For the fourth year in a row, Music Box and the Film Noir Foundation present a week of little-seen noir relics. Noir City: Chicago favors titles that aren’t available on DVD, but there are always a few old favorites as well.
Friday’s opening-night program pays tribute to Peter Lorre, whose chilling performance as the serial killer in Fritz Lang’s M set him up for a long career as a tormented soul in Hollywood movies. Screening are Jean Negulesco’s Three Strangers (7:30 PM), in a print newly restored by the foundation, and Robert Florey’s The Face Behind the Mask (9:30 PM).
Saturday brings three movies adapted from the novels of Cornell Woolrich: Robert Siodmak’s Phantom Lady (1:30 and 5:30 PM), Roy William Neill’s Black Angel (3:30 and 9:30 PM), and a newly restored print of Ted Tezlaff’s The Window (7:30 PM).
Every year the festival presents a film shot in Chicago, and this year it’s William Castle’s 1949 drama Undertow, screening Monday (7:30 PM). Chicago native Robert Ryan stars Tuesday in Nicholas Ray’s On Dangerous Ground (5:30 and 9:30 PM) and Max Ophuls’s Caught (7:30 PM). And Wednesday night brings Alan Ladd in Frank Tuttle’s This Gun for Hire (5:30 and 9:35 PM) and Eliot Nugent’s The Great Gatsby (7:30 PM).
The festival closes next Thursday with two of the more explosive crime films of the era: Kiss Me Deadly (5:30 and 10 PM), adapted by Robert Aldrich from a Mickey Spillane novel, and Raoul Walsh’s White Heat (7:45 PM), with James Cagney in his last great gangster role. For a complete schedule click here.