THE DEVIL STRIKES AT NIGHT
NACHTS, WENN DER TEUFEL KAM
1957, Beta Film, 97 min, West Germany, Dir: Robert Siodmak

The greatest practitioner of Hollywood noir (PHANTOM LADY, THE KILLERS, CRISS CROSS, et al), returned to Germany in the 1950s to finish his career; this powerful film was his payback to the Nazis who chased him from his homeland. Based on the true story of murderer Bruno Lüdke, it’s a tense policier that also explores how those who did not flee the Reich struggled to maintain their integrity and morality in the face of overwhelming corruption and evil.


FLY-BY-NIGHT
1942, Universal, 74 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

Don’t miss this little-seen gem, one of the first Hollywood efforts of noir maestro Robert Siodmak. Shifting with Hitchcockian aplomb between suggestive light comedy and thickly shadowed suspense, Siodmak stuffs two features’ worth of stylish set pieces into a sprightly running time, making this as good as wartime B picture as anything produced in the era. Richard Carlson’s and Nancy Kelly’s romance-on-the-run chemistry, laced with witty innuendo (and plenty of Kelly’s fine gams) is reminiscent of Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll in THE 39 STEPS. Great fun, and surprisingly sexy for its time.


THE FILE ON THELMA JORDON
1950, Paramount, 100 min, Dir: Robert Siodmak

Barbara Stanwyck is an ambiguous femme fatale who ensnares a lovelorn assistant D.A. (Wendell Corey) in a murder scheme. Ketti Frings’ screenplay imbues a traditional noir recipe with a genuine sense of longing and loss. This was Siodmak’s next-to-last film before abandoning Hollywood, and we’re thrilled to give it a rare theatrical screening. With Paul Kelly, Stanley Ridges, and Richard Rober.


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