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DVD Gurus: Film Noir

Beth Lipoff

Beautiful women, crime and doomed lovers dominate the screen when it comes to film noir. At their height, these films featured star players, such as Humphrey Bogart, Burt Lancaster and Marilyn Monroe.

On Friday's Up to Date, our DVD Gurus highlighted their favorites of the genre. We also talked with a few special guests from the Noir City film festival.

"I've always said that in film noir, it's where women in Hollywood were allowed to be, for once, completely the equal of men," said Eddie Muller, founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation. "By which I mean equally tempted, equally compromised and equally guilty."

In the 1950 film Gun Crazy, actress Peggy Cummins played a femme fatale, carnival sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr. Cummins told Up to Date host Steve Kraske that the film's appeal was "a part, a very good part."

She added, "I was blonde...I was small. And I played a lot of ingénues. I never got anything that I could get my teeth into like this part." 

Here's a list of the films they discussed:

  • Gun Crazy
  • Asphalt Jungle
  • The Prowler
  • Criss Cross
  • In A Lonely Place


  • Mitch Brian, screenwriter, UMKC film professor and writer for 435 Magazine
  • Jason Heck, film critic
  • Eddie Muller, founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation
  • Peggy Cummins, star of 1950's Gun Crazy

HEAR MORE: The first Noir City Kansas City festival opens Nov. 14 and runs through Nov. 16 at the Alamo Drafthouse downtown. For more information, click here.  

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.