Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Once A Thief (1950)

WHO: June Havoc, the younger sister of Gypsy Rose Lee

WHAT: I haven't seen this, so let me reprint what my friend Ben Armington wrote about his experience seeing Once A Thief (on a double-bill with Anthony Mann's The Great Flamarion) two years ago: 
The co-feature, directed by Billy Wilder’s less heralded brother W. Lee Wilder, came equipped with a plot that Sirk or Fassbinder would have enjoyed torturing a complacent audience with: A down on her luck lady, played by June Havoc (what a name!), gets a chance to forget the past and go straight, but keeps on making bad choices, the fatal one being falling for an obviously untrustworthy clotheshorse con artist, played with excessive unctuosness by Cesar Romero. Amazing!
There's apparently even a scene or two set in (though I suspect not shot in) San Francisco, upping the interest for locals interested in portrayals of their city on film.

WHERE/WHEN: This evening at the Roxie as part of a program that starts at 6:30

WHY: Instead of announcing a film festival with a press conference, why not announce it with a screening? This idea's not a new one, but I believe tonight's the first time the Roxie's Director of Repertory Programming Elliot Levine has taken it up. Great news for noir fans who are excited to see what Levine has in store for his fourth annual I Wake Up Dreaming festival which runs May 10-23. Once A Thief screened at the 2011 edition of this festival, but I'm sure I wasn't the only one who missed it, and I'm sure there are plenty of folks who'll want to see it again, especially as it's paired with an ultra-rare 1950 noir television episode of Fireside Theatre called "The Green Convertable", starring Frances Dee.

HOW: Both films screen in a 16mm print.

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