Rialto's Best of British Noir
March 13 - April 1
Following upon the National Gallery of Art's recently completed series, "Brit Noir," AFI Silver presents this selection of some to the classics of the genre, including Orson Welles in THE THIRD MAN, a new 35mm print of BRIGHTON ROCK, starring Richard Attenborough, and the Washington, DC, area premiere of the new
35mm print of IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY.
AFI Member passes will be accepted at all films in the Rialto's series.
The first adaptation of a Graham Greene novel to also benefit from a Graham Greene screenplay, this is one of the best British gangster films of all time. Richard Attenborough gives an electrifying performance as Pinkie Brown, the sadistically violent and strangely Puritanical leader of a gang of wayward youth in pre-WWII Brighton, whose reckless ambition makes him a target of big-time mobsters. Harry Waxman's shadowy cinematography and the genuinely seedy locations cinch the noir atmosphere.
DIR John Boulting; SCR Terence Rattigan, Graham Greene, based on his novel; PROD Roy Boulting. UK, 1947, b&w, 92 min. NOT RATED
Saturday, March 13, 3:00; Tuesday, March 16, 9:00; Wednesday, March 17, 8:45; Thursday, March 18, 9:00
IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY
Escaped convict John McCullum turns up at the East End home of former lover Googie Withers, begging her for a hiding place until the heat dies down. Withers, now married with teenage stepdaughters, eventually relents and stashes him in the garden bomb shelter. As the pressures of keeping her secret mount--she must hide him from her family, her sometime-lover Sydney Tafler and his gangster brother John Slater, not to mention detective Jack Warner-- the story's tone moves from kitchen sink melodrama to noir-tinged thriller. This little-seen gem may be the best film from director Robert Hamer, best known for KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS.
DIR/SCR Robert Hamer; SCR Henry Cornelius, Angus MacPhail, based on the novel by Arthur La Bern; PROD Michael Balcon. UK, 1947, b&w, 92 min. NOT RATED
Monday, March 22, 9:00; Wednesday, March 24, 9:15
THE FALLEN IDOL
Child actor Bobby Henrey gives a sophisticated and touching performance as the son of the French ambassador to Great Britain, growing up lonely in his father's London mansion. His best friend and de facto father figure is butler Ralph Richardson, whom Henrey observes enjoying intimate moments with secretary Michèle Morgan. When the maid--Richardson's wife--turns up dead, Henrey's loyalties are torn. Best Film, 1949 BAFTAs, and Academy Award nominations for Carol Reed's direction and Graham Greene's screenplay.
DIR/PROD Carol Reed; SCR Graham Greene. UK, 1948, b&w, 95 min. NOT RATED
Tuesday, March 23, 9:20; Thursday, March 25, 7:00
A scandal when it was released in 1960, this film was critically vilified and seriously damaged the career of director Michael Powell. It has since become both a cult classic and the subject of serious academic consideration. Icy Carl Boehm shoots pretty girls--literally--for his "documentary" on the nature of fear, using his tricked-out camera that can kill even as it films. Anna Massey is the downstairs neighbor with whom he begins a tentative friendship. The psychologically acute screenplay is from WWII cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks.
DIR/PROD Michael Powell; SCR Leo Marks. UK, 1960, color, 101 min. NOT RATED
Wednesday, March 24, 6:30; Thursday, March 25, 9:00
THE THIRD MAN
#5 on AFI'S Top 10 Mysteries
#57 on AFI'S 100 Years...100 Movies
#75 on AFI'S 100 Years...100 Thrills
Traveling to postwar Vienna to meet old friend Orson Welles, dime novelist
Joseph Cotten is shocked to learn his friend has died in a street accident. He suspects something is amiss when none of the witnesses can keep their stories straight, so he begins his own investigation, without much help from Trevor Howard and the British authorities. The notoriously intractable Welles more or less self-directed his magnetic performance as the charming villain Harry Lime, while Carol Reed expertly directed a top supporting cast around him, including: Cotten's decent, slow-to-wise-up Holly Martins; Howard's casually class-conscious Major Calloway; and Alida Valli as Welles's elusive, coolly desperate lover. Robert Krasker's Oscar-winning cinematography is a symphony of angled shots and slashing shadows. Winner of the Grand Prize at Cannes and #1 on the British Film Institute's list of 100 greatest British movies.
DIR/PROD Carol Reed; SCR Graham Greene. UK, 1949, b&w, 104 min. NOT RATED
Friday, March 26, 4:30, 9:00; Saturday, March 27, 10:15; Sunday, March 28, 9:10; Monday, March 29, 4:30; Tuesday, March 30, 4:30, 9:00; Wednesday, March 31, 4:30; Thursday, April 1, 4:30, 7:00, 9:15