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Empire of Night: British Film Noir series coming soon to SAM

If there's anything Seattle moviegoers can't get enough, it's the grit and gloom of Film Noir. It seems like hardly a month goes by where there isn't either a hard-boiled classic of the genre or a neo-noir descendant playing on a screen in town. Is it because we spend half the year shrouded in darkness and fog? Does our glacially slow political process make us drift towards the cynical, or are we trying so hard to live righteously that we look to live out our vices through film? Whatever the reason, when it comes to film we definitely lean towards the dark side. If you've enjoyed the Noir City: Lust and Larceny series at SIFF and are wondering where to get your next theatrical noir fix, we direct you to the Seattle Art Museum's Empire of the Night: The Best of British Film Noir series. For ten Thursdays this spring, SAM visits "Empire of Night, where thrilling tales of love and betrayal, greed and obsession swirl in the midnight fog." SAM knows their stuff, having presented the first American film noir series here in 1977 and have had incredibly successful and well curated series ever since. Empire of Night starts April 1st. We have Full Series passes on sale here at the store: $58 for SIFF, Northwest Film Forum and SAM members, $65 for general admission. Each film starts at 7:30 at SAM Downtown's Plestcheef Auditorium. For more information, visit their website or call the SAM box office at (206) 654-3121. We do NOT have tickets for the individual films--if you're looking to go to just one film, contact the SAM box office. Here's the series lineup & information. Note: Watch all trailers & clips at your own risk, as there may be spoilers and/or things that reveal really cool parts. April 1st--BRIGHTON ROCK (1947)-- Directed by John Boulting, starring Richard Attenborough and Carol Marsh. Look for Hermoine Baddeley as Ida. Among her many film & TV roles, she played Ellen the maid in Mary Poppins (well done, Sister Suffragette!). Attenborough was in his early 20s at the time and wears his hat well. Here's an example: April 8th--WANTED FOR MURDER (1946)--Directed by Lawrence Huntington, starring Eric Portman, Dulcie Gray and Stanley Holloway. I couldn't find a proper trailer for the film but thanks to the boundless wonders of the Internet, I did find some images from the film set to Kate Bush's song "Mother Stands for Comfort" (there's a scene at the beginning before the musical montage starts if you just want to watch that). April 15th--THE OCTOBER MAN (1947)--Directed by Roy Ward Baker, starring Joan Greenwood and John Mills (dad to Hayley and Juliet and the family in Disney's Swiss Family Robinson). Juliet Clark at Pacific Film Archive says, "In a twist on the wrong-man theme, this hybrid of playful murder mystery and psychological melodrama stars John Mills as an innocent man whose own self-doubt makes him a suspect." April 22nd--IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY (1947)--Directed by Robert Hamer, starring Googie Withers and Jack Warner. Check out the trailer here. They sure don't make trailers like they used to. While on your way to the movie, I suggest you listen to Morrissey's "Everyday Is Like Sunday." April 29th--CORRIDOR OF MIRRORS (1948)--Directed by Terence Young, staring Eric Portman, Edana Romney and an up & comer named Christopher Lee. There's an excellent overview to be found at Britmovie.co.uk. May 6th--SO EVIL MY LOVE (1948)--Directed by Lewis Allen, starring Ray Milland, Ann Todd and Geraldine Fitzgerald. Here's a link to a post on the blog Film Noir of the Week, where you'll find a full synopsis and a tasty snippet of the film itself. Listen for the appropriately intense score. And just because it's cool, here's Milland on What's My Line: May 13th--THE THIRD MAN (1949)--Directed by Carol Reed, based on the novel by Graham Greene, starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton. We've said it before, but you should never pass up a chance to see this story of "continental intrigue" in 35mm. May 20th--SO LONG AT THE FAIR (1950)--Directed by Antony Darnborough and Terence Fisher, starring Jean Simmons, Dirk Bogarde and David Tomlinson (who you may recognize as George Banks from Mary Poppins.) This twisted tale of disappearance was based on a novel that also inspired an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Here's a key bit: May 27th--THE LONG HAUL (1957)--Directed by Ken Hughes, starring Diana Dors and Victor Mature. Steve Seid at the aforementioned Pacific Film Archive says, "Racketeering is the principal cargo in this well-tuned tale about a trucker in trouble. Victor Mature (in a role intended for Marlon Brando) plays Harry Miller, a deactivated G.I. stranded in England with his Liverpudlian wife. Harry signs on as a driver for a lorry combine only to find that mobsters rule the road. Joe Easy (Patrick Allen), the ruthless thug who runs Easy Hauling, plays it fast and loose with his freight, but not as loose as his curvaceous cohort Lynn (Diana Dors, the British Monroe)." June 3rd--THE CLOUDED YELLOW (1951)--Directed by Ralph Thomas, starring Trevor Howard and Jean Simmons. Howard plays an ex-Secret Service agent who takes a nice quiet job on a country estate categorizing butterflies. He falls for his boss' niece (Simmons), and when she's accused of murder they use his stealth skills to lead the cops on a chase across the Lake District. Here's Ms. Simmons getting grilled by the fuzz. She didn't do it...did she? . If one film a week isn't enough for you (we understand, sometimes more than one a day isn't enough for us), check out the 197 titles in our Film Noir section, located upstairs in the shadows of the Murder/Mystery/Suspense room.

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