Even those of us with great home theatres like to get out and see a movie sometime. Say what you will, there’s nothing like sharing an experience in a dark room with dozens of strangers. But if the summer slate of movies leaves you uninspired, believe me, you’re not alone.
Thankfully, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences themselves have come to the rescue. All summer long, in their own plush theatre, they are presenting Oscar Noir, a series of film noir classics and rarities nominated for Oscars in the 1940s.
But this isn’t just any retrospective—most films are being screened from crisp new prints, preceded by contemporary cartoons and Captain Marvel serial episodes, and nearly all are being introduced by contemporary screenwriters, directors, producers and other surprise guests.
While many of the more popular titles have already been shown—The Maltese Falcon, Laura, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce—the second half of the series features much harder-to-see rare gems.
•Tonight, July 12, is The Dark Mirror (Olivia De Havilland), introduced by writer John August (Charlie & The Chocolate Factory)
•July 19, The Blue Dahlia (Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake–pictured above–written by Raymond Chandler), introduced by writer Wesley Strick (Cape Fear)
•July 26, The Stranger (Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson), introduced by writer Ted Griffin (Ocean’s Eleven)
•August 2, Body And Soul (John Garfield, in a story by later-blacklisted writer Abraham Polonsky)
•August 9, Crossfire (directed by Edward Dmytryk), introduced by writer/director Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Mystic River)
•August 16, A Double Life (Ronald Coleman), introduced by writer Marc Norman (Oscar winner for Shakespeare In Love)
•August 23, Kiss of Death (Richard Widmark), introduced by writer Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Good Shepherd)
•August 30, White Heat (James Cagney directed by Raoul Walsh)
Screenings begin at 7 PM each night. Ordering tickets online in advance is recommended.
The Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, 310.247.3600