Tonight in San Francisco’s historic Castro Theater they are screening an Orson Welles double feature. First up is THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI starring Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles. “Lady” is a 1947 film noir directed by Orson Welles and starring Welles, his estranged wife Rita Hayworth and Everett Sloane. It is based on the novel If I Die Before I Wake by Sherwood King.
Michael O’Hara (Orson Welles) meets the beautiful blonde Elsa (Rita Hayworth) as she rides a horse-drawn coach in Central Park. Michael rescues her from three hooligans and escorts her home. Michael is a seaman and learns Elsa and her husband, the famous disabled criminal defense attorney Arthur Bannister (Everett Sloane), are newly arrived in New York City from Shanghai. They are on their way to San Francisco via the Panama Canal. Michael, attracted to Elsa despite misgivings is persuaded to sign on as an able seaman aboard Bannister’s yacht and ends up mired in a complex murder plot. :
Lady From. Shanghai is showing a 3pm and 7pm
Next up is 1958’s Touch of Evil an American crime thriller film, written, directed by, and co-starring Orson Welles. The screenplay was loosely based on the novel Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson. Along with Welles, the cast includes Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, and Marlene Dietrich. Touch of Evil is one of the last examples of film noir in the genre’s classic era (from the early 1940s until the late 1950s).The movie opens with a three-minute, twenty-second continuous tracking shot widely considered by critics to be one of the greatest long takes in cinematic history. Beginning on the Mexico/US border, the shot shows a man placing a bomb in a car and then the journey of the car into the United States as a passenger tries to tell a border guard she hears a ticking sound. The shot ends with newlyweds Miguel ("Mike") (Charlton Heston) and Susie Vargas (Janet Leigh) kissing. The scene then cuts to the car, containing a man and a woman, exploding. Times are 4:45, 8:45. For more details and ticketing info, check out The Castros web site.
Down in Los Angles, continuing with the The Noir City Los Angeles Festival of Film Noir playing through most of April at the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Tonight they are playing THE THREAT and THIS WOMAN IS DANGEROUS . THE THREAT , 1949 directed by Felix E. Feist and starring Charles McGraw. The film features Michael O’Shea, Virginia Grey, among others.
Ruthless killer Red Kluger (Charles McGraw) escapes from prison, vowing vengeance on the cop and D.A. who sent him up. His kidnapping plot culminates in a Mojave hideout – call it “The Petrified Desert” – where the gang waits for a plane to take them to freedom. Director Felix Feist steers the action at a breakneck pace, turning the proceedings into a veritable highlight reel of malicious mayhem courtesy of McGraw, the ultimate noir tough guy. Not on DVD! Start time is 7:30
Next up is THIS WOMAN IS DANGEROUS .
The film from 1952 is a Warner Bros. feature film starring Joan Crawford, David Brian, and Dennis Morgan in a story about a gun moll’s romances with two different men. The screenplay by Geoffrey Homes and George Worthing Yates was based on a story by Bernard Girard.
In 1973, during the "Legendary Ladies" show at Town Hall, when asked, "Which one of your films do you regret making?" Joan Crawford told the audience that she considered, "This Woman Is Dangerous," her worst film.
Beth Austin (Crawford) is the leader of a hold-up gang and the mistress of its most cold-blooded killer Matt Jackson (Brian). She has suffered from failing eyesight and travels to a distant state for an operation. Her lover promises to lie low until she returns. Essentially a sequel to Crawford’s great THE DAMNED DON’T CRY, director Feist brings punch and panache to Daniel Mainwaring’s melodramatic script. We respectfully contend that Joan was a poor judge of her own work.
For times and ticketing information, check out Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard web site.
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