• From William Castle’s Undertow

While I’m grateful for any opportunity to see classics like On Dangerous Ground or Phantom Lady on 35-millimeter, the highlight of this year’s Noir City series at the Music Box was hearing film scholar Foster Hirsch introduce William Castle’s Undertow (1949). That film—a thoroughly generic programmer, even by Hirsch’s generous estimation—attracted one of the best turn-outs of the week simply because it was shot partly in Chicago, and one could feel the room surge with pride when the Monroe and Wabash el platform appeared on-screen. Hirsch stoked the crowd’s enthusiasm with his characteristically lively introduction (one of these days, he and Jim Trainor ought to tag-team on something, though I fear the combined energy might cause one of them to explode), finding cause for admiration in the smallest eccentricities. “Isn’t it interesting how the two leads, Scott Brady and John Russell, look a bit alike!”