Noir City: Detroit 2022 Double Feature: Phantom Lady and Fly-By-Night hosted by Eddie Muller

Sunday, September 25th at 2:00PM Tickets: $10.00

Phantom Lady. 1944, Universal. 87 minutes. Director Robert Siodmak.

Loyal and lovely Ella Raines is “one hep kitten” as she high-heels her way through the noir demimonde, searching for the missing woman who can save her boss from the electric chair. One of the seminal films in the development of the film noir movement, and the breakthrough hit for producer Joan Harrison, striking out on her own after serving for many years as a creative consultant to her mentor, Alfred Hitchcock. Also, the breakout film for director Robert Siodmak, who, working with ace DP Woody Bredell, wrings every bit of shadowy mystery out of writer Cornell Woolrich’s masterpiece of suspense.

Fly-By-Night. 1942, Paramount Pictures [Universal]. 74 minutes. Director Robert Siodmak.

This engaging “B” feature, more screwball farce than a true noir, is a delight from start to finish. Stars Richard Carlson and Nancy Kelly have a charming chemistry that’s more than a little sexy. Shifting with élan between risqué romantic comedy and shadowy suspense, Siodmak stuffs two features’ worth of set-pieces into the sprightly running time. The material is pure Hitchcock-inspired hokum—a low-budget riff on The 39 Steps—but it’s directed with a master’s touch, as Siodmak deployed and enjoyed all the toys a Hollywood studio provided.

Noir City: Detroit 2022 is sponsored by the Knight Foundation (https://knightfoundation.org/)

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