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why "A Streetcar Named Desire" isn't ever even discussed in Noir circles. Its certainly has a very Noir-ish Vibe going for it story-wise and its filmed in that noir style, granted its not crime or gangster related, but if you can have a Noir Gothic Romance or a Noir Western, why not a Noir Drama its in the same vein as "Sweet Smell Of Success", no????

 

Edited by: cigarjoe on Nov 21, 2010 11:57 AM

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I've never associated anything by Tennessee Williams with noir. I know all us noir fans agree that it can be a very broad genre, encompassing many sub-genres etc. But after a while I think we can go too far with that, it can reach a point where almost everything short of *The Sound of Music* could be classified as noir.

 

The characters in *Streetcar* are not very noirish to me, not even Stanley Kowalski. There's no "mystery" - I don't mean a mystery or crime to solve, I mean a "mood" of feeling of mystery.

 

Having said that, I will go so far as to agree that , visually, *Streetcar* has a bit of a noir look, the black and white streets, the shabby rooming houses, etc. Although it never really " opens up" cinematically, you can tell for sure it's based on a play.

 

*Sweet Smell of Success* is usually put in the noir category due to its misanthropic characters and its bleak outlook. Despite Stanley's crudeness, he just doesn't seem like a noir kind of character to me.

 

I do like *Streetcar Named Desire*, I just think it would be stretching things to label it even an honourary film noir.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Nov 21, 2010 2:39 PM

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The characters in Streetcar are not very noirish to me, not even Stanley Kowalski. There's no "mystery" - I don't mean a mystery or crime to solve, I mean a "mood" of feeling of mystery.

 

*I think you are focusing on the wrong character, Blanche is the mystery, the crumbling beauty with her decadent, hidden, mysterious, past that propelled her into the decadence of booze and prostitution.*

 

Having said that, I will go so far as to agree that , visually, Streetcar has a bit of a noir look, the black and white streets, the shabby rooming houses, etc. Although it never really " opens up" cinematically, you can tell for sure it's based on a play.

 

*A bit? I'd argue that the whole opening sequence of Blanch arriving in New Orleans provides the establishing cinematography. Then it neatly delves way down into the dark rat warrens of both the city and the mind.*

 

Sweet Smell of Success is usually put in the noir category due to its misanthropic characters and its bleak outlook. Despite Stanley's crudeness, he just doesn't seem like a noir kind of character to me.

 

*Again I'd focus on Blanche I'd say that she was as equally tormented as Bogart was in "In A lonely Place".*

 

I do like Streetcar Named Desire, I just think it would be stretching things to label it even an honourary film noir.

 

*I guess I disagree, I'd say its more deserving than say "Mildred Pierce" for example.*

 

Edited by: cigarjoe on Nov 21, 2010 4:23 PM

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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> Now, according to the Napoleonic Code, Streetcar is not a noir.

 

 

Exactly! And, since Louisiana laws are based on the Napoleonic Code, Tennessee W. Would not be a part of a noir set in New Orleans. In his noir masterpiece, also starring Marlon Brando, *The Fugitive Kind*, Brando leaves NOLA for Mississippi, where noir is often practiced openly...

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Mississippi was a wide open state for noir, which is somewhat paradoxical, considering

its fraught racial history. There was also the legacy of native son Bill "Corncob" Faulkner

and an age of consent law set at twelve years old. Put all these things together and you're

in noirodise. Let's not forget Alabama either: Noir today. Noir tomorrow. Noir forever.

 

Streetcar has some of the elements of noir, but I wouldn't consider it a noir in itself, but if

someone wants to call it a noir that's not a problem either.

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*Brando has never been in a real noir. Nor has Clift, Newman, or any other Method-trained actor.( If I am wrong, feel free to pile on).*

 

Although having unanimity on the terms "real noir" and "Method-trained" may be tough, how about:

 

Rod Steiger and Shelley Winters: *The Big Knife*

Eli Wallach: *The Lineup*

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Finance, you raise an interesting point. Arguably, the self-referential style of many method actors would work against the more minimalist, cleaner lines of noir. As ChiO notes, "real noir" and "Method-trained actors" are not easy to define. John Garfield comes out of the Group Theater, which had affinities with the somewhat later Method, and Garfield is one of the great noir stars. On the other hand, the process of his acting is much less on display than in many of the 50s Method actors like Brando, Dean, and sometimes Clift. Noir isn't narcissistic in this way.

 

Hm, apart from the general pessimism, I would never connect THE BIG KNIFE with noir. Pretentious dialogue preserved in amber--which, alas, describes about nine-tenths of THE BIG KNIFE--is the opposite of noir. I believe that Robert Aldrich later admitted that he'd been too respectful of Clifford Odets' play.

 

Perhaps the verbal stylization of most plays isn't as well suited for the visual stylization of noir.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> Brando has never been in a real noir. Nor has Clift, Newman, or any other Method-trained actor.( If I am wrong, feel free to pile on).

 

As I said, I think *The Fugitive Kind* is a noir. It is a bit more complicated and subtle than most noirs. Also, it has serious points to make, about racism. This isn't common in noirs. But, it would be hard to be more noir than that film.

 

Montgomery Clift's *I Confess* is generally recognized as a noir, rightfully so IMO.

 

Both men were in several very noirish films. I'd call *One Eyed Jacks* a noir, and *Red River* is very close.

 

*The Big Knife* is generally recognized as a noir, and I agree that it clearly is.

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And The Group Theater (John Garfield) meets The Method (Shelley Winters) in *He Ran All the Way*.

 

Perhaps Shelley Winters should be considered the Queen of Noir (The Method Division):

 

*A Place in the Sun* (also has Montgomery Clift -- and, yes, some consider it Noir)

*Cry of the City*

*A Double Life*

*I Died a Thousand Times*

*Odds Against Tomorrow*

 

Another Steiger: *The Harder They Fall*

 

Karl Malden: *Kiss of Death* and *Where the Sidewalk Ends*

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