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Seeking a Stereotypital Film Noir


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Does anyone know of a stereotypical film noir that contains both voice-over narration and sexy saxophone solos? You know the scene. As a saxophone wails in the background, we hear: "I could tell she was trouble when I first laid eyes on her. etc."


None of the few film noirs that I know use sax. I'm wondering if these are characteristics more of radio dramas than they are of films. In any case, I'd appreciate any film (or radio) suggestions.





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I don't offhand, sorry, but theres a movie that I THINK has the VO narrator at the beginning, (not sure about the sax, but I know where you're coming from with this!) I any case, its the one where the mother of a baby gets out of bed to see to him and says something in VO like, 'I know that there are 7 o'clock babies and there are 8 o'clock babies, why do YOU have to be a 6 o'clock baby' wish I could recall the name. And then there is another film - and they show quite a few moments from it in the B&W, TCM ''Up All Night' piece, that ends with the coffee shop scene - that I am pretty sure has a narration, as well


I sure hope others post responses that are far more helpful and informative. So sorry, I couldn't have been more helpful to you.

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David, welcome to the boards.


It's hard offhand to think of a noir that has both of the characteristics you are interested in. The part with the sax is the hard one. I think most noirs I know have a relatively subdued soundtrack. Of course, I don't usually pay attention to the soundtrack of a movie consciously, mostly I just let it work on me, to the extent that it will.


Have you tried the 1946 *The Killers* and *Out of the Past* already? Sorry can't be much more help than that.


Happy Holidays!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. I'll check those films out.


It's not terribly important that I find a film like the one I described. It's just that I heard a radio commercial the other day that used voice over with sexy sax music to depict a stereotypical film noir scene, and it got me to thinking that I don't actually know a film noir film that observes those characteristics. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I think Tension (1949) might have the sexy sax solos I'm looking for. I'm not sure about the voice over narration.

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  • 1 month later...

Probably a couple of months too late, but I'd also recommend THE KILLING, with Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Jay C. Flippen and Elisha Cook Jr. This film has poor narration overlays - they seem incongruous or mis-written or misplaced. Like maybe a young director would 'settle for' - and this was an early work by Stanley Kubrick.


THE KILLING gets my vote for Memorable Noir because it's a procedural, step-by-step invitation for the audience to go along with the bad guys.


I'd love to hear what Sterling Hayden thought of this film. I have a feeling he didn't care for it, because it was a mid-career film for him, and he'd already turned in stronger performances in better films (Asphalt Jungle, Suddenly, Crime Wave, Johnny Guitar). But I'm not sure his was a lesser performance one bit - he really moves this film along, and powerfully.

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