One of the many frustrations of living in Los Angeles is its lack of a good-old-fashioned swamp. Sure, you can visit every imaginable climate within a few hours—scorching deserts, snow-capped mountains, the Beverly Center—but when life bogs you down, nothing hits the spot better than soaking your scaly skin in some murky algae-infested water. Just ask Reggie.
If a drive down La Cienega (Spanish for “marsh” or “swamp”) doesn’t quite cut it, you may want to check out the swamp noir double feature playing at the Egyptian Theater this Sunday evening.
Part of the American Cinematheque’s and the Film Noir Foundation’s continuing Return to Noir City: The 10th Annual Festival of Film Noir, this double bill brings two extremely rare (and, God willing, ultra-violent) films back to the big screen.
First up at 7:30 p.m. is Cry of the Hunted (1953), a fugitive-on-the-run flick set in the Louisiana bayou. Barry Sullivan, William Conrad, Vittorio Gassman, and Polly Bergen star in what the Cinematheque describes as a tale of “fiery personalites” sucked into a “vortex of brutality.”
Hunted is followed by the even rarer Lure of the Swamp (1957), whose tagline screams, “Destination … HELL! Greed led them into the misty depths of a strange land!” Starring Marshall Thompson, Joan Vohs (as a swamp vixen!), Jack Elam, and Leo Gordon, the film follows a Florida swamp guide who discovers a recently deceased bank-robbing client’s loot has been stashed away in the marshland.
I’ll bet you dollars to donuts most these cats wind up wearing wooden kimonos.
Photo: Still from Cry of the Hunted (1953), courtesy of The Film Noir Foundation.