In a lonely place

To my Denver audiences,

I have severed my connection with the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, where for two years I was pleased to present monthly screenings of (mostly noir) films from my personal canon. Thanks to all who attended the screenings and the Q&A's at the Pub. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

— James Ellroy

Here's a list of some of the films from the series:

Past Film Presentations

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Criss Cross (1949)

Ellroy introduces a crime or other flick from his personal canon at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado.

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Dan Duryea, Yvonne De Carlo

Screenplay by: Daniel Fuchs, from Don Tracy’s novel of the same name.

Directed by: Robert Siodmak

Romantic, obsessive Steve Thompson is drawn back to L.A. to make another try for Anna, his former wife. However, Anna belongs now to the L.A. underworld. Steve believes he can rescue her, ignoring the advice and warnings of people who would try to save him. He commits himself to a dangerous course of action that quickly takes everyone somewhere unintended.

Criss Cross www.imdb.com


DETAILS
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Stray Dog (1949)

**Ellroy introduces a crime or other flick from his personal canon at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado. This special program is of six noir films was programmed by Eddie Muller and James Ellroy. **

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Written by: Akira Kurosawa, Ryuzo Kikushima
Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Awaji

Among the first Japanese detective films; Kurasawa attributed his inspiration for the script to Jules Dassin’s The Naked City and the works of Georges Simenon.



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Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Noir City: Six noirs programmed by Eddie Muller and James Ellroy

**Ellroy introduces a crime or other flick from his personal canon at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado. This special program is of six noir films was programmed by Eddie Muller and James Ellroy. **

Friday, 3/23

7:00 p.m. - The Prowler
9:30 p.m. - The Lineup

Saturday, 3/24

7:00 p.m. - Wicked as They Come
9:30 p.m. - 711 Ocean Drive

Sunday, 3/25

3:30 p.m. - I Walk Alone
6:00 p.m. - He Walked by Night


THE PROWLER (1951)

Friday, 3/23 7:00 p.m.

The Prowler

Starring: Van Heflin, Evelyn Keyes
Directed by: Joseph Losey
Story by: Robert Thoeren & Hans Wilhelm
Screenplay by: Hugo Butler, Dalton Trumbo (uncredited)

When an affluent woman (Keyes) reports a prowler outside her house, a police officer (Heflin) investigates; thus begins their affair – but her husband is in the way.

link


THE LINEUP (1958)

Friday, 3/23 9:30 p.m.

THE LINEUP

Starring: Eli Wallach, Robert Keith, Richard Jaeckel
Directed by: Don Siegel
Screenplay by: Stirling Silliphant

A psychopathic mob killer and his mentor retrieve heroin planted on unknowing tourists arriving in San Francisco.

link


WICKED AS THEY COME (1956)

Saturday, 3/24 7:00 p.m.

WICKED AS THEY COME

Starring: Arlene Dahl, Philip Carey, Herbert Marshall
Directed by: Ken Hughes
Written by: Ken Hughes, Robert Westerby (from the novel Portrait in Smoke by Bill Ballington)

A poor but beautiful woman sets her sights on rising to the top, and lets nothing stand in her way - including murder.

link


711 OCEAN DRIVE (1950)

Saturday, 3/24 9:30 p.m.

711 OCEAN DRIVE

Starring Edmond O’Brien, Joanne Dru, Otto Kruger
Directed by: Joseph M. Newman
Written by: Richard English, Francis Swann

An electronics expert creates a huge bookie broadcast system for his crime boss, and takes over operations when his boss is murdered. His greed leads him on a deadly destructive path.


link


I WALK ALONE (1947)

Sunday, 3/25 3:30 p.m.

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, Wendell Corey
Directed by: Byron Haskin
Written by: Charles Schnee
Adapted by: Robert Smith and John Bright from the play by Theodore Reeves

After 14 years in prison on a bootlegging rap, Frankie expects his former partner, now a wealthy nightclub manager, to honor their 50/50 agreement. Now Frankie has to win out against Big Business, with the help of his old partner’s torch singer-ex.

link


HE WALKED BY NIGHT (1948)

Sunday, 3/25 6:00 p.m.

Starring: Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, Roy Roberts, Whit Bissell, Jack Webb
Directed by: Alfred Werker & [uncredited] Anthony Mann
Written By: John Higgins and Crane Wilbur
Cinematographer: John Alton

A semi-documentary/police procedural noir, loosely based on newspaper accounts of Erwin “Machine-Gun” Walker, a former California police department employee and WWII veteran, who indulged in a spree of burglaries, robberies and shootouts in Los Angeles.

This police-procedural, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop.

Loosely based on newspaper accounts of the real-life Erwin “Machine-Gun” Walker, a former California police department employee and WWII vet, who unleashed a crime spree of burglaries, robberies, and shootouts in Los Angeles in 1945-46.

Jack Webb’s friendship with the police technical advisor inspired him to create “Dragnet”.

link


DETAILS
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

High School Confidential (1956)

Ellroy introduces a crime or other flick from his personal canon at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado.

Stars: Russ Tamblyn, Jan Sterling, John Drew Barrymore, Mamie Van Doren

Written By: Robert Blees and Lewis Meltzer

Director: Jack Arnold

A young police officer poses as a student (Tony) to Investigate a narcotics ring. He shares an apartment with a married woman who pretends to be his aunt in public but attempts to seduce him in private.

