Noir Movies

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Noir Movies


During the 1940s and 50s, Hollywood entered a “noir” period, producing riveting films based on hard-boiled fiction. These films were set in secret locations and shot in a black & impeccable aesthetic that fit like a glove. Hardened men wore fedoras and forever smoked cigarettes. Women played the femme fatale role brilliantly. Love was the surest way to death. Noir began as a particular genre, growing out of interior German expressionist film making, but evolved into a "style," that is a set of "no irish" elements, including character types (grifters and conan, cynical cops, private eyes, femmes fatales); stylistic points (urban nightcaps, rain or fetid heat, rotating fans, voice-overs); plot elements (heists gone wrong, adultery, double-crosses); settings and locations (from anonymous small towns and seedy hotels to Los Angeles and Central European cities) that can be introduced or mixed into any other genre (Palmer et al, 1995). What makes a noir movie interesting is it grasps the attention of the viewer as he does not know what is going to happen next. There is a sense in the films that the whole world is corrupted, and every action has a deceptive meaning attached to it. Every person tries to gain something, whether it is moral, financial or physical (Borde & Etienne, 2002). The movies discussed below revolve around the noir genre. The plot, characters, roles are all deceptive in some way and have a hidden story behind them.

Dead On Arrival

The film Dead on Arrival, directed by Rudolph Mate, is regarded as the one of the best movies in the genre of noir movies. The film begins with what a BBC reviewer called "perhaps one of cinema's most innovative opening sequences." The scene is a long, behind-the-back tracking sequence featuring Frank Bigelow, played by Edmond O'Brien, walking through the hallway of a police station to report his own murder. Oddly, the police almost seem to have been expecting him and already know who he is. A flashback begins from there. Bigelow is an accountant and notary public officer. He is trying to run away from his girlfriend Paula, as she wants to take the next step in their relation and get engaged. For this, Bigelow takes a vacation. He goes to a night club and head straight to the drinks bar and started chatting with a blond girl. During the conversation, someone swaps his drink with another. The coming morning when he wakes up, he feel ill and visit the doctor. The reveals that he has unknowingly swallowed some toxic substance which has no antidote to it, he just has a few days to live. From there, he starts a quest to search that who has actually poisoned him and for what reason (Mate, 1950).

Double Indemnity

Walter Neff is an insurance salesman. He is very successful but a very bored man. That is until he goes to the home of a client of his, Mr. Dietrichson, whose auto insurance policy has lapsed, and he want to make sure he signs ...
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