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B Noir Detour

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noir review

Allotment Wives: for Kay Francis lovers

In The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir, founding noir critic Foster Hirsch opines that good noir is ruined when it becomes political and tries to bear a specific social message. Darkness, anxiety, corruption, crime, and inexorable fate are noir's territory,... Continue Reading →

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Pépé le Moko

The more I watch and study film noir, the deeper and more interesting the rabbit trail gets. There are so many loops and turns and connections to history, culture, politics, and artforms. I have been exploring the World War II... Continue Reading →

Smash-Up…or Don’t

I came across Smash-up: The Story of a Woman (1947) while engaging in a combination of research on the Hollywood Blacklist and searching for new films to livetweet on Sunday evenings (via hashtag #BNoirDetour). To fill my HUAC research interests, I... Continue Reading →

Ridin’ the Crime Wave with Gene Nelson

I had such an exciting ride with B noir Crime Wave (DeToth, 1953) the other night. And it wasn't the film itself that made for the exciting twists and turns!  (Frankly, I have to stop being surprised when I discover noir... Continue Reading →

I Survived House of Bamboo (1955)

1950s noir varies wildly from profound to perfunctory to downright pitiful. As the post-WWII period became the Cold War era, noir focus shifted from the personal to the political, the ambiguous to the absolute, and from the antihero to the... Continue Reading →

Hoodlum (1997)

I'm always looking for noirish films that address issues of gender and race, so when I was scrolling through "free to me" videos via cable, I was happy to find Hoodlum (1997), a picture I hadn't seen and don't even remember... Continue Reading →

Blast of Silence

I haven't written for a Blogathon in a while, and a focus on 1961 offered a fun challenge: can I find film noir in 1961 America? A quick search brought up a low-budget thriller that I couldn't resist: Blast of Silence. Having... Continue Reading →

Returning to Casablanca

This week, I watched Casablanca (1942) for the first time in years, particularly the first time since becoming invested in studying film noir. I'd taken others' words for the idea that the film can comfortably be called noir, and I'd relied... Continue Reading →

Tabloid Noir: Scandal Sheet (1952)

There's a small subgenre of noir (or noirish) films that deal with journalism -- from tales of earnest wartime reporters to blackmailing magazine magnates. My favorite at the moment is Ace in the Hole (1950), which kept me riveted. At the bottom... Continue Reading →

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