On Monday night, as I entered the theatre and made my way up to the balcony seats, I encountered Miss Noir City 2010 slowly descending the stairs in tight skirt and high heels, with a photographer in tow. There was trepidation in her eyes as to how to successfully navigate the grand staircase, but she succeeded, and continued onwards toward the stage to make her one-night only appearance. She then unveiled to the audience the tattoo on her shoulder that landed her the job. (It says "Mom & Dad.")
The first movie of the evening was Suspense (1946), which has nothing to do with the CBS Radio series of the same name. It is primarily known as the most expensive film ever made by Monogram Studios and as vehicle for one-named ice-skating star Belita. According to Martin Grams*, in his book Suspense: Twenty Years of Thrills and Chills (1997): "Although there has been no real connection between the radio show and the Monogram film under the same name, the possibility of the advertising department at Monogram attempting to cash in on the radio program's success is strong."
If you feel that ice-skating noir is something that appeals to you --and you should--then you can purchase Suspense (1946) on DVD through Amazon.com.
If you want to see a noir film with a cast taken from the radio show Suspense, then check out the women's prison flick The Story of Molly X. It, however, is not yet out on DVD.
Suspense was the first film of Monday night's Belita double-feature. The second part of the program was The Gangster, which I had to skip.
I also had to skip Tuesday night's line-up of the The Postman Always Rings Twice and He Ran All the Way, but returned on Wednesday for "Bad Girls" night.
The first film on Wednesday evening was One Girl's Confession (1953) starring Cleo Moore and written directed by Hugo Haas. Although Cleo played a good girl who does just a little-bit-of-wrong, the audience enjoyed it thoroughly.
The second film of the evening was Women's Prison (1955) starring Ida Lupino as the warden and Howard Duff as the prison doctor. Cleo Moore also starred, as well as Jan Sterling, and Audrey Totter. The primary bad girl in this film was Ida Lupino as the "borderline psychotic" warden who followed her own rules. Eventually, she got too tough, and the inmates made a stand for what is right and rioted against her. Oh, and the women's prison was right next to a men's prison, ...and that is what set off all the trouble.
Both One Girl's Confession and Women's Prison are soon to be released on DVD from Sony Pictures. You can find them both on Bad Girls of Film Noir 2. This set also contains the bizarre film Night Editor, which was based on the radio series of the same name.