Here again are the films that were screened at NC/SF 20 (or, as I like to call it, NC Oakland 2!):
Friday 1/20: KEY LARGO/THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Saturday 1/21: (matinee) LARCENY/THE SPIRITUALIST aka THE AMAZING MR. X
(evening) THE BIG CLOCK/ROAD HOUSE
Sunday 1/22: THE NAKED CITY/CRY OF THE CITY
Monday 1/23: SO EVIL MY LOVE/SLEEP, MY LOVE
Tuesday 1/24: HOLLOW TRIUMPH/THE HUNTED
Wednesday 1/25: I LOVE TROUBLE/CALL NORTHSIDE 777
Thursday 1/26: THEY LIVE BY NIGHT/MOONRISE
Friday 1/27: RAW DEAL/HE WALKED BY NIGHT
Saturday 1/28: (matinee) NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES/ALL MY SONS
(evening) SORRY, WRONG NUMBER/KISS THE BLOOD OFF MY HANDS
Sunday 1/29: UNFAITHFULLY YOURS/THE VELVET TOUCH
The films that were cut out of this program in order to assemble an 18-film version of the series for Seattle last month are shown above in bold type. So let's assume for a moment that Eddie decides to stay with that initial edit of the schedule...that leaves us with these eighteen films for further winnowing:
KEY LARGO/THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
LARCENY/THE SPIRITUALIST aka THE AMAZING MR. X
THE BIG CLOCK
THE NAKED CITY/CRY OF THE CITY
SO EVIL, MY LOVE/SLEEP, MY LOVE
HOLLOW TRIUMPH/THE HUNTED
CALL NORTHSIDE 777
THEY LIVE BY NIGHT
NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES/ALL MY SONS
KISS THE BLOOD OFF MY HANDS
So where do we go from there? What eight of these titles are likely to get the gate in order to create a weekend festival with only 10 films?
Here are some educated guesses. First, we can scratch NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES, as it was shown at last year's NC Boston. That's one down.
Let's think about the films that are personal favorites of Eddie. Three come to mind immediately: RAW DEAL (Marsha Hunt), THE HUNTED (Belita), and THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (Nick Ray). Let's also consider THE BIG CLOCK as occupying similar territory.
So that's four that would seem to definitely be "in." I think we can also include KEY LARGO/THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI, as those two have set up as the opening night double bill in the previous festivals. So now we have six.
What next? With THE BIG CLOCK in, we can probably eliminate UNFAITHFULLY YOURS: there are enough strokes of comedy in the former (Elsa Lanchester!) to cover that aspect of things in a shorter series.
I think Eddie will want to keep Burt Lancaster in the lineup somehow, but I'm not thinking he'll want to give him two films in a ten-title lineup. So I'm going to figure that he'll eliminate both of the films left on the list and substitute SORRY, WRONG NUMBER back into the festival lineup. He gets both Lancaster and Stanwyck that way, which is good for star power.
I also think he'll remove the two films that are located in specific big cities--that means goodbye to THE NAKED CITY and CALL NORTHSIDE 777.
So what haven't we yet eliminated? LARCENY; CRY OF THE CITY; THE SPIRITUALIST; HOLLOW TRIUMPH; SO EVIL, MY LOVE; SLEEP, MY LOVE. We've decided that these films are definitely in: KEY LARGO, LADY FROM SHANGHAI, RAW DEAL, THE HUNTED, THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, THE BIG CLOCK and SORRY, WRONG NUMBER. That's seven definitely in, which means we can keep three of the five that are still on the fence.
I'm going to guess that Eddie will keep SO EVIL, MY LOVE to create a Ray Milland double bill. Since he has RAW DEAL in the lineup, I think he'll then pick between the two other John Alton-lensed films and will choose to keep HOLLOW TRIUMPH. And I think he'll pull SLEEP, MY LOVE from the lineup, leaving in his love of the wise-cracking side of noir by retaining LARCENY. It's a tough call, but I also think CRY OF THE CITY will be removed: that leaves no Fox noirs in the lineup, and we've also stripped out Richard Conte from the series.
So that does it, that's ten. Let's put them into a festival lineup now:
Friday night: KEY LARGO/THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
Saturday matinee: LARCENY/SORRY, WRONG NUMBER
Saturday evening: RAW DEAL/THEY LIVE BY NIGHT
Sunday matinee: HOLLOW TRIUMPH/THE HUNTED
Sunday evening: THE BIG CLOCK/SO EVIL, MY LOVE
Last year's NC Boston was a four-day (Friday-Monday) affair, but the venue (the Brattle) decided to repeat several films rather than have more films. That nuance is not yet revealed for 2023, which could easily render moot all of the above machinations.
If you have a Monday night, you can go back to Lancaster double bill as a closer (SORRY, WRONG NUMBER with either of the two others from Oakland--do you take the Arthur Miller for prestige or do you take KISS THE BLOOD so that the ladies can see a shirtless Burt getting whipped? Hmmm...). You can then slot CRY OF THE CITY with LARCENY, to get a Fox noir and to enjoy Shelley Winters as a cabbie AND Hope Emerson as the masseuse you hope you never meet in real life.
That sets best for me...let's hope that it's a four-day, 12-film series. That looks like the best possible outcome if you're cutting the series in half.
Feel free to take a crack at it yourself, if you're so inclined...