What’s Worth Watching: TCM Oscar-nominated Film Noir Marathon

The Maltese Falcon
Warner Brothers/GettyImages
The Maltese Falcon

31 Days of Oscar Film Noir Marathon (Sunday, February 15, 7am/6c, TCM)

Every winter, Turner Classic Movies celebrates the Academy Awards by airing nothing but Oscar-winners and nominees for 31 days. Over 700 hours of award-worthy and semi-award worthy films sounds lovely (or semi-lovely). But that’s all it is: lovely. What you won’t catch are any grimy gems like 1948’s Behind Locked Doors, in which a female reporter suspects a corrupt judge is hiding out as a patient in an insane asylum, so she convinces a private investigator to check himself into the same sanitarium. (Tagline: “Murder was the ONLY way out!”)

But today’s Oscar film noir block does have a little edge. Robert Taylor kicks things off in Johnny Eager, as a paroled racketeer who seduces the stepdaughter (Lana Turner) of the prosecutor that nailed him. Jules Dassin’s The Naked City and the Raymond Chandler-adaptation The Blue Dahlia are among the movies that follow, before the marathon ends with famous fare like The Maltese Falcon and Key Largo. The stuff dreams are made of!