“Heat Lightning” Closes Out Noir City Festival at Egyptian Theatre


I love Los Angeles. It’s been home my entire life and as a fan and researcher of classic Hollywood, there probably isn’t a better place to be. However, there is one great deficiency in my years of living in the City of Angels – I have never seen an Ann Dvorak film at a theater in L.A. The closest I came was around 10 years ago when the American Cinematheque, who programs at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre, scheduled a screening of Howard Hawks’ The Crowd Roars from 1932 with Ann, James Cagney, and Joan Blondell. Unfortunately, the theater received a print of the 1938 The Crows Roars with Robert Taylor which we did not find out about until the film rolled and the MGM lion mightily roared, to my extreme disappointment.

Now, this horrible wrong is going to be righted in the best possible way with a screening of Heat Lightning, one of my favorite Ann Dvorak films. This fabulous flick is part of a quadruple “proto-noir” marathon which is closing out the annual Noir City festival presented by the American Cinematheque in collaboration with the Film Noir Foundation at the Egyptian. Also on the bill are The Ninth Guest, Let Us Live, and Safe in Hell, three films I have never seen. All in 35mm!

What could be better than spending an evening watching a favorite Ann Dvorak film in a historic theater full of people? Why, introducing that film of course! That’s right, I’ll be joining Eddie Mueller and Alan K. Rode of the Film Noir Foundation in giving an introduction of my beloved Heat Lightning, which makes me giddy beyond belief.

The full line-up is posted on the Cinematheque’s website. Stop by and say hi if you can!


  1. DickP April 17, 2015

    I’m Jealous!!!

  2. Scott Brinson May 16, 2015

    How amazing for you & the audience – hope the night was a rousing success!!!

  3. admin May 20, 2015

    It was amazing to see that film on the big screen. Very memorable!

  4. Professor Milburn Cleaver December 27, 2016

    Heat Lightning is one of those films one can view multiple times and not be a bit bored. Many of Ms. Dvorak’s films (“Three on a Match, Massacre, Molly Louvain) fall into this category. She is truly remarkable on film and it is a shame that she is not as well remembered as some of her peers.
    Thank You for your wonderful book, this website and Mr Ted Turner without whom Ann’s and many other films from the golden era would have likely never seen the light of a projector again.

  5. Christina Rice January 3, 2017

    Thank you for your kind words about the book. The good news is that because so many of her films are now more accessible, Ann seems to be far less obscure than when I first discovered her 20 years ago. As long as we keep advocating for her, Ann’s star will shine a little bit brighter.

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