Edited by Don Malcolm on 11/24/2017, 10:19 am
In this scenario, we keep in mind that the only parameters we have are that the films will be from 1941 to 1953 and that THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF is one of them. Here we are still not ready to make any actual predictions of what the lineup will be; rather, we go back to our original "Noir Top 25" list and look at how recently they've been screened at NC SF. (While we've seen that Eddie will repeat films, he's been increasingly loath to do so in a short time frame--so the odds favor those films that haven't been screened in a long time.)
We expand the list to show the top 50 films ranked in that poll. Here is the list, from lowest to highest likelihood:
Criss Cross (2), The Asphalt Jungle (4), The Killing (8)
In A Lonely Place (13), Scarlet Street (21), The Dark Corner (39)
The Set-Up (19)
The Third Man (44)
Gun Crazy (6), Sunset Blvd. (25), Try and Get Me (37), The Chase (41)
The Maltese Falcon (7), Laura (25), Gilda (42)
The Postman Always Rings Twice (24), Pickup on South St. (35), Pitfall (43)
The Killers (5) Ace in the Hole (27), Sweet Smell of Success (49)
D.O.A. (9), Night and the City (14)
Raw Deal (16), The Big Combo (30)
Out of the Past (1), Nightmare Alley (12), The Narrow Margin (18), Strangers on a Train (31), Hollow Triumph (34)
Kiss Me Deadly (15), Murder, My Sweet (23), Act of Violence (42), He Walked By Night (46)
Double Indemnity (3), Detour (17), Strange Love of Martha Ivers (28), Mildred Pierce (29), Caged (33), Phantom Lady (50)
Born to Kill (22)
Touch of Evil (10), The Big Sleep (11), The Big Heat (20), T-Men (36), Ride the Pink Horse (38), White Heat (40), Brute Force (45), Vertigo (47), Dead Reckoning (48)
Films in italics are outside the 1941-53 time frame. RIDE THE PINK HORSE was screened at Elliot Lavine's summer noir series in 2016, which drew extremely well, so that probably eliminates it from consideration for NC 16. PHANTOM LADY screened just last month in Elliot's most recent series, so it too is now a long shot.
The films in the "top 10" of our old list that haven't been screened in NC SF for ten years (since NC 6) are: Out of the Past (1), Double Indemnity (3), D.O.A. (9).
In the next ten (11-20): Nightmare Alley (12), Night and the City (14), Raw Deal (16), Detour (17), The Narrow Margin (18).
In slots 21-25: Born to Kill (22), Murder My Sweet (23).
In the next tier (26-50): Strange Love of Martha Ivers (28), Mildred Pierce (29), Strangers on a Train (31), Caged (33), Hollow Triumph (34), Act of Violence (42), He Walked by Night (48), Phantom Lady (50).
Of the films in the "never screened" category, a few things are notable:
--Two big Bogart films haven't been screened (BIG SLEEP, DEAD RECKONING) which seems like a natural double bill.
--T-MEN, not yet screened, could pair with RAW DEAL to make a perfect "Eagle-Lion Mann/Alton" double bill, while also honoring Marsha Hunt, who (as you know) just turned 100.
--THE BIG HEAT could team with any number of films to make a solid double bill. Keeping it a Glenn Ford double would mean something like FRAMED (not seen since NC 5); making it into a Gloria Grahame double would suggest SUDDEN FEAR (shown twice previously, but not since NC 2).
--BRUTE FORCE would tie in with Jules Dassin or Burt Lancaster; for Dassin, it could easily be NIGHT AND THE CITY (last at NC 6), while for Lancaster one could pair it with THE KILLERS (just over the threshold, last screened at NC 7) or DESERT FURY (NC 2), or with something as yet unscreened (ROPE OF SAND, for instance, with its stellar supporting cast--Rains, Lorre, Henreid).
From Eddie's public comments, OUT OF THE PAST (specifically referenced) might get the nod here, as a way of reiterating that point. One doesn't expect too many "obvious" picks of this nature, however, so the likelihood of OOTP and DOUBLE INDEMNITY seems very remote. A double bill featuring two lionized "B's," however (DETOUR and THE NARROW MARGIN) just might make it into a matinee slot.
A sleeper here: BORN TO KILL, not seen since NC 1. It might be paired with a seldom-seen (and unscreened at NC) early "mystery noir" from MGM, CROSSROADS (1942), to provide an unusual but intriguing Claire Trevor double bill.