The 15th edition of the Noir City film festival returns to the Castro Theatre January 20–29, but this time around it’s doing things a little differently. Instead of focusing on the classic noir of the 1930s and 1940s, founder and president Eddie Muller is taking on the heist film. “The Big Knockover,” as this year’s incarnation is being called, spans eighty years of cinematic history, and will include films, some classics, some long-forgotten, from around the world. Our must-see list includes…
The Asphalt Jungle (1950): Who? John Huston directed Sam Jaffe, Sterling Hayden, Jean Hagen, and a still-unknown Marilyn Monroe. Why? Didn’t we just say?
Violent Saturday (1955): Who? Lee Marvin. Why? Because something’s got to have come before Sunday, Bloody Sunday, right?
Four Ways Out (1951): Who? Federico Fellino co-wrote the screenplay, though he didn’t direct it. Why? Gina Lollobrigida has a small role, and the film won Best Italian Film at the Venice Film Festival that year.
Rififi (1955): Who? Blacklisted in the States, Jules Dassin went to France to direct this caper film. Why? People say it’s great—time we found out for ourselves.
The Killing (1956): Who? Stanley Kubrick and Jim Thompson and Sterling Hayden. Why? Kubrick was but a kid when he directed this hard-boiled heist.
The League of Gentlemen (1960): Who? The crew at Ealing Studios. Why? Not in fact based on an Alan Moore graphic novel (you may be thinking of the Extraordinary Gentlemen), it still sounds great: World War II veterans-turned-bank-robbers in evening attire.
Sexy Beast (2000): Who? Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley. Why? Everyone said that Kingsley was the scariest thing in this flick, but we beg to differ. Ian McShane’s stone-cold eyes and soft voice still give us chills.