Tony flirts with pupil Joan, who smokes marijuana, to find her source. With help from another undercover cop, who risks his own life to save Tony’s, the criminals are apprehended and Joan promises that her drug use is over.


DETAILS
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Ellroy introduces a crime or other flick from his personal canon at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado.

Written and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
Cinematographer: Henri Decae

Starring: Alain Delon, Yves Montand, André Bourvil, Gian Maria Volonté

“Melville’s own professionalism – his understanding of action filmmaking as a kind of lyric poetry—gives Le Cercle Rouge its cool, muted impact… Le Cercle Rouge offers the kind of experience that makes you glad movies exist.” (A.O. Scott, New York Times)

Taking its title from Buddhist lore, Jean-Pierre Melvilles Le Cercle rouge combines honorable anti-heroes, coolly atmospheric cinematography, and breathtaking set pieces to create a masterpiece of crime cinema.

Crime cinema has never been so meticulously and coolly executed.


DETAILS
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

L.A. Confidential (1997)

Ellroy introduces a crime or other flick from his personal canon at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado.

Ticket includes a copy of Ellroy’s latest novel, Perfidia, courtesy of Tattered Cover Book Store.

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, about a group of 1953 Los Angeles Police Department officers as they face police corruption and Hollywood Celebrity, stars Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Kim Basinger and was nominated for nine Academy Awards in 1997, winning two: Kim Basinger for Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Based on the novel:



DETAILS
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

T-Men (1947)

Ellroy introduces a crime or other flick from his personal canon at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado.

Released: 1947

Director: Anthony Mann

Starring: Dennis O’Keefe, Alfred Ryder, June Lockhart, Charles McGraw, Mary Meade

Screenplay by: John C. Higgins

Story by: Virginia Kellogg

Cinematography: John Alton

Two U.S. Treasury agents pose as mobsters to bust a counterfeiting ring. The first film to be based on actual Treasury Department Law Enforcement files.

Although his standing never really solidified until several years after his death, Mann was a crackerjack studio craftsman who seemed incapable of taking a misstep when matched with the right genre. His first noir study, T-MEN, is a prime example of what a supremely gifted filmmaker can accomplish on a limited budget.

The story, which is really just an excuse for Mann to tighten the screws on a bunch of characters, features square-jawed Dennis O’Keefe as a treasury agent who’s determined to break up a counterfeiting ring. O’Keefe and his partner (Alfred Ryder), are forced to go undercover to infiltrate the Detroit mob and things get increasingly intense as the story progresses; a couple of murderous set-pieces are as shocking today as they were 50 years ago.

T-MEN, arguably the strongest picture from Mann’s noir period, boasts a raw documentary feel that will remind some viewers of the classic TV series, DRAGNET. But Mann’s brilliant cinematographer, George Alton, gives the film a memorably stark look. Add a first-rate script by John C.Higgins, and Mann’s almost intuitive command of the visual language of cinema, and T-MEN is a surprisingly powerful B-picture, an urban crime drama for the ages. (Paul Tatara, TCM)


DETAILS
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Purple Moon (Plein Soleil) (1960)

Ellroy introduces a crime or other flick from his personal canon at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado.

Director: René Clément

Written by: Patricia Highsmith, René Clément, Paul Gégauff

Cinematographer: Henri Decaë

Music by: Nino Rota

Starring: Alain Delon (in his first major role), Maurice Ronet, Marie Laforêt

Based on the novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.

PURPLE NOON is Rene Clement’s 1960 French adaptation of the first Ripley novel, starring a young Alain Delon as Tom Ripley, a man who is just learning that he can get away with almost anything. As the film opens, Tom has been sent to Rome to find his longtime friend Philippe (Maurice Ronet), a rich playboy whose parents want him to return to San Francisco. Tom is in no hurry to return to the States, and enjoys letting Philippe introduce him to the sweet life. (Roger Ebert)


DETAILS
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Band of Outsiders (Bande à part) (1964)

Ellroy introduces a crime or other flick from his personal canon at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado.

Written by Dolores Hitchens (and Godard), based on her novel Fool’s Gold. Starring Claude Brasseur, Sami Frey, Anna Karina (Godard’s wife). Music by Michel Legrand.

The most accessible of all Godard’s early movies, Bande à part has ingrained itself into the international folk-memory of cinema, and is referenced in dozens of other movies, not to mention Quentin Tarantino’s old production company, A Band Apart.

“Perhaps Godard’s most delicately charming film” – Pauline Kael

“…a Godard film for people who don’t much care for Godard.” – Amy Taubin, Village Voice

Has a whopping s a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; the only Godard film selected for Time’s All-TIME 100 movies.


DETAILS
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Them (1954)

Ellroy introduces a crime or other flick from his personal canon at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado.

Douglas was a highly prolific director, who turned out many pictures for Hal Roach, among others. Reportedly, he was the only person to ever direct both Elvis and Sinatra on film, though not together, and neither shows up in this one.

Directed by Gordon Douglas

Stars Edmund Gwenn, James Arness, James Whitmore

Them


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