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BS: Old black & white film noir favorites

Little Hawk 22 Apr 11 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 22 Apr 11 - 08:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Apr 11 - 08:20 PM
SINSULL 22 Apr 11 - 11:04 PM
SINSULL 22 Apr 11 - 11:08 PM
J-boy 22 Apr 11 - 11:10 PM
BrooklynJay 23 Apr 11 - 12:34 AM
Don Firth 23 Apr 11 - 02:06 AM
Fred McCormick 23 Apr 11 - 03:37 AM
Micca 23 Apr 11 - 05:17 AM
Will Fly 23 Apr 11 - 05:44 AM
SINSULL 23 Apr 11 - 08:16 AM
Max Johnson 23 Apr 11 - 09:14 AM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 23 Apr 11 - 10:49 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 23 Apr 11 - 11:15 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Apr 11 - 11:16 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Apr 11 - 12:09 PM
SINSULL 23 Apr 11 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 23 Apr 11 - 01:56 PM
PoppaGator 23 Apr 11 - 02:59 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Apr 11 - 03:10 PM
Joe Offer 23 Apr 11 - 07:59 PM
olddude 23 Apr 11 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,number 6 23 Apr 11 - 08:06 PM
Allen in Oz 24 Apr 11 - 04:39 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Apr 11 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 24 Apr 11 - 06:06 AM
richd 24 Apr 11 - 08:19 AM
josepp 24 Apr 11 - 11:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Apr 11 - 12:35 PM
Little Hawk 24 Apr 11 - 01:23 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 24 Apr 11 - 01:35 PM
richd 24 Apr 11 - 03:07 PM
Max Johnson 24 Apr 11 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Eliza 24 Apr 11 - 06:44 PM
J-boy 24 Apr 11 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 24 Apr 11 - 08:11 PM
richd 24 Apr 11 - 08:43 PM
Little Hawk 24 Apr 11 - 11:00 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 25 Apr 11 - 11:12 PM
MGM·Lion 25 Apr 11 - 11:22 PM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Apr 11 - 11:27 PM
MGM·Lion 25 Apr 11 - 11:37 PM
Ron Davies 26 Apr 11 - 12:15 AM
Little Hawk 26 Apr 11 - 12:19 AM
GUEST,Eliza 26 Apr 11 - 02:38 PM
Little Hawk 26 Apr 11 - 04:51 PM
Bert 26 Apr 11 - 09:39 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 26 Apr 11 - 10:29 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 27 Apr 11 - 05:03 AM

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Subject: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 07:19 PM

For a start, "Cape Fear" comes to mind. Great film noir from 1962 with Robert Mitchum playing the creepiest bad guy yet seen on screen (at that time) against Gregory Peck's man of honor and principle. Peck is put in an impossible position by the ex-con who sets out to terrorize Peck's family and get revenge for being put in jail for 8 years by Peck's testimony.

This is a guy who wants society to pay for the fact that he ended up in jail for raping and beating up young women. My, my, the sense of entitlement some poeople have!

Mitchum plays the part with understated menace, and there is a minimum of blood and violence, a maximum of suspense.

Got any others along the same line? Any good vintage film noir in black and white will do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 08:12 PM

i love Rebecca, and All about Eve and The Big Sleep.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 08:20 PM

Night Must Fall (and yes, The Big Sleep).


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 11:04 PM

Mitchum scared the hell out of me when I first saw Cape Fear. The remake with Dinero was too violent to produce the same kind of menace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 11:08 PM

A Kiss Before Dying.
Slimy Robert Wagner.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: J-boy
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 11:10 PM

The Third Man. One of Orson's best roles. I also love that zither music on the soundtrack.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 12:34 AM

Off the top of my balding head:

He Walked By Night with Richard Basehart.

The Killers with Burt Lancaster.

More to come...

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 02:06 AM

Laura (1944).

Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson.

Don Firth (No, I wasn't in it)


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 03:37 AM

Most of them, but I'd definitely vote for Cape Fear. Also Double Indemnity, and DOA, which was on British tv recently. It's a great pity that Hollywood insists on producing inferior remakes, and tv keeps broadcasting them in preference to the originals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Micca
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 05:17 AM

Its Gotta be Rififi....... That heist scene that changed cinema, apart from that many of the above and "Dead men dont wear plaid"


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 05:44 AM

"Le Samourai" - with Alain Delon

"The Battle of Algiers" - politically aware and sophisticated

"Un homme condamné a mort est échappé" - you know he's going to escape but you're still drawn into the nail-biting how and when...

