Film Noir at The Cinematheque

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It’s time for The Cinematheque’s annual summer celebration of the giddy, gloomy, seductive glories of Film Noir! This year’s Noir season includes nine vintage noir gems, five of which The Cinematheque has never screened before (Kiss of Death, Johnny O’Clock, Thieves Highway, The Reckless Moment, and Underworld U.S.A.).

Film Noir at The Cinematheque

Celebrating one of Golden-Age Hollywood’s richest and most creative periods, Film Noir picks up the shiny rock of the American Dream, turns it over, and finds underneath a grubby American nightmare.

Opening Night Party

Broads + Bruisers Courtyard Wingding
Thursday, August 4, 2016 doors at 6:00pm
Enjoy vinyl jazz by DJs Cam Dales & Scott W, complimentary Whiskey Hazelnut ice cream from Ernest Ice Cream, and cash bar – plus screenings of The Killers (7:00pm) and Kiss of Death (9:05pm). Entry included with a single or double bill ticket for the evening.

The Films

The Killers (1946)
Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner star in noir luminary Robert Siodmak’s Hemingway adaptation, one of film noir’s defining works. “Film noir at its most expressive” (Chicago Reader). Opening night, August 4th at 7:00pm; Friday, August 5th 8:25pm; Wednesday, August 10th 6:30pm.

Kiss of Death (1947)
Henry Hathaway’s nasty New York-shot noir is famed for iconic tough guy Richard Widmark’s sensational screen debut. “Tense, terrifying … with an unusually authentic seamy atmosphere” (Pauline Kael). Thursday, August 4th 9:05pm; Saturday, August 6th 6:30pm; Monday, August 8th 8:25pm.

Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews reunite with director Otto Preminger for this deliciously hard-boiled noir penned by Ben Hecht. “A maximum of suspense and swiftly-paced action” (Variety). Friday, August 5th 6:30pm; Saturday, August 6th 8:30pm; Sunday, August 7th 6:30pm.

Johnny O’Clock (1947)
Screenwriter Robert Rossen’s directorial debut is a hard-boiled noir thriller replete with seedy atmosphere, complex plotting, and moody visuals. “A smart whodunit, with attention to scripting, casting and camerawork lifting it above the average” (Variety). Sunday, August 7th 8:25pm; Monday, August 8th 6:30pm; Thursday, August 11th 8:45pm.

Thieves’ Highway (1949)
A California trucker seeks revenge in this high-octane, hard-as-nails (and underrated) noir from American neo-realist Jules Dassin. “Slots sleazy eroticism and rigorous action seamlessly together” (Time Out). Wednesday, August 10th 8:35pm; Friday, August 12th 6:45pm; Sunday, August 14th 8:25pm.

The Big Sleep (1946)
35mm PRINT! A big-budget noir with big-time pedigree: a Faulkner script, based on a Chandler novel, directed by Hawks, with Bogart and Bacall! “No screen couple, before or since, had as much chemistry as Bogart and Bacall” (The Guardian). Thursday, August 11th 6:30pm; Friday, August 12th 8:40pm; Saturday, August 13th 6:45pm; Monday, August 15th 8:40pm.

The Reckless Moment (1944)
35mm PRINT! Mise-en-scène virtuoso and master romanticist Max Ophüls directs Joan Bennett and James Mason in a superb noir melodrama. “One of the director’s most perverse stories of doomed love … Ophüls spins a network of fine irony out of the lurid material” (Chicago Reader). Saturday, August 13th 9:00pm; Sunday, August 14th 6:45pm; Thursday, August 18th 6:30pm.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Alfred Hitchcock’s favourite Hitchcock film (and one of ours) is this disturbing noir drama peering into the dark heart of small-town America. “One of Hitchcock’s finest films of the ’40s … [A] memorable gem.” (Time Out). Monday, August 15th 6:30pm; Thursday, August 18th 8:10pm; Friday, August 19th 6:30pm.

Underworld U.S.A. (1953)
Cliff Robertson is a pitiless anti-hero in pulp-fiction primitivist Sam Fuller’s ruthless, relentless revenge noir. “Arguably Fuller’s most efficient, brutal, and unsentimental film.” (Senses of Cinema). Friday, August 19th 8:40pm; Sunday, August 21st 6:30pm; Monday, August 22nd 8:35pm.


$11 Adult; $9 Senior/Student; $14 Adult Double Bill; $12 Senior/Student Double Bill. Films are restricted to 18+ unless otherwise indicated. A $3 annual membership is required.


The Cinematheque is located at 1131 Howe St in Vancouver. Follow on Twitter, Facebook, and the tag #FilmNoir2016 for more information.

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