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Ramrod / Pitfall

Actor Joel McCrea
June 25, 2023 - 7:00 pm

Admission is free. No advance reservations. Your seat will be assigned to you when you pick up your ticket at the box office. Seats are assigned on a first come, first served basis. The box office opens one hour before the event.

Preservation funded by AFI/NEA Preservation Grants Program


U.S., 1947

Director Andre De Toth’s Ramrod typifies the cynical, psychologically complex, and morally ambiguous “noir Westerns” that began to appear after World War II. Joel McCrea plays a washed-up cowpoke and drunk who becomes involved in a range war between a strong-willed woman (Veronica Lake, De Toth’s then-wife) and her cattle baron father. The good guys fight as dirty as their foes, and Lake plays a classic femme fatale. Audiences and reviewers embraced this new, tougher breed of Western, with the Los Angeles Herald Express (in a review entitled “Western Goes Psycho”) praising De Toth for his “hard laconic realism … enhanced by the almost daguerreotype photography of Russell Harlan.”

35mm, b&w, 94 min. Director: Andre De Toth. Screenwriter: Jack Moffitt, Graham Baker, Cecile Kramer. With: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Don DeFore.

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive in cooperation with National Telefilm Associates, Inc., and Richard Rosenfeld.


U.S., 1948

Postwar male malaise suffuses this pungent crime melodrama from émigré genre specialist Andre de Toth. Dick Powell stars as a dissatisfied family man sucked into an underworld quagmire after a fling with conflicted femme fatale Lizabeth Scott spirals out of control. Newcomer Raymond Burr got his breakout part playing a sleazy private eye stalking Scott. With locations spanning the breadth of the city, from the ocean to Hollywood and downtown, Pitfall is an exemplary Los Angeles noir. De Toth’s location shooting in Hollywood’s backyard so defied industry trends, the Los Angeles Times trumpeted in a headline: “De Toth Makes News, Shoots Film In L.A.!”

35mm, b&w, 85 min. Director: Andre De Toth. Screenwriter: Karl Kamb. With: Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt.

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive in cooperation with National Telefilm Associates, Inc.