Press Contact: Jenny Jediny (212) 966-0730
Festival Celebrating New York’s Finest in Movies
Commemorating Tenth Anniversary of 9/11
At Film Forum, September 2-13
NYPD, a 19-film festival spotlighting New York’s Finest — and Not-So-Finest — will run at Film Forum from Friday, September 2 through Tuesday, September 13. The festival commemorates the 10th anniversary of 9/11: ironically, Film Forum was hosting a similar NYPD tribute when the tragedy struck our city.
From the cop on the beat to the commissioner, the police have proven an endlessly rich subject from the earliest days of movies. And, serving and protecting the country’s biggest city, Hollywood has portrayed the NYPD as the best of them all: the toughest, smartest, most daring, bravest, even the funniest —and also the most beleaguered, most ruthless, the rudest, and most corrupt. From the hard-boiled detectives of 40s and 50s Film Noir; to the 60s counterculture; to the drugs, gangs and an almost bankrupt city in the 70s, when Gerald Ford told us to “drop dead” (in the words of a Daily News headline) and citizens refused “to get involved”; through corruption and a post-Giuliani clean-up in the 80s and 90s; the screen exploits of Gotham’s police force have become an integral part of the city’s own history and image of itself.
NYPD kicks off on Friday and Saturday, September 2 and 3, with two classic NYC Noirs directed by Otto Preminger: Laura, “one of the most perverse Noirs of the ’40s” (Time Out New York), starring Gene Tierney in the title role as the murdered Manhattan smart-setter and Dana Andrews as a detective on the brink of necrophilia; and Where The Sidewalk Ends, also starring Andrews as a tough (and corrupt) cop on the trail of a criminal kingpin, with Tierney as a murder victim’s widow.
Spanning over six decades of crime and punishment, Gotham-style, NYPD includes such quintessential New York movies as The Taking of Pelham 123, the worst-case scenario for subway riders, with Walter Matthau as a quick-witted TA cop who must find a way to meet the ransom demands of Robert Shaw’s “Mr. Blue” (inspiring Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs); The Detective, with Frank Sinatra as…. ; Don Siegel’s Madigan, with by-the-book commissioner Henry Fonda cracking down on sticky-fingered detective Richard Widmark; Alexander Mackendrick’s Sweet Smell of Success, the portrait of Gotham’s rancid underside starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, who’s harassed by brutal cop Emile Meyer; Hitchcock’s The Wrong Man, with Henry Fonda trapped in a classic mistaken-identity case; I Wake Up Screaming, arguably the first true American Film Noir; Sidney Lumet’s Serpico, starring Al Pacino as the real-life whistle-blowing NYC detective Frank Serpico; William Wyler’s Detective Story, 24 hours in the life of the (non-existent) 21st precinct, with Kirk Douglas giving police brutality a screentest, with Lee Grant in an Oscar-winning role as a shoplifter; Pay or Die!, based on the true-life career of Joseph Petrosino (played by Ernest Borgnine), an early 20th-century Italian-American cop who waged a one-man war against “The Black Hand,” precursor of The Mafia; and Robert Siodmak’s Cry of The City, with copkiller Richard Conte relentlessly pursued by also-from-the-hood Lieutenant Victor Mature.
Perhaps the oddest film choice for the series is Akira Kurosawa’s High and Low, starring Toshiro Mifune as a businessman who finds himself in a face-off with a kidnapper; it’s based on Ed McBain “87th Precinct” novel, though Tokyo police (led by Steve McQueen-like Tatsuya Nakadai) fill in for the NYPD. It will be shown with another film based on an Ed McBain novel, the B Noir Cop Killer.
The NYPD festival has been programmed by Bruce Goldstein, Film Forum’s Director of Repertory Programming, who also booked the 2001 series. On September 11 and 12, 2001, he had ironically scheduled two of the darkest visions of New York ever made: William Friedkin’s Cruising, starring Al Pacino as a cop who becomes part of the leather bar netherworld while investigating the serial killings of Gay men – perhaps the most controversial movie of the 1980, it was denounced by Gay activists as virulently homophobic; and Abel Ferrara’s The Bad Lieutenant, with Harvey Keitel as a cop who brings police corruption to new depths. Both films had to be cancelled (though Film Forum was able to re-open a few days after 9/11) and are scheduled to be shown in the current series on September 12.
