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Celebrating Film Noir

Tue, 04/16/2024 - 12:00
Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford in a scene from Fritz Lang’s “The Big Heat.”

Sag Harbor Cinema is honoring a significant milestone in film history with a tribute to the centennial of Columbia Pictures, beginning tomorrow with a weeklong Focus on Film Noir series. The celebration will continue throughout the year, showcasing a cinematic journey through the legacy of the famed Hollywood studio.

Building on the success of last year’s centennial festivities for Warner Bros., the Sag Harbor Cinema decided that it was time to put a spotlight this year on the first 100 years of another groundbreaking American Hollywood studio.

The Focus on Film Noir features eight films from the late 1940s and early 1950s from the renowned directors Nicholas Ray, Fritz Lang, and Orson Welles and more obscure films by lesser-known directors such as Joseph H. Lewis, Irving Lerner, Gordon Douglas, and Phil Karlson.

Welles’s “The Lady From Shanghai” (1947), starring the director alongside Rita Hayworth, will be shown tomorrow at 6 p.m. with an introduction by Michael Barker, co-founder and co-president of Sony Picture Classics, and on Monday at 8:15 p.m. Ray’s “In a Lonely Place” (1950), with Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, will be shown Saturday at 6 p.m., followed by a Q&A with the cinematographer Fred Murphy, and on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

The writer and director Paul Schrader will introduce Lang’s 1954 “Human Desire,” starring Broderick Crawford and Gloria Grahame on Sunday at 6 p.m. The film screens again next Thursday at 8:15.

Also in the film noir lineup will be Karlson’s “Scandal Sheet” (1952), tomorrow at 9 p.m. and next Thursday at 9:15 p.m. Lerner s “Murder by Contract” (1958) will be shown Saturday at 3:45 p.m. and Monday at 5:30 p.m. Douglas’s “Walk a Crooked Mile” (1948) plays tomorrow at 3:45 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 p.m.

Lang’s “The Big Heat” (1953) will be shown on Saturday at 9 p.m. and Wednesday at 5:30, and Lewis’s “So Dark the Night” (1946) screens Sunday at 4 p.m. and Tuesday at 8:45. 

“The centennial is a perfect excuse to explore Columbia’s fascinating history, from its origins on Hollywood’s Poverty Row to the present,” Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan, the Sag Harbor Cinema’s artistic director, said in a release. “And I particularly cherish the opportunity to spotlight the studio’s great ‘crime films’ of the 40s and 50s -- in all their exciting mix of existential dread and stylistic ingenuity. They really pack a punch. B-movies were the bread and butter of the studio, with directors like Lewis, Karlson, and Douglas making several films per year with very little money but great creative vision.”

The Columbia Pictures retrospective, which is set to run throughout the rest of the year, will showcase a wide variety of titles from the studio’s rich history. From timeless classics of the 1950s and 60s like “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957) and “Bye Bye Birdie” (1963) to the revolutionary films of the New Hollywood era in the 1970s and 80s such as “Taxi Driver” (1976) and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), each decade will be represented with featured films in the lineup. Additionally, there will be screenings of independent arthouse films from Sony Pictures Classics alongside popular franchise hits like James Bond and Spider-Man.

Tickets for the screenings and events are available on the cinema’s website, sagharborcinema.org. Sag Harbor Cinema is located at 90 Main Street in Sag Harbor.

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