"Lift To The Scaffold" - music sound track by Miles Davis...


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 08:16 AM

Had a nightmare about Robert Mitchum last night. Thanks guys. That movie really did freak me out.
Last night he helped me burn a drunken brother-in-law to death - I don't have a brother-in-law but I think it was Richard Chamberlain in my dream...

The Third Man is brilliant. More pure evil - watering down penicillen and killing babies with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Max Johnson
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 09:14 AM

'Anatomy Of A Murder'
'Double Indemnity'
'Cape Fear'

Is 'Strangers On A Train' Noir? It's definitely Noir-ish.

I don't know why, but I always remember one of my all-time favourite films 'Bad Day At Black Rock' as being Black and White, but it always turns out to be in colour.
"Nobody asked you to come here!"
"How do you know?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 10:49 AM

The 1960 film, The Siege of Sidney Street.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 11:15 AM

The Killers, Criss-Cross, Born to Kill, Gun Crazy, The Narrow Margin, The Big Clock, Out of the Past, Angel Face, High Sierra, The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity. That's a dozen off the top of my head.

The Killers is my desert island film noir. I watch it every time I can, sometimes for only 10 or 15 minutes if that's all I can stay for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 11:16 AM

Can I have a Comédie Noire, please?

Oh go on ··· pretty pretty please.

Oh thank you.

Then it just has to be the incomparable

KIND ❤❤❤ & ♛♛♛

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 12:09 PM

"The Battle of Algiers"
Mmmmmmm - surely the best ever?
Don't know if it counts as noir, but watched 'Gentleman's Agreement' this week with Gregory Peck and John Garfield and Arthur Miller included in the credits. It dealt with anti-Semitism in the US just after WW2 - not come across it before - fascinating.
Oh, and 'Rififi'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 01:47 PM

Is that Kind Hearts and Coronets?
Wonderful stuff and still a murder mystery.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 01:56 PM

I don't now if it meets the requirements for "film noir" movie, but I love the 1940s film "Blue Dahlia" starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: PoppaGator
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 02:59 PM

"I don't know why, but I always remember one of my all-time favourite films 'Bad Day At Black Rock' as being Black and White, but it always turns out to be in colour...."

*I* know why! It's likely because you first watched it on black-and-white TV.

One of my all-time favorite films, not a Hollywood noire drama but rather a British comedy, is The Ladykillers, (The original featuring Alec Guinness, not that awful latter-day remake.) It was a favorite of my dad's, and I watched it with him many times, doubling over with laughter, back when our TVs were always B&W.

Somehow, it seems that by the time I was routinely watching TV in color, that movie wasn't shown any more, or not so often ~ anyway, I went decades without seeing this film on TV. Of course, there were periods of time in the 60s when I didn't watch TV at all. And after I moved out of my parents' house, the old man no longer influenced my viewing choices. (Well, not all my viewing choices; I did still watch NY Mets games whenever possible...)

Anyway: Sometime since the turn of the 21st century, I had a chance to see The Ladykillers on TCM cable, and was ASTOUNDED to see it was actually shot in color! Garish mid-50s Technicolor. Kinda disoriented me for a while...


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 03:10 PM

The Ladykillers & my favourite Kind Hearts & Coronets were part of tyhe same series of Ealing Comedies of the late 40s-60s. KH&C was b&w, tho.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 07:59 PM

I took the woman I loved to a newly-refurbished art deco theater on a dark, stormy day to see Sunset Boulevard, starring Gloria Swanson, William Holden, and Erich von Stroheim - directed by Billy Wilder. To my mind, this is the ultimate film noir movie, and the way I saw it was absolutely perfect.

It's not black-and-white, but Hitchcock's Rear Window is another absolute classic in the film noir genre. Oh, and how about Hitchcock's North by Northwest?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: olddude
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 08:02 PM

The wreck of the Mary Dear


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 08:06 PM

Dr. Strangelove.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Allen in Oz
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 04:39 AM

" The Oxbow Incident "
AD


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 05:57 AM

Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring ~~ based incidentally on a Swedish version of Child #14 Babylon, or The Banks Of Fordie.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 06:06 AM

Glida, are you decent?