Playing on September 11, 2011 is The Naked City, Jules Dassin’s seminal all-location NYC Noir that opens with a murder on West 83rd Street and ends with a showdown on the Williamsburg Bridge. Says Goldstein, “Though other Hollywood sound movies had gone on location in New York before – notably Billy Willder’s The Lost Weekend and Henry Hathaway’s The House on 92nd Street – it was Dassin’s Naked City that really started the trend. It brought back Manhattan as the world’s greatest sound stage, by a native New Yorker forced by the blacklist to live in Europe. No one ever painted a more loving portrait of the city, so I thought it was the perfect choice for 9/11.”
The NYPD festival will be followed by an extended run (September 14-22) of William Friedkin’s The French Connection (1971), starring Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider, in a new 35mm print (separate press release to follow).
See below for complete schedule.
Press screenings (held at Film Forum):
Preminger’s WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS
Wednesday, August 24 11:00 am
To RSVP, contact Jenny Jediny at (212) 966-0730
or email email@example.com
Public Screening Schedule
SEPTEMBER 2/3 FRI/SAT (2 Films For 1 Admission)
LAURA (1944, Otto Preminger) New 35mm Restoration!
Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb
WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (1950, Otto Preminger)
Dana Andrews, Gary Merrill, Gene Tierney
SEPTEMBER 4 SUN (2 Films For 1 Admission)
THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 (1974, Joseph Sargent)
Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam
THE DETECTIVE (1968, Gordon Douglas)
Frank Sinatra, Lee Remick
SEPTEMBER 5 MON – SPECIAL EVENT
ALL-DAY BUSTER KEATON
(separate press release to follow)
SEPTEMBER 6 TUE (2 Films For 1 Admission)
MADIGAN (1968, Don Siegel)
Henry Fonda, Richard Widmark, Harry Guardino
REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER (1975, Milton Kastelas)
Michael Moriarty, Yaphet Kotto, Richard Gere
SEPTEMBER 7 WED (2 Films For 1 Admission)
SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957, Alexander Mackendrick)
Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Emile Meyer
THE WRONG MAN (1957, Alfred Hitchcock)
Henry Fonda, Vera Miles
SEPTEMBER 8 THU (2 Films For 1 Admission)
HIGH AND LOW (1963, Akira Kurosawa)
Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai
COP HATER (1958, William A. Berke)
Robert Loggia, Vincent Gardenia
SEPTEMBER 9 FRI (2 Films For 1 Admission)
PHANTOM LADY (1944, Robert Siodmak)
Ella Raines, Franchot Tone, Thomas Gomez
I WAKE UP SCREAMING (1941, H. Bruce Humberstone)
Victor Mature, Carol Landis, Laird Cregar, Betty Grable
SEPTEMBER 10/11 SAT/SUN
SERPICO (1973, Sidney Lumet)
SEPTEMBER 11 SUN (2 Films For 1 Admission)
THE NAKED CITY (1948, Jules Dassin)
Barry Fitzgerald, Don Taylor
PAY OR DIE! (1960, Richard Wilson)
SEPTEMBER 12 MON (2 Films For 1 Admission)
CRUISING (1980, William Friedkin)
BAD LIEUTENANT (1992, Abel Ferrera)
SEPTEMBER 13 TUE (2 Films For 1 Admission)
THE DETECTIVE STORY (1951, William Wyler)
Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, William Bendix, Lee Grant
CRY OF THE CITY (1948, Robert Siodmak) New 35mm Restoration!
Richard Conte, Victor Mature, Barry, Shelley Winters
SEPTEMBER 14-22 (9 Days)
THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971, William Friedkin) New 35mm Print!
Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider
(separate press release to follow)