NEXT STOP, GREENWICH VILLAGE
1976, 20th Century Fox, 111 min, USA, Dir: Paul Mazursky

Writer-director Paul Mazursky takes a semi-autobiographical look at his days as an aspiring actor in 1950s New York in this engaging dramedy. Against the advice of his mother, fresh-faced Lenny Baker moves to Greenwich Village, where he falls in with a surrogate family of oddballs as he chases stardom. Along with such veteran performers as Shelley Winters, Lois Smith and Lou Jacobi, aspiring actor Bill Murray made his big screen debut in a brief, uncredited role here.


MEET DANNY WILSON
1952, Universal, 86 min, Dir: Joseph Pevney

Frank Sinatra stars as a hot-tempered singer (imagine that!) who is kept afloat by his buddy-pianist (Alex Nicol) and a heart-of-gold chanteuse (Shelley Winters). Complications ensue when gangster Raymond Burr enters the picture with an eye for both Shelley and Sinatra’s salary. Produced after Frank’s bobby-soxer era fame faded and prior to his mega-stardom in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953), this noir-stained musical is one of “Ol’ Blue Eyes’” most overlooked and underappreciated movies. A NOIR CITY nod to Sinatra’s centenary.


TAKE ONE FALSE STEP
1949, Universal, 94 min, Dir: Chester Erskine

William Powell makes his only foray into ’40s film noir as a married college professor whose reacquaintance with a wartime fling (Shelley Winters) takes a bad turn when she disappears under suspicious circumstances. Marsha Hunt plays the gal-pal who tries to help Powell - the prime suspect - solve the crime and salvage his reputation. There’s more comedy than usually found in noir - as audiences still expected from the man who embodied the legendary Nick Charles. James Gleason and Sheldon Leonard are the cops pursuing Powell through Los Angeles locations lensed by the great Franz Planer (CRISS CROSS).


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