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: richd
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 08:19 AM

It Always Rains on Sunday
Touch of Evil
The Big Combo


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: josepp
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 11:24 AM

The genre started in 1919 with a silent film by D.W. Griffith called "Broken Blossoms"--Hollywood's first interracial love movie...and the last for decades to come. It's on Youtube.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 12:35 PM

Stupid question possibly, but does film Noir have to be in B&W? Is it just the genre or does it being in monochrome have a significance?

Just wondering.

MP


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 01:23 PM

No, I don't think it has to be in B&W...it just has to have a certain style and mood. A more recent color film that was superb film noir, for example, was "Body Heat", back in the 1980s...Kathleen Turner's first major role, and she was unforgettable!


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 01:35 PM

This is a very interesting thread. The term wasn't even in use until the late 1940s. The term Film Noir did not exist until applied to certain films of the immediate post WWII era. It had to do with photography (B/W, shadows and angles, etc.), story (point of view, often fatalism or hubris), acting style and many other intangibles.

Film Noir has a pretty elastic definition. The classic period is considered to begin about 1941 (High Sierra, The Maltese Falcon, Out of the Fog among others) and goes a bit past 1960. There are a handful of pre-1941s that are generally accepted as Noirs (M, The Petrified Forest, They Drive By Night are examples). And there are many films made after 1960/61 and/or in color which get shoehorned into the genre.

There are Noirs that crossover into the western genre, Noir comedies and documentary-style (mostly anti-Nazi/anti Communist) and war Noirs. That is, they share a substantial portion of Noirishness in the story or production values.

There are probably over a thousand films that some expert or other considers Noir. Perhaps half that would be consensus Noirs. My own vision of what is a Noir is very conservative (surprise!); it concerns the main character in some sort of jam, mostly from making wrong choices either in the story, or a some point before the story begins, often knowing that s/he is doing the wrong thing.   My favorite example of that is Born to Kill--Clare Trevor is not a bad person, but jealous of her stepsister (I believe that's the relationship) on whom she is dependent for her lifestyle. She meets a man she suspects of murder, but does not turn him over to the police, instead gets involved with him seeing a way to get out from under her sister's largesse. Needless to say, it ends badly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: richd
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 03:07 PM

Film Noir- french film critics after the war noticed stylistic similarities between a number of different Hollywood films. As John says, most critics take the starting point as being around about The Matese Falcon, and the end point being A touch of Evil. (1957) In most film scholarship it doesn't last to the 60s.

Defined by three things: unease about masculinity- hero is anbiguous and morally uncertain; unease about femininity- dramatic split in female characters- 'femme fetale' v angelic good woman; plot is organised around moral uncertainty and ambiguity. Thus, you can define noir in terms of narrative as well as style.

Style is important too of course- use of shadows and High key lighting makes visuals distitinctive and also emphasises ambiguity of the moral world of the detective.

60s noir- Altman Big Sleep for instance is very different, more about the breakown of the values that made noir possible in the first place maybe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Max Johnson
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 03:20 PM

PoppaGator - B&W TV - you're probably right, I didn't own a colour set for many years because I didn't watch much TV. (And still don't, although I've now upgraded to colour). My word, sir - what a fellow you are. Which reminds me that I forgot 'The Maltese Falcon' According to John and our Guest, I can probably now also have 'Only Angels Have Wings'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 06:44 PM

Robert Mitchum 'Night of the Hunter'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: J-boy
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 07:02 PM

In modern Sci-fi noir Bladerunner can't be beat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 08:11 PM

Another one I love is The Roaring Twenties.

Jimmy Cagney is a gangster and he's in love with Priscilla Lane. So he gets her a job singing in a nightcub. But she doesn't love him - she's in love with the DA who's trying to put Cagney in jail. When she's in the nightclub she sings It Had to Be You and its very sad. then Humphrey Bogart shoots him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: richd
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 08:43 PM

Hmmm... 'Only Angels Have Wings' yeah, it's black and white but it ain't noir. Hawkes did a couple of nearly noir, but I don't think this is one- the relationships betwen the guys in the group of pilots is the most important plot element not the girl.

Night of the Hunter- great great film, but it ain't noir- far far more complex.
Southern Gothic?


