wray. Dir. Mark Robson

Tuesday, September 19, 5:00 PM – 3:00 AM

Film Noir Marathon

5:00 PM

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 follow. 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

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

9:00 PM

ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (1958): War hero Julien's (Maurice Ronet) plan to murder his mistress' (Jeanne Moreau) husband goes awry. Meanwhile, two teenagers steal his car and have a strange adventure. Jazz great Miles Davis created the film's memorable score. Dir. Louis Malle

11:00 PM

IN A LONELY PLACE (1950): This heartbreaking noir revolves around an alcoholic screenwriter (Humphrey Bogart) and the woman who loves him but fears he may be a murder (Gloria Grahame). This film is both a bitter commentary on Hollywood and on the impossibility of romance. Very loosely based on Dorothy B. Hughes' novel—an intense thriller and examination of post-WWII misogyny. Enjoy the movie then read the book. Dir. Nicholas Ray

1:00 AM

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957): A desperate press agent (Tony Curtis) stoops to new depths to help an egotistical columnist (Burt Lancaster) in an emotionally repugnant, but brilliant, performance, break up his sister's romance. Suitably noirish cinematography by James Wong Howe and an acidic script by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman combine with an excellent cast to deliver a remarkable film. Dir. Alexander Mackendrick

Thursday, September 21, 5:00 PM

THE BIRDS (1963): Beautiful heiress Melanie (Tippi Hedren) takes a sudden fancy to a handsome architect Mitch (Rod Taylor) who lives in a remote Californian costal village with his overly affectionate mother (Jessica Tandy) and little sister. Creepily Melanie follows him there and pretends to be an old friend of his ex-girlfriend (Suzanne Pleshette). Even more creepily, after her arrival, the village is besieged by flocks of killer birds. Look for noir toughie Charles McGraw in a supporting role. Legendary animator turned special effects expert Ub Iwerks won the Oscar for Best Effects, Special Visual Effects for his work on the film. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Thursday, September 21, 11:45 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, not to mention the iconic Lalo Schifrin score. Dir. Peter Yates

Noir Alley

Saturday, September 23, 9:00 PM &
Sunday, September 24, 10:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

TWO O'CLOCK COURAGE (1945): In this charming programmer, an amnesiac (Tom Conway) discovers he's wanted for murder. Ann Rutherford plays the spunky cab driver who helps him after she nearly runs him over. Jane Greer and Jeanne Brooks play the women in the case. Dir. Anthony Mann

Saturday, September 23, 11:00 PM

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1981): David Mamet wrote this second adaptation of James M. Cain's novel. Drifter Frank (John Garfield) takes a job with roadside diner owner Nick Smith (Ceil Kellaway). Frank begins a torrid affair with Nick's younger and extremely sexy wife (Lana Turner). Betrayal, murder, perversion of the law, and divine justice follow. Angelica Huston plays the role originated by Audrey Totter in the first movie. Dir. Bob Rafelson

Sunday, September 24, 1:15 AM

BLOOD SIMPLE (1984): In the Coen brother's debut, a paranoid Texan bar (Dan Hedaya) owner hires a private detective (M. Emmett Walsh) to investigate his younger wife (Frances McDormand) and his employee (John Getz) whom he believes to be having an affair. Murder and madness follow. Dir. Joel Coen

Sunday, September 24, 2:45 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 kidnap a child so 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

Monday, September 25, 10:15

MAN HUNT (1941): In this suspenseful noir based on Geoffrey Household's novel Rogue Male, the Gestapo hunts down a sportsman (Walter Pidgeon) after he accidentally stumbles across Hitler's secret residence. He finds an unlikely ally in a lovely Cockney girl (Joan Bennett). Dir. Fritz Lang

Wednesday, September 27, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Homme Fatal Double Bill

9:30 AM

SHADOW OF A WOMAN (1946): After a quick courtship, naïve newlywed Brook (Andrea King) moves to San Francisco to her husband, diet doctor Eric Ryder's (Helmut Dantine) home and less than receptive family. She continues to stand by her man, despite mounting evidence that he is a fraud and a series of weird accidents. It also appears that he also might be starving his son from a previous marriage to death in order to get his hands on the kid's inheritance. Will Brook wake up in time? Dir. Joseph Santley

