Danger & Despair's    
Thursday Night Screenings
16mm Films - Free Admission
  The Films of 1941
  The Gateway Year to The Classic Period




The year is 1941.  The Great War's epithet--the war to end all wars--is revealed to be nothing more than wishful thinking.   That war’s wounded and widows have barely reached middle age and already Europe is at war again. The world’s leaders and institutions, all of the sacrifices, were simply not enough to eradicate evil.  Whether to continue the struggle regardless, or to settle for appeasement, is the question of the day. The apprehension, the sense of futility, felt by those who had already experienced first-hand the horrors of war and its repercussions must have been overwhelming. Hollywood would continue to offer short-term escape in the form of its standard fluff.  But the films in this series, all completed in the months before America’s entry into the war, confront the country’s dark mood head-on, expressing it directly onto the screen.

    September 11th - 30th  - San Francisco    


  Saturday September 11th         8:00 pm  -  Saturday   
  With Special Guest  SPENCER SELBY   
  Author of  DARK CITY: The Film Noir    published  in 1984  by McFarland & Company Publishers  
   'HIGH SIERRA'         Released  January 4th  1941    
Directed by Raoul Walsh  written by John Huston & W.R. Burnett from his novel
Produced by Hal B. Wallis and Mark Hillinger    Photography: Tony Gaudio
w / Humphrey Bogart, Ida Lupino, Arthur Kennedy  & Joan Leslie

A New York Times review described this film as having “that ennobling suggestion of futility which makes for irony and poetry.”  On one level it’s a standard gangster flic.  The big caper goes bad.  The gangster and his girl head for the hills.  But in this film the world is not what it seems.  Despite its natural beauty, it’s a much meaner place.  The gangster, paradoxically, is “a regular 14 carat sap,” whose most cruel betrayals stem from his kindest acts.  Bogart is perfect as the marked man, his tic and the scarred upper lip the result of a real life WWI naval battle, and those sad, sad eyes.  Don’t miss the shadow bars that imprison him even in his sleep. In the final sequence, look for the shadow-cross cast by his rifle that perhaps signals his redemption?  Ida Lupino is luminous as a bruised angel.




  Spencer Selby is a Bay Area poet and writer who spent 10 years researching the subject for his book 'DARK CITY: The Film Noir', published in 1984.  He is also the founder of The SINK Press and has published seven books of poems and three volumes of visual poetry, including 'Problem Pictures'.

His early work 'DARK CITY: The Film Noir', is a major resource and now an important influence on a second generation of film noir scholars and historians.  Selby was the first to identify a number of obscure films as noir. Two decades ago he correctly identified films that are still overlooked today. 'Dark City' remains a solid work due in part to the author's ability to look into the psychology of the characters that populate noir, without being overly academic.  

Don't miss his introduction to HIGH SIERRA on Sat. Sept 11th


McFarland Publishers continues to print this terrific book, which is available at most good bookstores or through their website at:

McFarland & Company Publishers


Spencer Selby's Interview @  The BIG CHAT



  Thursday September 16th          8:00 pm   -  Thursday  
  Film Collector & Historian Paul Meienberg introduces ....  
   'AMONG THE LIVING'         Released : Sept 10th, 1941    
Directed by Stuart Heisler 
Written by: Lester Cole & Garret Fort 
From a story by Lester Cole & Brian Marlowe
Produced by Sol Siegel & Colbert Clark    
Photography: Theodore Sparkuhl
w / Albert Dekker, Susan Hayward, Francis Farmer & Harry Carey

It begins as a gothic tale.   A bourgeois son returns to his hometown for his father’s funeral and learns that the twin he believed to be long dead has merely been restrained in a dilapidated family home.  A blow to the head--his reward for a futile attempt to protect his mother from his father’s violence--had turned the child psychotic. As one might expect, he escapes to the nearby mill town that bears the family name. Here, back “among the living,” gothic takes a backseat to noir.  The petty brutality, sleazy sexuality, and greed of the townspeople become the main attraction. The camerawork alone is worth the price of admission.  Fabulous framing and editing make for the scariest jitterbug montage you’ll ever see.   An extreme long shot chase sequence chillingly communicates the helplessness of the victim and the inevitability of the final off-camera scream. Susan Hayward fans will love her portrayal of the saucy, manipulative mill girl.



