The classic crime films at Torquay Museum as part of the English Riviera Film Festival have physical twists, psychological turns and a post-war world dripping with immorality. It’s iconic cinema, exploring some of the lowest human values.
Mildred Pierce earned Joan Crawford an Oscar and started a rich few years of ‘playing criminal gang leaders, vengeful showgirls, love-obsessed psychiatric patients, and successful career women drawn into unsavoury situations’, according to the BFI.
The mind-twisting story of manipulation, Mildred Pierce is based on a book by the master of noir James M Cain, who changed gear from hard-boiled to psycho-bubbler for this one.
The film is followed by mistaken identity yarn North by North West. The stylish Hitchcock flick is famed for its nasal gazing (scampering around the presidential features on Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota) and the crop dusting plane being used to buzz Carry Grant. Plus there’s plenty of train-based innuendo and not enough James Mason.
Harry Lime’s cuckoo clock assessment of human evolution is a memorable moment in The Third Man. But for us it’s Trevor Howard as the world weary Major Calloway – a bastion against immorality – that leaves the lasting impression.
This day of classic crime films with Torquay Museum is a fitting celebration of the English Riviera Film Festival’s fifth anniversary. And it’s taking place in the museum’s 130 seater auditorium, which has recently has been fitted with a brand new cinema-style projector .
10.00 Mildred Pierce
The Oscar winning 1945 classic Mildred Pierce stars Joan Crawford as a hard-working mother who inches towards disaster as she first divorces her husband and then starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoilt daughter.
12.10 North by Northwest
This 1959 Hitchcock classic stars Cary Grant and James Mason. A New York City advertising executive goes on the run after being mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies.
14.45 The Third Man
The crime feast is rounded off by this 1949 British cinematic masterpiece starring Orson Welles. Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy post-war Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.
Tickets: £5 each per film at the museum shop in advance, on the day or online in advance at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/english-riviera-film-festival-classic-crime-films-tickets-66186624977 (small booking fee applies)
See the full two-week English Riviera Film Festival Programme line up of events and screenings.