The Arthur Lyon’s Film Noir Festival began Thursday, May 17 in Palm Springs and the audience was treated to not only a rare print on “Three Strangers” and an Q&A with Geraldine Fitzgerald’s son, Michael Lindsay Hogg, but also learned a of Fitzgerald’s little-known secret.
The evening started with a screening of “Three Strangers,” a Warner Bros. film from 1946 starring Sidney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Peter Lorre. The film is considered to be early for a “noir” film, but is a delightfully dark and full of double entredre lines and is ultimately a satirical look at greed and villainy as three strangers share a lottery ticket – all hoping the money will end their own problems. A great film and a rare 35 mm print. The film was co-written by John Huston and was actually intended to be a continuation of the film “The Maltese Falcon,” but was not produced until five years later and Greenstreet replace Humphrey Bogart and Fitzgerald replaced Mary Astor, only Peter Lorre remained in the leading roles.
At the conclusion of the film Fitzgerald’s son, Michael Lindsay Hogg, took to the stage for a short Q&A. Hogg is an accomplished director and author in his own right. He has just penned a new book titled “Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond.” The book details his own career as a director of rock’s very first music videos starring the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Hogg has also had a very successful turn at directing for the small screen (“Brideshead Revisited ) and on Broadway. But it was his connection to film’s most acclaimed director Orson Welles that was of most interest.
When Hogg was sixteen year old, he approached his mother with various stage names for an acting career, one being that of Michael Welles. His mother dropped a bomb and told him that Wells may be a bad idea and that after her work on Broadway with Wells it was rumored that Wells might be Michael’s father. The story of Loretta Young’s life starting flashing in my mind and how similar Michael’s story was that of Young’s. The latter half of his book describes the mystery and how it unfolded. After his book was published, his suspicions were confirmed, although Hogg did not state the specifics of how it was confirmed. To view most of Hogg’s Q&A, see attached video.
The festival continues through this Sunday. For a complete list of films and Q&A sessions, read: http://usedview.com/article/arthur-lyon-s-film-noir-festival-begins-tonight?cid=db_articles
For ticket information see www.CamelotTickets.com or call 1-888-718-4253 or 760-325-6565
Camelot Theatres are located at 2300 East Baristo Road, Palm Springs, California 92262 (see map)
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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones and no texting, please don’t talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don’t forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com