  Saturday September 25th          8:00 pm   -  Saturday  
  Guest Speaker EDDIE MULLER   
Popular Author & Programmer/Director of the annual NOIR CITY Film Festival.
   'THE MALTESE FALCON'         Released : Oct 3rd, 1941  
Director: John Huston  written by John Huston
From the novel by Dashiell Hammett
Produced by Hal Wallis & Henry Blanke    
Photography  Arthur Edeson
w / Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Elisha Cook Jr. & Sydney Greenstreet

A labyrinthine tale of fowl play.  John Huston takes the malaise of High Sierra and hard boils it.  Nobody is innocent in this one, including our “hero.” The truth-seeking detective of the old genre has been replaced with a cynical, self-serving private eye. "We didn't exactly believe your story, Miss O'Shaughnessy; we believed your two hundred dollars."  It’s no longer society’s values he’s upholding, but his own much abbreviated code of honor. It’s no longer polish and superior intellect that are his primary attributes, but street smarts, tenacity and the ability to withstand and dish out body blows.  The celluloid birth of so many noir icons: Sidney Greenstreet’s kilos of nervous joviality (this was his first screen appearance); Peter Lorre’s gardenia scent and oiled curls; Elizia Cook’s impassive baby-face, Mary Astor’s furs and porcelain complexion—none can mask the venality within.   Fast-paced, constantly morphing plot, incredibly clever dialog, every frame encapsulates that 40’s mystique.



  Thursday September 30th         8:00 pm  -  Thursday   
  w/ Dark Marc and a few surprises  
   'THE SHANGHAI GESTURE'         Released : Dec 26th, 1941    
Director: Josef Von Sternberg  
Written by Sternberg, Karl Vollmoeller, Geza Herczeg, Jules Furthman
From the play 'The Shanghai Gesture' by John Colton
Produced by Arnold Pressburger & Albert de Courvill   

Photography: John Ivano

w/ Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Ona Munson & Victor Mature

All the silk and rice powder in China could not smother the noxious vapors of greed, drugs and all-too-ready flesh that pollute Von Sternberg’s Shanghai and positively ooze from the gaming tables of  “Mother” Gin Sling’s glamorous gambling palace. Search all you want for that heart of gold--every heart in Shanghai is as cold and hard as jade.  Dr. Omar slowly slips a strap from Poppy’s perfectly molded shoulder in a scene that somehow melds pure eroticism with the coldness of a dissection table and we’re set to watch another beautiful young thing degrade before our very eyes.  Sumptuous, exotic noir, fabulous cast of degenerates, half-naked women in cages, unforgettable coiffure.  This film was adored by the Surrealists.



       Introduction and movie descriptions written by Abby Staeble  
  ADMISSION POLICY:  By reservation only  
         email  screenings@hotmail.com   or  call  415 552-1533   

 Doors open at 7:00 pm  -  Films at 8:00 pm   -  Main Door Locks at 8:05 p.m. restricting entrance




 Come early and enjoy our 'No Host Bar'.       

   Donations accepted  
  LOCATION:    Downtown San Francisco   -   Address given through a reservation.  
     Sponsored by :  
  ' The Danger & Despair Knitting Circle '      




  "No George!   They're not a cell of Radical Terrorists! "  
     They are:  
     Dark Marc  Series Host & Programmer  
     Daniela Powers & Marc Kagan    Series Directors   
     Paul Meienberg    Co-programmer  
     Roma Dolezal, Ilene Shapiro, Abby Staeble, Allen Petrich, Eddie Sudol   
     Ron Rich, Ted Whipple, Lance Carnes, Edward Dickey & Don Gieb  

Don't forget to make a reservation.  screenings@hotmail.com

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  The Thursday Night Screenings are private film events, admission to these events are by  

invitation only through a request and is solely at the discretion of Danger & Despair.



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