When the Film Noir Foundation decided to add Three Strangers to the schedule of this year’s Noir City film noir festival, they discovered that a viewable 35mm print of the 1945 Warner Bros. movie did not exist.
But they didn’t scratch it off the list.
They opened their wallets and funded the preservation effort themselves. “I want people to see that movie now,” says Muller; “I want that film back in circulation now.”
Peter Lorre fans attending the FNF’s Noir City festival at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre this week will get that chance – Three Strangers will be shown three times on Saturday, January 28, 2012.
The annual festival will run 10 days, beginning Friday, January 20, and ending with an all-day Dashiell Hammett Marathon, including the 1931 and 1941 versions of The Maltese Falcon, on Sunday, January 29. The complete schedule can be found on the Noir City website.
Lorre films will be shown on these dates and times:
Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 – 1 pm, 5 pm, and 9 pm
The Maltese Falcon:
Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 – 9 pm
Tickets may be purchased through the Brown Paper Tickets website. A Film Noir Passport is also available for $120. Perks for the Passport include a discount over buying all the individual double-feature tickets and a separate entrance to the Castro, as well as early admission.
The Castro Theatre is located at 429 Castro Street, at Market Street, in San Francisco, California. Directions to the Castro, as well as public transportation options, can be found on the cinema’s website. Parking is available in two small lots and on the street near the cinema.
So what will be the fate of Three Strangers when the Noir City festival ends?
The Film Noir Foundation plans to donate the preserved print to the UCLA Film and Television Archive – where it will reside with many other Lorre films and television programs, such as Crime and Punishment, Casbah, and episodes of Climax! and Checkmate.
And if Three Strangers does well at Noir Fest, perhaps Warner Bros. will be encouraged to release it to DVD . . . In a Lorre & Greenstreet box-set?