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What is Film Noir? Part I
A term used to describe stylish Hollywood crime drama. Drama's that highlight cynical and sexual attitudes and motivations. This cinematic duration was from early 1940s to the late 1950s, the visual effect was black and white. The genre was associated with German Expressionist Cinematography of the period.
Film Noir means "black film" in french. The term was first used in Hollywood by French critic Nino Frank in 1946. Most of these films are filled with twists and turns that leave the viewer surprised at the end. There is still an argument of whether Film Noir qualifies as a genre or a melodrama. All I know is they're my favorite movies of all time.
Sunset Boulevard Movie Poster
Last weekend, my husband and I spent Sunday morning apart. He in the living room and I in the bedroom. This is common for us during basketball playoffs, don't get me wrong I like some sports, but basketball is a major yawn for me.
The morning was crisp, I settled back with some reading material, hot cup of coffee, flipped on the television and started my usual channel surfing. The Movie Channel was playing film noir. I'm now in heaven first on the menu;
Sunset Boulevard- this movie is top of my list in the film noir genre. A 1950 vehicle starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson and Erich von Stroheim. It's a story of a down on his luck writer who gets more than a little cozy with an aged, but rich, silent movie actress. A diva of the silent film era who is surrounded by and swimming in a sea of denial. The opening scene is a visual shock when you spot a body floating in a swimming pool. And you realize "the body" is narrating giving the audience the 411 on how he got there.
Bogart (Bogie) and Bergman
Casablanca and Double Indemnity
Casablanca - Humphrey Bogart (Bogie), Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henried (1942) - war, romantic drama. Full of classic scenes, a classic song (As Time Goes By) and a classy cast. Takes place during World War II, a harden expatriate, Bogie's character, must choose between the woman he loves and assisting her husband, a resistance fighter against the Nazis, escape the Moroccan city of Casablanca.
There are some classic scenes that include character actors Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. Please note; the effervescent beauty of actress Ingrid Bergman, even in close ups her face is flawless.
Double Indemnity - Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson 1944 classic film. Ms. Stanwyck is at her conniving best in this film about, lust, money and murder. Fred MacMurray as a wisecracking, fast talking, slick insurance salesmen and Edward G. as his crusty, but wise boss.
Based on a true story of a woman from Queens, New York, her lover and their unsuccessful attempt to get away with murder in 1927. The movie is gritty and lustful without showing one inch of skin. Loaded, as most films of this genre, with twists, turns and a surprise ending.
- Classic Hollywood Movies Film Noir 1940s to 1950s
The most prolific period of time in which film noir was produced starts with The Maltese Falcon in 1941 and ends with Touch of Evil in 1958. During this period and for quite a while afterward, the films were...