The Noir City Film Festival is just about over, but I was able to catch Night Has a Thousand Eyes, D.O.A., and The Story of Molly X.
Arriving early for Night Has a Thousand Eyes, it didn't appear that this Cornell Woolrich film was much of a draw, but the crowd quickly grew. One guy even cut in front of me in the line to get in! The movie is interesting enough, but different from the book. A lot of the screen time focuses on Gail Russell's hypnotic eyes. (For a half-hour radio version of this movie, go to the end of this post.)
D.O.A. was a crowd favorite, not only because it is noir classic, but because there are quite a few scenes that are impossible to watch without chuckling. It is a weird film with a complicated plot, but the crowd enjoyed it thoroughly. D.O.A. played on a double feature with The Story of Molly X. Though it was a cold and rainy Thursday night, more than 900 people attended!
For fans of Suspense, The Story of Molly X is a treat. June Havoc stars as Molly, the lady-boss of a gang of criminals. She is caught after a heist and sentenced to several years in a women's prison. (Note: The correctional facility in this movie is more like a sorority house than a prison.) When Molly arrives at the prison, we come across some familiar voices... Sandra Gould, who can be heard in the commercials for U.S. Savings Bonds in Suspense episodes from the late 1950's, plays the inmate who welcomes Molly to prison life. Then, there is Suspense regular Cathy Lewis, who plays Molly's cell-mate! Other Suspense regulars who turn up in this film are Wally Maher and Elliott Lewis. One of the film's co-stars, Dorothy Hart, made one appearance on the television show Suspense in the episode "Vacancy for Death."
The Story of Molly X is a short film, but a good one. Let's hope they put it out on DVD one of these days.
The Noir City Film Festival is held annually at the historic Castro Theatre.
If you are interested in the movie Night Has a Thousand Eyes, there is a half-hour radio version that was done for The Screen Director's Playhouse. It will give you the quick version of the movie's plot-line. Director John Farrow and two of the film's stars, Edward G. Robinson and William Demarest appeared. This episode aired on February 27, 1949.