Film noir
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Film Noir. By: Bryan & Alex. Background Info. FIlm Noir literally means "black film or cinema" It was first called that by a french film critic Nino Frank in 1946, who noticed how 'dark' and downbeat and black the American crime and detective movies looked.

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Film Noir

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Film noir

Film Noir

By: Bryan & Alex

Background info

Background Info

  • FIlm Noir literally means "black film or cinema"

  • It was first called that by a french film critic Nino Frank in 1946, who noticed how 'dark' and downbeat and black the American crime and detective movies looked.

  • All the darkness reflected the time period which was post World War II and early Cold War. The tensions were high and there was a lot of mistrust, loss of innocence, fear, and paranoia all over the air.

  • Classic Film Noir movies were made during and after World War II, taking advantage of anxiety, pessimism, and suspicion.



  • The Protagonists in film noir

  • Conflicted hard-boiled * detectives or private eyes

    • cops

    • gangsters

    • government agents

    • lone wolves

    • socio-paths

    • killers

    • crooks

    • war veterans

    • politicians

    • petty criminals

    • murderers

    • Plain "Joes"



  • The Protagonist is usually morally ambiguous, low-lifes from the dark and gloomy underworld of violent crime and corruption. Characteristics :

    • Cynical

    • Tarnished

    • Obsessive(sexual or otherwise)

    • Brooding

    • Menacing

    • Sinister

    • Sardonic

    • Disillusioned

    • Frightened

    • Insecure loner (usually male)

    • Struggling to survive

    • Ultimately losing



  • The story lines were often non-linear and twisting. The stories were very complex and maze-like and convoluted.

  • The story is usually told with a foreboding background music.

  • Often told in flashback or a series of flashbacks.

  • Amnesia suffered by the protagonist is a plot device often used.

  • Also the lost of innocence by falling under temptation or being framed.

Style of film noir

Style of Film Noir

  • It is usually shot in gloomy grays, blacks, and whites, this was done to show the inhumane side of human nature with cynicism and doomed love.

  • They emphasizes the brutal, unhealthy, seamy, shadowy, dark, sadistic sides of the human experience.

  • Camera tactics:

    • expressionistic lighting

    • deep focus or depth of field camera work

    • disorienting visual schemes

    • jarring editing

    • skewed camera angles(usually vertical or diagonal rather than horizontal



  • Interior settings:

    • with a single source of lighting, venetian-blinded windows, dark rooms, claustrophobic, gloomy appearances

  • Exterior settings:

    • urban night scenes with deep shadows, wet asphalt, dark alleyways, rain-slicked streets, flashing neon lights, and low lighting.

  • Story Locations:

    • murky and dark streets,dimly lit and low rent apartments and hotel rooms of big cities, or abandoned warehouses

Cross over noirs

Cross over Noirs

  • The term film noir also been more widely applied to other categories of films. Some of the most interesting film noir derivatives were the film noir westerns of the 1950s:

    • Pursued(1947)

    • The Gunfighter(1950)

    • High noon(1952)

    • The Halliday Brand (1957)

Derivatives of film noir

Derivatives of Film Noir


  • Thrillers- Pickup on South Street

  • Animation- Who Framed Roger Rabbit

  • Horror FIlms- Angel Heart

  • Westerns- Man of the West

  • Gangster-Crime Films- Road to Perdition

  • Science-Fiction- Kiss Me Deadly

  • Superhero Action Films- Tim Burton's Batman

Rebecca 1940

Rebecca 1940

Directed by: Alfred HItchcock

Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine and George Sanders

Plot: When a naive young woman marries a rich widower and settles in his gigantic mansion, she finds the memory of the first wife maintaining a grip on her husband and the servants.

Film noir


The night of the hunter 1955

The Night of the Hunter 1955

Directed by: Charles Laughton

Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, and Lilian Gish

Plot: A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid 10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Film noir

The Night of the Hunter

Chinatown 197

Chinatown 197.

Directed by: Roman Polanski

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston

Plot: An Los Angeles private detective investigates an adultery case stumbles on to a scheme of murder that has something to do with water in the 1940s.

Film noir


Blade runner 1982

Blade Runner 1982

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young

Plot: Deckard, a Blade Runner, has to track down and terminate four replicants (clones) who hijacked a ship in space and have returned to earth seeking their maker. Takes place in futuristic Los Angeles, circa 2019.

Film noir

Blade Runner

Pulp fiction 1994

Pulp Fiction 1994

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Stars: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurnman

Plot: The lives of two mob hit men, boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Film noir

Pulp Fiction

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