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Prague Noir Film Festival 2017
June 22, 2017

Prague Noir Film Festival 2017

King of cynics Humphrey Bogart, and master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock

Humphrey Bogart’s cynicism, Robert Mitchum’s charm, Lizabeth Scott’s fragility, Alfred Hitchcock’s refinement, dark tales from Mexico, thrilling film trips in noir trains and a standard in the form of the Czechoslovak Clue and marathons of series from the HBO workshop – that is the program package of film joy and delight which will be enjoyed in just two months by everyone who comes to Křivoklát Castle – a year on, it will once again welcome film noir lovers to its chambers.

The program of the intensive four-day event (17 – 20/08/2017) will once again comprise forty screenings situated in several castle halls and its courtyard. The show, whose dramaturgy does not limit itself merely to the core of film noir, i.e. its classic stage in American cinematography of the 1940s and 50s, will once again bring us closer to its evolution across genres and geographic space.

In addition to the oppressive environment of trains, which connects a foursome of films from the main festival section TRAINS IN FILM NOIR, one of the specific film places will be exotic MEXICO. The so-called golden era of Mexican cinematography of the 40s and 50s will be represented by two films from the local master of melodrama, Roberto GavaldónThe Other One (La Otra, 1946) with Dolores del Río in the main dual role of two sisters of different characters, and The Kneeling Goddess (La Diosa Arrodillada, 1947), with a femme fatale played by the beauty María Félix. The third film in this section, which was recorded by Alberto Gout under the title The Adventuress (Aventurera, 1950), wagers on the charm of Ninón Sevilla in the role of a fallen young woman from a big city, whom fate forces to resort to prostitution.

The spirit of Mexico will also radiate from the screen in the case of films in the section NOIR SOUTH OF EL PASO presenting Hollywood films of the same period which were situated in Mexico. After all, Mexico was the frequent target of heroes fleeing the law or an adverse fate, which is the case of the protagonist played by Robert Mitchum in Where Danger Lives (1950), but also an incubator of hidden crime, such as in the documentary-style Border Incident (1949). The specific universe of Mexico as a metaphor for life’s loss and the chaos of the noir world is characteristically depicted by the film Ride the Pink Horse (1947) by directing actor Robert Montgomery.

“I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me.”

One of the most iconic statements to come out of the mouth of a noir protagonist, to which none other than Humphrey Bogart, one-liner noir cynic of the first degree, lent his face, belongs to boorish scriptwriter Dixon Steele. In addition to Nicholas Ray’s film In a Lonely Place (1950), in which the quote above was uttered and in which Bogart played one of his best roles, three other titles from various stages of his acting career will also be part of the program. The beginnings of the actor’s stellar path will be represented by High Sierra (1941), in which he played a criminal on the run, while the later Conflict (1945) will show him in the role of a treacherous, murdering husband. He will present himself alongside his life partner, Lauren Bacall, in hurricane-battered Florida in Key Largo (1948).

Films noirs are about darkness, unease, and suspense. And if anyone is known as the master of film suspense, it’s Alfred Hitchcock. His films have such a distinctive character that they stand for themselves, and are difficult to categorize in any way. That is why we are presenting a trio of titles directed by him – Shadow of a Doubt (1943), with the psychopathic uncle Charlie played by Joseph Cotten, the espionage drama Notorious (1946), in which Ingrid Bergman met Cary Grant, and The Wrong Man (1956), with Henry Fonda as an unjustly accused man, in the section titled ALFRED HITCHCOCK – on the frontier of noir.

The theme of guilt and morality is also explored by Jiří Krejčík’s Conscience (1948), which, together with a trio of films from the 60s, will represent CZECHOSLOVAK NOIR. The Hope (1963), by the author duo of Karel Kachyňa – Jan Procházka, introduce archetypal noir outsiders (a prostitute and an alcoholic) played by Hana Hegerová and Rudolf Hrušínský, who is also the star of another Czechoslovak-British drama, Ninety Degrees in the Shade (1965) from Jiří Weiss. A Game without Rules (1967), by director Jindřich Polák, which was appreciated for its genre qualities, also contains a typical noir renegade – a former detective who keeps returning to an unsolved case.

This year, the annual miniseries marathons from the HBO workshop are connected by two dead young women, murdered in cold blood. The tale of the first female victim, from New York, or more precisely the tale of her alleged murderer, is revealed by the American noir crime series The Night Of (2016), from authors Steven Zaillian and Richard Price. The second female victim originated in the mind of Štěpán Hulík, according to whose script Czech HBO realized the miniseries Wasteland (2016), directed by Alice Nellis and Ivan Zachariáš. Whoever wants to watch both heroines’ cases in a single screening breath should reserve Friday and Saturday evenings and nights.

The Jubilee 5th year will be livened up by the Friday screening of the film Lady on a Train (1945) in a unique location. The stylish Zastávka [Stop] railway restaurant, managed in Nižbor, near Křivoklát, by actor Tomáš Hanák, who repeatedly supported the Noir Film Festival in previous years by his participation. Director Jan Hřebejk, who together with Hynek Bočan will assume the function of one of the festival’s patrons, attended the Noir Film Festival last year as a viewer but will come this year as an official guest. Similarly, Daniela Kolářová will return to the castle, this year as the main heroine of Israel Horovitz’s detective tragicomedy Dear Mathilde, which was produced by the U Valšů Theatre under the direction of Otakar Kosek. The theater performance, situated in the Royal Hall, will be part of Friday’s accompanying program.

Reservation of festival passes and individual tickets to films and the accompanying program will be possible at the e-mail address vstupenky@noirfilmfestival.cz from 27/06/2017 when the complete festival program will be announced. You can find all the information on the website.

For more information, you can also follow our social networks:


Festival catalogs from previous years can be viewed at:


Lady on a Train (1945, Charles David)
The Tall Target (1951, Anthony Mann)
Narrow Margin (1952, Richard Fleischer)
Human Desire (1954, Fritz Lang)

High Sierra (1941, Raoul Walsh)
Conflict (1945, Curtis Bernhardt)
Key Largo (1948, John Huston)
In a Lonely Place (1950, Nicholas Ray)

La Otra (1946, Roberto Gavaldón)
La diosa arrodillada (1947, Roberto Gavaldón)
Aventurera (1950, Alberto Gout)

Ride the Pink Horse (1947, Robert Montgomery)
Border Incident (1949, Anthony Mann)
Where Danger Lives (1950, John Farrow)

ALFRED HITCHCOCK – on the frontier of noir
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Notorious (1946)
The Wrong Man (1956)

Conscience (Svědomí, 1948, Jiří Krejčík)
The Hope (Naděje, 1963, Karel Kachyňa)
Ninety Degrees in the Shade (Třicet jedna Ve stínu, 1965, Jiří Weiss)
A Game without Rules (Hra bez pravidel, 1967, Jindřich Polák)

Too Late for Tears (1949, Byron Haskin)

Out of the Past (1947, Jacques Tourneur)

The Night Of (2016, Steven Zaillian)
Wasteland (Pustina, 2016, Alice Nellis, Ivan Zachariáš)

Contact for media: Jana Bébarová – jana@noirfilmfestival.cz +420 777 962 749

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