Film Noir

Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classical film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the last depression.

The term film noir, French for "black film," first applied to Hollywood films by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, was unrecognized by most American film industry professionals of that era. Cinema historians and critics defined the category retrospectively. Before the notion was widely adopted in the 1970s, many of the classic films noirs were referred to as melodramas. Whether film noir qualifies as a distinct genre is a matter of ongoing debate among scholars.

Film noir encompasses a range of plots: the central figure may be a private eye (The Big Sleep), a plainclothes policeman (The Big Heat), an aging boxer (The Set-Up), a hapless grifter (Night and the City), a law-abiding citizen lured into a life of crime (Gun Crazy), or simply a victim of circumstance (D.O.A.). Although film noir was originally associated with American productions, films now so described have been made around the world. Many pictures released from the 1960s onward share attributes with film noir of the classical period, and often treat its conventions self-referentially. Some refer to such latter-day works as neo-noir. The clichés of film noir have inspired parody since the mid-1940s.

Read more about Film Noir:  Problems of Definition, Outside The United States, Parodies, Identifying Characteristics

Other articles related to "film noir, noir, films, film":

Film Noir - Identifying Characteristics - Worldview, Morality, and Tone
... Film noir is often described as essentially pessimistic ... The noir stories that are regarded as most characteristic tell of people trapped in unwanted situations (which, in general, they did not cause but are responsible for exacerbating ... The films are seen as depicting a world that is inherently corrupt ...
Alain Silver - Career - Writing
... has written and edited twenty books, mostly with James Ursini or Elizabeth Ward, including The Noir Style L.A ... Noir Film Noir Readers 1, 2, 3 and 4 Gangster Film Reader Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles The Samurai Film Horror Film Reader Film Noir the Encyclopedia Film Noir the Directors David Lean and his Films What ... Silver also reviews films and has written numerous articles on Raymond Chandler, samurai cinema, film noir, vampire films, and other topics on film history and ...
Russell Rouse
... producer who is noted for the "offbeat creativity and originality" of his screenplays and for film noir movies and television episodes produced in the 1950s ... Rouse was the son of film pioneer Edwin Russell his great uncle was the 1920s actor William Russell ... His first employment in films was in the prop department at Paramount Studios, where he began writing screenplays ...
List Of American Films Of 1958 - L-R
... Lineup Don Siegel Eli Wallach, Robert Keith, Richard Jaeckel Film noir Columbia Pictures Live Fast, Die Young Paul Henreid Mary Murphy, Norma Eberhardt, Mike ... Montgomery Clift, Myrna Loy, Maureen Stapleton, Robert Ryan Film noir United Artists based on Nathaniel West novel The Long, Hot Summer Martin Ritt Paul Newman, Orson Welles, Joanne Woodward, Angela Lansbury, Anthony ... Murder by Contract Irving Lerner Vince Edwards, Phillip Pine Film noir Columbia Pictures No Time for Sergeants Mervyn LeRoy Andy Griffith, Nick Adams, Myron ...
List Of American Films Of 1956 - S-Z
... Scarlet Allan Dwan John Payne, Arlene Dahl Film Noir RKO Pictures The Solid Gold Cadillac Richard Quine Judy Holliday, Paul Douglas Comedy Somebody Up There Likes Me Robert Wise Paul Newman Drama, Biopic ... Nina Foch Biblical epic remake of 1923 film 7 Oscar nominations DeMille's final film 219 minutes That Certain Feeling Melvin Frank Bob Hope, Eva Marie Saint, Pearl Bailey ... Dana Andrews, Vincent Price, Ida Lupino Film Noir RKO Pictures Wideo Wabbit Bugs Bunny Animation World Without End Edward Bernds Hugh Marlowe, Nancy Gates Science Fiction ...

Famous quotes containing the words noir and/or film:

    C’est à Paris que je me coiffe
    Casque noir de jemenfoutiste.
    —T.S. (Thomas Stearns)

    The motion picture is like a picture of a lady in a half- piece bathing suit. If she wore a few more clothes, you might be intrigued. If she wore no clothes at all, you might be shocked. But the way it is, you are occupied with noticing that her knees are too bony and that her toenails are too large. The modern film tries too hard to be real. Its techniques of illusion are so perfect that it requires no contribution from the audience but a mouthful of popcorn.
    Raymond Chandler (1888–1959)