Those swimming pools casting lurid light into the night. Those palm-shadowed estates big enough to contain a lot of dirty little secrets. Yeah, come to think of it, Palm Springs is a noir kind of town. Which is why the Palm Springs Film Noir Festival offers such delicious thrills. Now in its fourth year, the festival fills four days with screenings and events honoring Hollywood's tough guys, hapless saps, and shady dames with or without hearts of gold. This year's festival focuses on rarities, says its director, Arthur Lyons: "We're showing five movies that haven't been seen on the big screen since the 1940s." Also on hand will be luminaries from noir's golden age, such as Anne Francis, Terry Moore, and Mala Powers. So cough up a 10-spot and change for your ticket, but get wise: In the noir world, happy endings are never guaranteed.
These films for hire
The Palm Springs Film Noir Festival is June 3-6 (from $11, festival pass $110; www.palmspringsfilmnoir.com or 760/325-6565).