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 11:00 PM

I've just finished watching "Night of the Hunter". Now, there's a unique movie. It doesn't fit neatly into any category I can think of, though it's somewhat in the direction of film noir in some respects. It's more like a dream/nightmare/parable/fable than a film noir. I agree that it's a great film.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 11:12 PM

Little Hawk says Night of the Hunter is not a Film Noir. I have some lists that say it is, and a list that omits it. I tend to agree with LH, although it does have a noirish quality. I saw the film when it first came out, and it scared the bejeezus out of me!

Virtually every list includes The Maltese Falcon. About eighteen months ago I listed (at another site) reasons why it is not a Film Noir as I consider the genre. Unfortunately I cannot access that post. Needless to say, I was quite alone in my assessment, although a minor point or two was granted. The main reason for my interpretation is that I believe Sam Spade is virtually always in control of himself, and is pushing forward the narrative, although it seems otherwise. And he does the right thing. I had about six other reasons for my view on why it is not a Noir to go along with that.

As I noted above, the parameters of Noir are quite elastic. Quite a few of the films listed in various posts are not part of the Noir canon. But some of them have noirish qualities, and perhaps a case can be made for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 11:22 PM

Oh, dear ~~ I suppose we were bound to get into the same sort of intricate speculations as to what really·truly·absolutely constitutes "noir" as we always do regarding the categorisation of "folk".

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 11:27 PM

I'm waiting for the discussion on 'folk noir' ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 11:37 PM

'Black Is The Color', The Fooles Troupe?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Ron Davies
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 12:15 AM

I really like "Key Largo".    The tension between the characters is reflected and heightened by the tension waiting for the hurricane.

I've also read that John Huston meant it to be an allegory for the HUAC situation in 1948 when it was made.    The gangsters were "a metaphor for the right-wing forces bent on compelling obedience to the new political orthodoxy.":   Bogart, by Sperber and Lax, p 410. .

Huston also had to be persuaded to make the movie--he came close to resigning since it was based on a 1939 play by Maxwell Anderson, a reactionary who hated FDR--and Huston had had enough of that in Washington already. But Huston had some lines spoken by FDR during WW II inserted into the film.

And of course audiences did not see the HUAC parallel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 12:19 AM

"Key Largo" is definitely one of my favourites of flim noir.

As for "Night of the Hunter", I consider it sort of "film noir" in a number of respects...but it stands alone, as it is absolutely unique among movies. As such, it more or less defies specific categorization.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 02:38 PM

I agree Little Hawk, that Night of the Hunter doesn't fit comfortably into any category. It's a very strange film for its time, simple in its screenplay but complex in its tone and atmosphere. I find it extremely disturbing. And the fact it's in black and white adds to the dreamlike quality, especially the scenes in near-silhouette. I've always felt that B&W films have more power somehow. (For example The Elephant Man and Pasolini's Gospel According to St Matthew. Not films noirs, but very much enhanced by monochrome.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 04:51 PM

They do seem to have more emotional power, perhaps because there is less to distract the eye from the essential drama...or because the contrasts are so stark. An interesting case of "less is more".


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Bert
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 09:39 PM

What no "39 Steps"?

I loved "The Lady Killers" as well, and much prefer the Ealing comedies to the Noir genre.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 10:29 PM

Noir!? Ya want Noir? Go to http://www.theyshootpictures.com/noir.htm.

Here you will find 250 'quitessential' Noirs, and about 750 films ranked by degree of Noirishness. This list is conservative in that it lists no Western-Noir or SciFi-Noir that I noted in a cursory look at the lists. There are chronological and alphabetical versions of the list, so you can see if your favorite made the cut.

I think I've seen over 80% of the Quintisentials. The only one I really disagree with strongly--probably because I think the film is just plain bad--is Kiss Me Deadly. I cannot find anything, except maybe the cinematography to recommend it.

Have fun!


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 05:03 AM

I'd say an important element of the noir era is the moral confusion - the films are in black and white, but the issues of good and evil aren't.

Robert Mitchum in the Night of the Hunter is almost too much of a cartoon baddie - there is no ambiguity about him, he is evil personified. moose malloy in the Farewell My Lovely (another pursuer) is quite as brutal, but also strangely pathetic.

Similarly the Chandler detctives seem almost too morally upright for these films. The fact that they are knowing and expect the law and its factors to be corrupt is the only thing that makes them fit into this seedy world.

Bogart seems much more at one with the noir form in In a Lonely place, when his violent outburst at the start of the film is shocking to the audience.


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