• Robert Ryan loses his cool in Nicholas Ray’s On Dangerous Ground

For the fourth year, Music Box and the Film Noir Foundation present a weeklong festival of vintage noir that includes both old favorites (White Heat, Kiss Me Deadly) and intriguing rarities (William Castle’s 1949 thriller Undertow, shot on the streets of Chicago); check out our roundup with capsule links here. A few years ago I wrote at length about Robert Ryan, a Chicago native, and the fest offers a terrific Ryan double feature on Tuesday: Max Ophuls’s Caught (1948) and Nicholas Ray’s On Dangerous Ground (1952), both from the chaotic period when Howard Hughes was presiding over RKO Radio Pictures. Produced by the tiny Enterprise Pictures, Caught was the story of a tyrannical millionaire who was based partly on Hughes, and Hughes perversely agreed to loan out his contract player Ryan to play the role, which put Ryan in a ticklish position. Two years later Ryan gave one of his finest performances in RKO’s On Dangerous Ground, but Hughes was dissatisfied with it and sat on it for years before the story was reordered to his approval in the editing room and the movie was released in 1952.