NoHo Movie Expert Pens Book on Villain with a Heart, Dan Duryea

NoHo Movie Expert Mike Peros Will Discuss His Book “Dan Duryea: Heel with a Heart” Book at American Cinematheque on Thursday, July 20.

NoHo’s movie reviewer Mike Peros will be at Aero Theatre for a screening and discussion of the films “Criss Cross” and “Black Angel” with the movies’ star Dan Duryea’s son Richard Duryea. Mike will also be signing his book, “Dan Duryea: Heel With a Heart.”  

“I’ve been a Dan Duryea fan for as long as I’ve been a fan of movies. The first movies I saw him in were The Little Foxes, Sahara, Criss Cross and Stranger on the Run. Different parts, all well-played–but he was especially impressive as smiling, scheming villains. I also knew that in real life, he was just about the nicest family man you’d want to meet–and that he was a little unhappy that he was rarely able to break out more successfully into sympathetic roles. A few years ago I was at a book signing for Carl Rollyson;s biography on Dana Andrews and I asked Rollyson (who is editor of the Hollywood Legends series at the University Press of Mississippi) if he would consider a bio of Dan Duryea. He said yes, then I followed up with some research and a formal book proposal, which was approved. In the interim, I managed to contact Duryea’s surviving son Richard who supplied me with all kinds of tales and pictures.”

“Dan Duryea: Heel with a Heart” is a full-scale, comprehensive biography that examines the tension between Duryea’s villainous screen image and his Samaritan personal life. At home, he proved one of Hollywood’s most honorable and decent men. However, on screen, Duryea remains best known for the nasty, scheming villains he portrayed in such noir masterpieces as “Scarlet Street,” “Criss Cross” and “The Woman in the Window.” In each of these, he wielded a blend of menace, sleaze, con dence, and surface charm.

Mike Peros’ book, written with Duryea’s surviving son Richard’s cooperation, fully explores the life and legacy of a Hollywood icon ready for rediscovery.


Book signing, movie screening and discussion plus Art Walk.
Get a goody bag with each new membership during the Montana Avenue Art Walk, from 5 – 9 PM. Montana Avenue will be transformed into Santa Monica’s longest art gallery … just for one night!


Thursday, July 20
Book signing: 6:30PM
Movie screening: 7:30pm
Montana Ave. Art Walk: 5-9PM


Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 



Criss Cross NoHo Movie Expert Pens Book on Villainous Movie Star Dan Duryea

1949, Universal, 87 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak When he died in 1947, producer Mark Hellinger had just begun pre-production on this crime-infected love story. Thanks to the inspired vision of director Siodmak, CRISS CROSS now stands as perhaps the most darkly poetic rendering of amour fou in all film noir. Burt Lancaster and Dan Duryea plot a daring heist, while vying for the affections of sensual Yvonne DeCarlo. Remade by Stephen Soderbergh as THE UNDERNEATH.



Black Angel NoHo Movie Expert Pens Book on Villainous Movie Star Dan Duryea

1945, Universal, 81 min, USA, Dir: Roy William Neil In this spellbinding adaptation of Woolrich’s thriller, noir favorite Dan Duryea gives a terrific performance as a pickled pianist whose estranged wife is murdered. When her husband is charged with the crime, nightclub canary June Vincent enlists drunken Dan’s help in a search for the real culprit. Broderick Crawford and Peter Lorre add muscle and menace to the typically warped Woolrich atmosphere, well rendered by director Roy William Neil.

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Lisa Bianconi
Author: Lisa Bianconi

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