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Favorite Neo-Noir 1960-80


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I read a book on film noir, in which the author did a smart thing and split the neo-noir era into two: 1960-80 and 1980-2000.

 

Since we've talked about "Brainstorm" on the DVD thread and someone mentioned that Paul Newman's "Harper" is coming out soon on DVD, what are your favorite "old" neo noirs?

 

This is the era of "Harper," "Marlowe" "The Long Goodbye" and "Chinatown." Seems like a lot of private eye movies. Also the Mitchum "Farewell My Lovely."

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Here's a list for starters:

SHOCK CORRIDOR (1963)

THE KILLERS (1964)

THE NAKED KISS (1964)

MICKEY ONE (1965)

BRAINSTORM (1965)

THE MONEY TRAP (1966)

POINT BLANK (1967)

THE LONG GOODBYE (1973)

THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE (1973)

CHINATOWN (1974)

REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER (1975)

THE NICKEL RIDE (1975)

BLUE COLLAR (1978)

WHO'LL STOP THE RAIN (1978)

FINGERS (1979)

CRUISING (1980)

TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA (1985)

BAD LIEUTENANT (1992)

ROMEO LIES BLEEDING (1992)

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It's a puzzler to be sure, but therein lies its appeal I think. While not a wholly successful film it takes some radically risky chances, winding up more of a quirky character study than a plot-driven narrative. Plus it sure looks good. Especially in the wee hours of the morning.

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> It's a puzzler to be sure, but therein lies its

> appeal I think. While not a wholly successful film it

> takes some radically risky chances, winding up more

> of a quirky character study than a plot-driven

> narrative. Plus it sure looks good. Especially in the

> wee hours of the morning.

 

Hurd Hatfield sure was creepy.

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For (fairly) recent noirs, I like JOHNNY HANDSOME, with Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Lance Henriksen and Morgan Freeman. I think it's Rourke's best performance, the "new chance at life" vs. getting revenge for past wrongs theme is classic, and the cast is amazing. Plus, essentially everyone dies at the end! I know, I know...Mickey Rourke has gotten very weird at times, but really, this one is well worth checking out.

 

Also, AFTER DARK, MY SWEET, based on the Jim Thompson book, is very, very good. Jason Patric is the dim/violent ex-boxer, Rachel Ward is the (very sexy) femme fatale, and Bruce Dern is (no surprise) extremely sleazy. Everybody crosses everybody else, and then some. This is my favorite film of a Thompson novel.

 

My two cents worth...

 

Max

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Wow, someone else in the world has seen "Johnny Handsome." I liked it a lot when it came out. Haven't seen it since, either on TV or video. Did Walter Hill direct it? That is one of the better neo-noirs (of the 1981-2006 vintage.)

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The original " Cape Fear " starring Peck & Mitchum. I know that many will not call it noir because of the lack of a femme fatale, not in flashbacks, and not really filmed in the noir style, even though it is in black & white.

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It's nice to see that someone else is less than enthralled by "The Grifters." I found Angelica Huston's accent very distracting in that movie. I think "The Grifters" inspired Richard Corliss to remark that it was a movie that took more time to watch than it did to read the source novel.

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I am new to the Boards, and this argument, but for my money, noir is noir, and knows no time, place or film stock! Why distinguish noir from neo-noir, and how do we define these terms? 60's-80's is considered "Neo-noir"? What about the 90's-2000's? Anyway, if we're talking noir that happened to be made in the 80's, don't forget the Don Johnson gem "The Hot Spot"! ;)

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The book I read broke the neo-noir era down into two periods, 1960-80 and 1981 to the present, arguing that if you treated it as one era, it would quickly dwarf classic noir. Also, he pointed out that things had changed so much in Hollywood that to consider, for example, "Shock Corridor" and "Pulp Fiction" part of the same era didn't make much sense.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You're so right, Mr. Palace. Scorsese's splendid After Hours features Griffin Dunne playing a character who cannot regain control of his life and circumstances. His maddening and frustrated efforts at getting out of the situation is reminiscent of film noir classics like Detour.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I love neo-noir films, and am so glad you mentioned Johnny Handsome. That is going on my list of DVD's to buy! I also loved After Hours, but never thought of it as noir till now... I'm also going to check out After Dark My Sweet.

 

Thanks KT

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  • 2 months later...

> I am new to the Boards, and this argument, but for

> my money, noir is noir, and knows no time, place or

> film stock! Why distinguish noir from neo-noir, and

> how do we define these terms? 60's-80's is

> considered "Neo-noir"? What about the 90's-2000's?

> Anyway, if we're talking noir that happened to be

> made in the 80's, don't forget the Don Johnson gem

> "The Hot Spot"! ;)

 

 

In a manner of speaking you're right on the money. Film Noir in the classic sense(1940-1958)was the style and tone of the crime films being made during and after WW2.

 

That changed drastically in the 1960's. The 60's was about colors and brighter lighting, and while they had detective movies during that era, it was more in the realm of exploitation and filmmaking independence, than it was in the film noir sense. We call it Neo-noir, but neo-noir is what I call anything that is noir that isn't in the 40's-50's movement.

 

Different times mean different views, opinions, society, and expressionalism; which essentially makes the significant distinction between the primary noir classifications(film noir & neo-noir).

 

I think another big factor is the original era of film noir were crime films set in and around societyat that actual time....neo-noir and the 60's & 70's were basically period crime pieces. Not all of them, but a lot were....

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