After deciding to skip the morning screenings on Friday, I continued my noir watching with Anthony Mann's Raw Deal (1948) and luckily got to the line to grab ticket #54. I wasn't happy that my seats were so close and off to the side, but I at least fared better than the people who were turned away because the demand was so great. And that includes people who waited a while in the rain.
Raw Deal finds Joe Sullivan (Dennis O'Keefe) busting out of jail. His girl Pat (Claire Trevor), who narrates the story, helps drives the getaway car and has them lined up to take a cruise ship to South America, but Joe has other plans first. He's owed $50,000 by sadistic mobster Rick (Raymond Burr) and plans to collect, but Rick sends men after Joe to kill him. Trying to stay ahead of Rick and the cops, Joe goes to see Ann (Marsha Hunt), a woman who visited him in jail, though I couldn't tell what her connection to him was was, possibly she had helped with his court case. Joe and Pat kidnap Ann and steal her car, but the growing relationship between Joe and Ann troubles Pat. She works to keep Joe all hers, which is why I didn't buy her change of heart at the film's conclusion. There was a discussion after the film with Muller and Hunt, but having barely gotten into this screening, I was concerned I might not make the next one.
The weather augmented the experience of Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with a good bit of rain to moisten those of us in line. The TCM staff earned major points for handing out umbrellas to those of us without. Ben Mankiewicz interviewed Kirk Douglas before the film. His vitality and enthusiasm showed a much greater spirit than his body allowed. This was the first time I had seen 20,000 Leagues. The script comes off dated and the production a bit stiff, but most of the effects remain impressive, especially in the context of its time.
Thanks to Muller's Film Noir Foundation, Cry Danger has been restored and was well worth it. Dick Powell stars as Rocky Mulloy, incarcerated with his pal Danny for a murder and robbery he says they didn't commit. Rocky gets sprung after five years when a Marine named Delong (Richard Erdman) confirms his alibi and then investigates who set him, not letting anybody get in his way. A bookie named Louis Castro (William Conrad) is at the top of his list. Muller spoke with co-star Rhonda Fleming before the film who talked about becoming an actress and not needing to screen test once the male executives got a look at her. More importantly, Muller revealed that many independently produced films have been lost because there was no one, like a studio, looking to preserve them. Though there were likely plenty not worth saving, it's unfortunate that some real treasures have vanished.