11:00 AM

DANGER SIGNAL (1945): After robbing and murdering his lover and staging her death to look like an accident, Ronnie Mason (Zachary Scott) moves to L.A. He poses as a writer and soon charms the daughter of his landlord (Faye Emerson). When her little sister (Rosemary DeCamp) inherits $25,000, he shifts his attentions to her. Dir. Robert Florey

Wednesday, September 27, 9:00 PM – 12:30 AM

Dirk Bogarde Noir Double Bill

9:00 PM

VICTIM (1961): Brit noir meets social consciousness in this fine drama. Closeted and married barrister Melville Farr (Dirk Bogarde) risks both his career and personal life to expose the blackmailers who prey on gay men afraid of England's criminal prosecution of homosexuals and who drove his friend to suicide. Dir. Basil Dearden

11:00 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

Saturday, September 30, 1:15 PM – 5:00 PM

Film Noir Double Feature

1:15 PM

DARK PASSAGE (1947): Adapted from a story by David Goodis, this noir follows convicted wife murderer Vincent Parry's (Humphrey Bogart) escape from jail and subsequent hunt for the real killer of his wife. Sympathetic stranger Irene (Lauren Bacall) encounters him during his jail break and aids him. Agnes Moorehead steals the show as Irene's shrewish friend who knew Vincent and his wife prior to the murder. Dir. Delmer Daves

3:15 PM

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 a still prescient issue facing the American penal system, is it reforming first time offenders or just turning prisoners into career criminals? Nominated for three Oscars including Best Actress for Parker and Supporting Actress for Emerson. Dir. John Cromwell

Noir Alley

Saturday, September 30, 9:15 PM &
Sunday, October 1, 7:00 AM

FNF Prez Eddie Muller presents

WHIPLASH (1948): San Franciscan artist Michael Gordon (Dane Clark) goes to New York to find Laurie Rogers (Alexis Smith) after spending one evening together. There he finds her singing at a nightclub by chance and she confesses that she is married. He decides to box for her disabled husband (Zachary Scott) who doesn't know about Michael and Laurie's connection. Dir. Lewis Seiler

September noir commences with Bogart and Bacall in The Big Sleep

Eddie Muller presents The Secret Fury on NOIR ALLEY September 2 and 3

Mickey Rooney stars in Killer McCoy on September 6

Robert Taylor and Lana Turner star in Johnny Eager on September 7

His Kind of Woman screens September 9

Eddie Muller presents The Wrong Man on the September 9-10 broadcast of NOIR ALLEY

Hitchcock's The Thirty-nine Steps screens September 10

Anne Baxter and Montgomery Cliff in I Confess on September 10

Hitchcock's Rear Window screens September 10

Janet Leigh checks in at the Bates Motel in Psycho on September 10

Mary Astor and Van Heflin in Act of Violence on September 12

Angie Dickinson and Lee Marvin in Point Blank on September 12

Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles in San Francisco's Chinatown in The Lady from Shanghai on September 14

Eddie Muller presents Out of the Fog on the September 16-17 broadcast of NOIR ALLEY

Mona Freeman and Jean Simons in Angel Face on September 19

Robert Mitchum menaces in Night of the Hunter on September 19

Jeanne Moreau stars in Elevator to the Gallows on September 19

On the streets of San Francisco — Tippi Hedren in The Birds on September 21

Steve McQueen in Bullitt on September 21

Eddie Muller presents Two O'Clock Courage on NOIR ALLEY September 23-24

Frances McDormand in Blood Simple on September 24

Brit-noir, Séance on a Wet Afternoon screens September 24

Helmut Dantine and Andrea King in Shadow of a Woman on September  27

Dirk Bogart and Sylvia Syms in Victim on September 27

Bogie in the news — Dark Passage screens September 30

Warner Bros' quintessential woman's prison film, Caged on September 30

Dane Clark and Eve Arden in Whiplash, presented by Eddie Muller on the September 30-October 1 broadcast of NOIR ALLEY