Criss Cross opened and closed the evening. Show me where to turn in my Noir Card, but Siodmak is pretty far down my list of favorite film noir directors. Lots of beautiful shots and some wonderful scenes, but his films don't generally engage me for their entire length. This one has more than most, but I still find myself drifting off. So it goes.
On the other hand, there's The Underworld Story, which has me from start to finish. Duryea directed by Endfield, with cinematography by Cortez and art direction by Wiles - it is one of those movies that I like a little more each time I see it.
My Noir City 7 Awards
Film Highlight: No Abras Nunca esa Puerta / Si Muero Antes di Despertar (Carlos Hugo Christiansen 1952) - Gorgeous tours of the Woolrich Universe by way of an anthology film (adaptation of three short stories). The middle section, an adaptation of "The Humming Bird Comes Home," joins Fear in the Night and The Guilty as my favorite evocations of Woolrich World. This was my first viewing of the film.
Film Lowlight: Other than the above, the only movie in the festival that I hadn't seen was Ivy (Sam Wood 1947). It looked beautiful, but I'll skip future opportunities to watch it.
Would Restoration Ruin It?: The Guilty is a favorite, but I'd only watched my ratty, grungy, and, therefore, perfect copy. My fear was that a clean version would extinguish its charms. Nope. I eagerly await the release of the restoration.
It Changed My Mind: I never understood the near-universal love given to Hangover Square. Seeing it on the big screen, I now understand. Mea culpa.
Favorite Day: Saturday's salute to Cornell Woolrich. When three films are screening and the one that comes in third for me is a marvelous print of The Chase, well...that may be as near perfection as a day (and night) of film noir gets.
Bad Day at Black Film: Sunday's "Edwardian Noir". My new-found love for Hangover Square could not overcome the tediousness of Ivy, Ladies in Retirement (my apologies to Ida Lupino, who was wonderful) and The Suspect (do like the final shot).