Fritz Lang: Noir On Two Continents

Robert Ryan was an American actor. He is perhaps best remembered for noir roles, though he also starred in war movies. Born in Chicago in 1909, Ryan entered show business as a playwright but found greater success in acting roles that he took to support himself. He appeared in a few movie during the early 1940s and, after a short bout in the Marines, received his big break in 1947′s Crossfire. His depiction of the anti-Semitic murderer Montgomery would earn him an Oscar nomination (Best Supporting Actor). Ryan went on to play villains in other movies, but also became known for tough but emotional heroes, like boxer Bill “Stoker” Thompson in The Set-Up (1949) and grizzled cop Jim Wilson in On Dangerous Ground (1951). He also had parts in The Naked Spur (1953), House of Bamboo and Bad Day at Black Rock (both 1955). A civil rights activist and pacifist after marrying his Quaker wife Jessica, view website, Ryan noted the disparity between his personal beliefs and the films he starred in. This probably explains his role in Odds Against Tomorrow, the first noir film with a black protagonist. You thought this was good? Brace yourself: Born to Be Bad (1950)


German Expressionism And The Depression: Noir’s Dark Origins

German expressionism remains one of the most influential cinema movements in history. The movement emerged in the aftermath of World War I. The style of cinema of German expressionism was a dark one. Frequently, the images on the silent screen reflected a nightmare. So, it should be no surprise the two genres the movement was most known for was horror and film noir. While many may be aware of the visual imagery of the films in this movement, many Read the rest of this entry »


Double Indemnity is a Double A

If such a ranking existed for movies, then they’d have to invent it just to convey how brilliant Double Indemnity truly is.

The short review is pretty much that Double Indemnity is the quintessential film noir. Hands down.

However, I’ll elaborate for first timers – both to the site and film noir as a whole. Film noir is a genre of film often described as a stylish, Hollywood crime drama. Most traits of film noir include internal dialogue, a gritty anti-hero, a dame to kill for, a mysterious murder and no small amount of intrigue, thrills and violence.

There are also stylized aspects of the film noir genre as well. Shots set up to create a sense of tension in a scene. Vertical blinds or bars in a staircase, casting prison bar shadows across the face of the protagonist. That sort of thing.

Double Indemnity covers all of these angles, all while delivering blockbuster performances from some of the best actors of the time. Fred MacMurray, as Walter Neff, portrays the archetypal man who falls for the girl and shows us how it all goes downhill.

Regarded as a classic and worthy of preservation by the Library of Congress, if you are new to noirs, then this is the best one to start you off. Heck, if you have direct tv deals or something that gives you access to the classics, you might just find it floating around there.


Peter Lorre: Film Noir’s Dark Elf

Peter Lorre is an oft-forgotten actor who has appeared in the works of master filmmakers such as Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston and more.

The Austrian actor first came to prominence in Fritz Lang’s masterpiece, M. The film was a milestone achievement in the history of cinema. It was one of the first police procedural-type films, and is also often seen as the precursor of the noir genre. Lorre depicted a child killer in what was a chillingly convincing performance. The director of M, Fritz Lang, used his background in Read the rest of this entry »


The Black Bird: Filming The Three Maltese Falcons

The Maltese Falcon, chronicling a detective’s hunt for a precious avian statuette, is one of the most famous movies of all time and generally seen as the best of the detective noir genre. However, the film is not quite as unique as most people believe, because the story — based on a 1930 novel by Dashiell Hammett — has actually been adapted several times in different ways.

The first film version of The Maltese Falcon Read the rest of this entry »


Ida Lupino: The First Lady Of Noir

When you talk about film noir, it is impossible not to mention Ida Lupino. She is one of the most well-recognized and revered actors of this genre. Film noir describes a classic film style that was dominant in the 1940s and 1095s. The movies were black and white and usually crime dramas.

During her long film and television career, she was in at least eight film noir movies. She was a trailblazer even writing, directing and producing a couple films from this era.

She starred alongside such Hollywood greats Read the rest of this entry »


From Rawhide To Unforgiven: Western Noir

The western genera has been a popular one for more than one generation. The added element of Noir to these stories has made for some truly unforgettable characters, scenes and whole movies. Exploring the films that make up Western Noir can be very enjoyable and rewarding for fans of any style of western. Shifting the focus from the settlement and expansion of the region to the characters involved has given the silver screen some of its most celebrated stories and characters, taking some time to revisit them can be a chance Read the rest of this entry »


Robert Ryan: The First Man of Noir

Robert Ryan was an American actor. He is perhaps best remembered for noir roles, though he also starred in war movies.

Born in Chicago in 1909, Ryan entered show business as a playwright but found greater success in acting roles that he took to support himself. He appeared in a few movie during the early 1940s and, after a short bout in the Marines, received his big break in 1947′s Crossfire. His depiction of the anti-Semitic murderer Montgomery Read the rest of this entry »


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