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The definitive film noir


Guest TCMhost-Claire

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Guest TCMhost-Claire

Gangsters and detectives, double-crossing dames...cheap hotel rooms with neon lights flashing through the venetian blinds...LA before it was glamorous, Chicago during the gangster days, San Francisco in the fog. These are just a few of the elements that form the type of film we call "film noir". What do you think of when you hear the term "film noir"? What film do you think captures the essence of film noir better than any other?

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Guest hhornsby

D.O.A. is the quintessential film noir, for me. Great photography, great settings in San Francisco and LA. The premise is the ideal noir plot: man has only a couple of days to find his own killer before slow-acting poison does him in. He doesn't know who poisoned him, or why. One of the things I love about this movie is that it makes "market week in San Francisco" sound so incredibly sinister, even though it's just a convention of furniture buyers!

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Guest BettyJ

Definitive film noir...The best I can do is a three-way tie among "Laura", "Out of the Past" and "Murder My Sweet". All excellent! Dick Powell is astoundingly good in "Murder My Sweet" - completely against his "song & dance man" type.

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Guest TheeMonkey

I may not be in the right forum but would appreciate help. I am looking for the title of a movie. White female plays torch singer, in love with gangster, speakeasy days, (1920's or 30's), I think movie was around 1950, black and white, lead female sang "Bill" (Along Came Bill). Anyone know this??

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Guest TCMhost-Claire

Could it be either I Walk Alone (1948) or Dark City (1950)? Both feature torch singers and gangsters. Couldn't find a song anywhere called Along Came Bill. I did find one named Bill, by Artie Shaw, and another called Lucky Seven (Bill's Tune) by Erskine Hawkins, but could not find film references on either.

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Guest Alix

How about DOUBLE INDEMNITY, and LAURA as my two favorite noirs? I love Barbara Stanwyck and Fred McMurray as the lovers who bump off her husband. Would the STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS count as a film noir?

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Guest skatikus

Is this noir? I'm relatively new to the genre. Love the movie though. I think Sterling Hayden was great. I also saw him in The Star.

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Guest markf

Scarlet Street..... one of the darkest and most characteristic of all film noirs. Edward G Robinson and Dan Duryea are excellent, while Joan Bennett plays the ultimate femme fatale.

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Guest TCMhost-Joy

Asphalt Jungle is correctly catagorized as film-noir, and was given a four star rating by Leonard Maltin. Although it has been colorized, it's better seen in B&W.

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Guest Eleanor

The song was popularized by Helen Morgan, the famous saloon singer of the 1930's. It was also sung in the Warner Bros. 1946 picture, THE MAN I LOVE. Ida Lupino played a saloon singer, but I do not think that she sang this song. She later sang AGAIN in the 1948 movie, ROADHOUSE. Again, she played the part of the bar singer.

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Guest clore

I'll go along with Out of the Past, Scarlet Street (Fritz Lang), Criss Cross and Cry of the City (both from Robert Siodmak, he and Lang practically defined the genre), and that remarkable little B-film, Detour.

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Guest BlueAngel

Double Indemnity (so cynical!), The Maltese Falcon (can there be a more noir movie? I don't think so), Detour (relentlessly downbeat).

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Guest glendeee

Where is the best place to buy classic movies? I have been looking for Now Voyager and The Big Sleep. Any suggestions? P.S - How many people are still collecting VHS as opposed to upgrading to DAD?

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Guest G, Joe

I'm more of a horror fan, but I've seen a number of these - the genres skirt each other, really. I agree about "The Maltese Falcon", "Out of the Past", "DOA" and "Double Indemnity". Recently I saw (on TCM, of course)"Detour" and "The Devil Thumbs a Ride" for the first time - terrific films! Lawrence Tierney wasn't always just the old guy in "Reservoir Dogs"!

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Guest BlueAngel

You can get both Now Voyager and The Big Sleep on amazon.com. I'm sure there are other sources as well. As for the VHS/DVD issue, I was never a movie collector until I got a DVD player. The quality of VHS just never seemed worth the price of ownership to me. But DVD looks so much better, and will (hopefully) last longer so it feels like a better investment.

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Guest CornellWoolrich

I've never really considered "Maltese Falcon" as noir, probably because it's excellent blend of steel and humor seems to transcend genre labels. However, certain scenes, such as when Spade is slipped a "mickey" by Gutman, are not only noir, but some of the most definitive examples of hard-boiled narrative to date. "Glass Key," perhaps my favorite film in any genre, is another faithful adaptation of Dashiel Hammett, yet also hard to define as noir. As with "Falcon," the glamour of the Ladd/Lake pairing and the relentless humor defy noir convention. But when handsome Alan Ladd is shown beaten beyond recognition by a gleefully psychotic William Bendix, we see the underside of tough-guy glamour, with no visual punches pulled. Except, of course, for Ladd's miraculous recovery at film's end, back to his marquee features! Anyone who loves "Maltese Falcon" that has not seen "Glass Key," I highly recommend an immediate viewing.

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Guest TCMhost-Claire

Amazon is a good place to start. Here are some places that specialize in more obscure films:http://www.rarevideo.comhttp://www.captainbijou.com/http://www.rarereels.com/ (also offers a search service)http://robertsvideos.com/ (specializes in hard-to-find videos)http://cinemaclassics.com/ (also has a retail operation in NYC)http://www.nostalgiafamilyvideo.com/ (also has cartoons and TV shows)http://www.wildeast.net/content.htm (specializes in spaghetti western, horror and cult films on DVD)Happy hunting!

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Guest clore

Not that I agree, but to me, if it doesn't have the femme to lead the male lead down the wrong path, it's not noir.When I see THE BIG SLEEP, KEY LARGO, CALL NORTHSIDE 777, SHADOW OF A DOUBT referred to as film noir, I cringe.Now, when ya got dames such as Joan Bennett (SCARLETT STREET), Barbara Stanwyck (DOUBLE INDEMNITY), Jane Greer (OUT OF THE PAST) or Ava Gardner (THE KILLERS) causing basically good men to take a wrong turn into a (then) contemporary and shadow-laden Greek tragedy, then you're in noir territory.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Fcapra

The ultimate noir has to be Double Indemnity, but Murder, My Sweet and The Postman Always Rings Twice (original) are fine examples of the genre as well.

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Guest scooper

Laura with Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews certainly fits the bill. I also think Shadow of a Doubt with Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten qualifies as a good one.

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Guest jeryson

To me, "The Seventh Victim," Val Lewton's powerful excursion into film noise/macabre entertainment, from l944, is unforgettable. The darkish tale of a young girl who discovers her sister is a member of a satanic cult, is beautifully done. The final scene, where Elizabeth Russell, dying of TB, goes out into the night for a final night of partying, is extraordinary. Don't kill me, but the colorized version looks sensational.

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Guest marco, bennett

joseph l. lewis' B masterpiece. really over the top visually (anthony mann as DP), thematically very dark with cornell wilde as a tormented and morally corrupt detective.

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