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To you, what makes a film noir?

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6 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

As for noir:   I still say there are a few color noir films that were made during the "classic" noir cycle;  1941 - 1959 (of course these years are subject to endless debate). 

The film I mentioned: Leave Her To Heaven was released in 1945.     If I was writing a book on noir of the classic period I would include this film as an example of a film that pushed the boundaries  of what is noir,  that was made shortly after Laura by 20th Century Fox.   



I just read the wiki page on LHTH and I don't recall seeing it, though I'm sure it made the TV rounds back when TV stations ran old movies. I see it references mythology and Shakespeare, or at least the novel it came from did. It is on YT. I will have a look soon, not to judge whether it is noir or something else, because ultimately that's academic, but just to enjoy it. Looks good.

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Here is the simplest explanation that covers all the bases. The term BTW was coined in the mid 1930s by French right wing and political publications to condemn those films which were morally dubious or against the state. When French critics first saw the new American films hit Paris after the liberation, they wrote that the films reminded them of what they called Films Noir. 

Films Noir are pan generic dark stories filmed in a visually stylistic manner, that have enough of those elements to tune/tip the film Noir for you. It covers all the bases. Its not a genre never was.

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