For the first time since 2001 (and with completely different programming), The Secret Cinema presents a RARE NOIR DOUBLE FEATURE, showcasing two movies from the FILM NOIR genre — THE ACCUSED and THE BLUE GARDENIA — that are now under-seen, despite their classy credits. Both films were made by directors who began long careers in the golden era of German Expressionism, fled Hitler’s Germany, and arrived in Hollywood to continue their work, drawing on their experiences to produce some classic film noir in the process.

Friday, November 9
8:00 pm – THE ACCUSED
Admission: $7.00 for one or both films

Moore College of Art & Design
20th & Race Streets, Philadelphia
(215) 965-4099

William Dieterle (THE ACCUSED) began as an actor in such silent classics as WAXWORKS and FAUST, before concentrating on writing, producing, and especially directing. One notable early work, SEX IN CHAINS (1928), concentrated on the sexuality of men in prison. His later noir films include DARK CITY and THE TURNING POINT.

Fritz Lang (THE BLUE GARDENIA), after contributing to THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1919), became the most celebrated director of the German Expressionist movement, most famously for METROPOLIS and M. His first work in America was the noirish anti-lynching film FURY; Lang then directed a series of thrillers which include some of the most original works in the noir pantheon, including SCARLET STREET, CLASH BY NIGHT, and THE BIG HEAT.

Interestingly, the films in our RARE NOIR DOUBLE FEATURE have something else in common — parallel story lines. Each film concerns a woman who fights off a rapist, and is then accused of murdering her attacker.

There will be a single admission charge of $7.00 for one or both films.

Descriptions of the two films follow:

THE ACCUSED (1949, Dir: William Dieterle)
Beautiful but spinsterish psychology professor Loretta Young is lured to a remote beach by a student, who forces his desires on her. Defending herself with an iron bar, she finds herself covering up her violent act and is soon being prosecuted for murder. The story is told through a nightmarish series of flashbacks with vivid camerawork and special effects; the sexual attack features one of the most disturbing depictions of lust ever photographed. With Robert Cummings, Wendell Corey and Sam Jaffe.

THE BLUE GARDENIA (1953, Dir: Fritz Lang)
Anne Baxter meets wolfish sketch artist (and reliable screen villain) Raymond Burr for a blind date, gets drunk and finds herself fending off his advances with a fireplace poker. Later on she reads newspaper headlines that he died and that there is a search for his killer. She agrees to meet a columnist who writes a “Letter to an Unknown Murderess,” then becomes involved with the writer (played by Richard Conte). Nat “King” Cole, who appears in a cameo scene performing in a Chinese restaurant, sings the title song, and George “Superman” Reeves plays a police detective.


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