These rinky-dink studios had names like Eagle-Lion, Republic, and PRC, names meant to impress, but which were as thin as a $10 suit. They were Hollywood's Poverty Row, a slur the major studios draped on their poor cousins who pumped out the short features from Los Angeles' Gower Street, B-movies to kill time before the big-budget pictures. But when it came to crime films, Poverty Row's fatalistic noirs were as vicious as a shiv, with efficient plots full of nasty twists of fate, their weary actors embodying characters with more grit and despair than Bogart could ever hope to achieve in a thousand lifetimes. Don't miss this series of six extremely rare films from Hollywood's Poverty Row.


Jan. 30, 2020, 7:30 p.m.


Arguably the greatest of Poverty Row's many crime films, Detour is one of the most efficient, nasty, and damnably fatalistic noirs ever. Piano player Al Roberts (Tom Neal) hitchhikes from New York to Los Angeles to follow his sweetheart, but ends up in the car of a dead man. Trying to escape his fate, he picks up femme fatale, the blistering Vera (Ann Savage), as crass and vengeful a human being as has every hit the silver screen. Detour's ending is the stuff of nightmares, and Ulmer's direction, coupled with Neal's blunt delivery and Savage's grating charm, makes this one a classic. Originally released by Producers Releasing Corporation.

Presented by The Heights Theater and the Trylon Cinema

DCP courtesy Janus Films.


Feb. 6, 2020, 7:30 p.m.


Danny Hawkins has a chip on his shoulder. His father was a murderer who hung for his crimes, and for his son's whole life he has had to try and prove he's not a bad apple, ignoring the taunts and side-glances that are bringing him to a slow boil. And when the town bully is mysteriously killed, everyone knows who to blame... and like his father, Danny is now a hunted man. Featuring an almost unbearably tense performance by Dane Clark as Danny, and brilliantly moody direction from the underrated Frank Borzage, Moonrise finds tiny shards of hope in its bleak hellscape. Originally released by Republic Pictures.

Presented by The Heights Theater and the Trylon Cinema

35mm print courtesy The UCLA Film & Television Archive and Paramount Pictures.


Feb. 20, 2020, 7:30 p.m.


When a casino heist goes sour, mastermind John Muller (Paul Henreid) has to get out of town quick, as the crime boss who owns the place wants torturous revenge. While in hiding our man discovers an unwitting dentist who looks just like him, so Mr. Muller kills one Dr. Bartok... only to discover the tooth grinder wasn't exactly a model citizen. Henreid, most famous for Casablanca, played against type in this complex and disturbing noir where no one is innocent, and past secrets have a way of turning deadly. Originally released by Eagle-Lion Films.

Presented by The Heights Theater and the Trylon Cinema

35mm print courtesy The UCLA Film & Television Archive.