Film Noir = Black and White?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ches Campbell, Feb 26, 2002.

  1. Ches Campbell

    Ches Campbell Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry for the ignorance but I was just wondering what Film Noir meant. I know than Noir is black in french.
    Later
     
  2. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    From Merriam-Webster:

    Main Entry: film noir

    Pronunciation: -'nwär

    Function: noun

    Etymology: French, literally, black film

    Date: 1958

    : a type of crime film featuring cynical malevolent characters in a sleazy setting and an ominous atmosphere that is conveyed by shadowy photography and foreboding background music; also : a film of this type

    Regards,
     
  3. Ches Campbell

    Ches Campbell Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, i see. Thanks a lot for the info.
    Later
     
  4. Scott Shanks

    Scott Shanks Second Unit

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    There are many examples of film noir or neo-noir films which were shot in color ("Body Heat" being the best ot these in my humble opinion).
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Not only Body Heat, but Blade Runner can be considered noir as well.
     
  6. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  7. Chris Lynch

    Chris Lynch Stunt Coordinator

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    I've always taken it to mean the subject matter is what's dark, not necessarily the black and white print. Of course, black and white does induce a very dark effect on the audience, and some modern noir uses it for this reason (in addition to the fact that so many classic noir films are also B&W).
    On the other hand, color films can be very effective as well, including Blade Runner. When I finally get around to seeing Body Heat I'll probably second that one as well.
     
  8. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Two of the best modern color noirs are John Dahl's "Red Rock West" and "The Last Seduction". One of my favorites from the 70s is "Farewell My Lovely" with Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe.

    Regards,
     
  9. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Some other vintage noirs (and noir-ish films) shot in color:

    LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945)

    NIAGARA (1953)

    INFERNO (1953)

    DRAGNET (1954)

    REAR WINDOW (1954)

    I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES (1955)

    PETE KELLY'S BLUES (1955)

    A KISS BEFORE DYING (1956)

    THE UNGUARDED MOMENT (1957)

    VERTIGO (1958)

    EDGE OF ETERNITY (1959)

    PEEPING TOM (1960)

    THE KILLERS (1964)

    BLOOD & BLACK LACE (1964)

    COOGAN'S BLUFF (1967)

    POINT BLANK (1967)

    WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967)

    THE BOSTON STRANGLER (1968)

    BULLITT (1968)

    MADIGAN (1968)

    GET CARTER (1971)

    DIRTY HARRY (1971)

    THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE (1973)
     
  10. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    For a TV series, The Untouchables is the best.
     
  11. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

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    ...ahh... add Walter Hill's 1978 The Driver to the titles listed above...
    . . . [​IMG] . . .
     
  12. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    The Coen Brothers first feature, BLOOD SIMPLE, which has never been released on LD or DVD in its original theatrical presentation.
     
  13. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    Isn't L.A. Confidential a nice example of a modern film noir?
     
  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Parts of it might be considered noir, Mark. But, overall, it's more of a straightforward gumshoe mystery. IMO, of course.
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  16. Steve Enemark

    Steve Enemark Second Unit

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    ...except for its un-noir ending. happy
     
  17. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Not sure I'd agree with that interpretaton of the ending, Steve.

    Bud White may end up with love and redemption, but he leaves. And the LAPD replaces one set of questionable leaders with another. (It's probably a minority view, but I don't regard Exley as a "good guy".) The players have changed, but not the corruption. And not even all the players; the creepy D.A. is still in power.

    M.
     
  18. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Excellent points, Michael.
    Certainly noirs don't have to end on down notes. While many noirs subject our protagonists to loss, or some physical stress; in many cases the hero manages to outwit the villain(s) and may develop a romantic interest in the process. Not an unhappy ending, by my reckoning.
    For every Double Indemnity, Scarlett Street, or The Big Heat you may have a 99 River Street, The Set-Up or Kiss of Death.
    And while some of the endings may not be 'happy' in the typical sense, there can be a sense of wisdom gained, or the resolution of conflict that provides our hero with some relief or hope for a better tomorrow. Which strikes me as being upbeat.
    - Walter.
     
  19. Steve Owen

    Steve Owen Second Unit

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    I'd put Dark City on that list as well. The smokey night club scene with Jennifer Connelly singing is an especially good example of this genre I think.
    -Steve
     
  20. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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