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News Release — February 10, 2005

Harry Ransom Center Hosts "Brit Noir" Film Series

The University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center presents the film series "Brit Noir," a screening of rare 35mm British films beginning Thursday, Feb. 17 at the Alamo Drafthouse.

The series complements the Ransom Center's exhibition "Writing Among the Ruins: Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh," a show that commemorates two of the 20th century's finest British authors. The Center has large collections of both authors, including manuscripts, diaries and correspondence. The exhibition will be up through March 20.

Critics suggest that Greene single-handedly created British film noir through his writing and early film adaptations, including "Brighton Rock" (1947) and "The Third Man" (1949).

"'The Third Man' is the quintessential example of Brit noir," said Charles Ramirez Berg, University of Texas at Austin Radio-Television-Film professor. "And because Graham Greene wrote the original novella then adapted it into the screenplay, he is the creative prime mover of the genre."

"Brit Noir" film screenings include Carol Reed's directorial rendition of Graham Greene's "The Third Man," starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten. This rare 35mm print highlights the rich imagery that helps make this film a classic.

This film tops the "BFI 100," a list of the best British films compiled by the British Film Institute.

The Ransom Center holds film stills, screenplay copies and studio correspondence relating to the "The Third Man." The film screens at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 17.

British Director John Boulting's film based on Greene's "Brighton Rock" was voted the greatest British noir of all time by The Guardian. The Ransom Center holds Greene's manuscript for "Brighton Rock" with author revisions as well as copies of the screenplay. A superb new print of the rarely screened "Brighton Rock" shows at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24.

Completing the film series are screenings of Jules Dassin's "Night and the City" (1950) starring Richard Widmark at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 3 and "Get Carter" (1971), Mike Hodges' neo-noir London gangster classic starring Michael Caine at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 10.

"Brit Noir" is hosted by the Harry Ransom Center, a leader in film history and preservation in the region. Local sponsors include Austin Film Society, Austin Chronicle, The University of Texas at Austin's Department of Radio-Television-Film, The University of Texas at Austin's College of Communication and Marc English Design.

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Alyssa Morris
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