Noirvember – Five Favourite Film Noirs

At the start of this month Turner Classic Movies begun their ‘Noirvember’ season and have been showing some true noir greats from the classic American Noir era, this has sent me scurrying back to my movie collection to dig out my favourite film noirs.  Noir is such a hard genre if it is even a genre to define but for the purposes of this list I have stuck to movies in the classic noir period roughly early 1940’s to mid 1950’s. I’ll no doubt come back at a later date to include different eras, neo-noir and other related types but here are my five favourite classic noirs recommended to anyone new to the genre:

Double Indemnity – If you wanted to define noir in one movie or perhaps even in one monologue it would be Double Indemnity you’d choose.

“Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money – and a woman – and I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman. Pretty, isn’t it? ”

It’s the story of insurance salesman Walter Neff who trying to sell an insurance policy meets the glamorous and devious Mrs Dietrichson.  When the two get involved can they get away with murder and cashing in her husband’s insurance policy?  The movie uses Neff’s confession to his friend and boss as a framing device to bookend the movie and its Neff who provides the voice over as we see his tale through to the bitter end.    But just what drove Neff to do it?

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Old Movie Review – Phantom Lady

Every now and then I like to review a movie that doesn’t get much attention these days.

A classic noir style thriller while featuring actors not widely remembered today The Phantom Lady features some great performances and an unusually strong female lead character.  The style of the movie is noir but it doesn’t necessarily fulfil all the requirements to be noir it lacks some of the darker aspects but it certainly shows some of the dark psychology of a killer.

The story involves husband Scott Henderson played by Alan Curtis who after an argument with his wife storms out for a night in a bar, while there he meets a lady on her own and they decide to attend the theatre the lady’s only proviso no names.  On returning he finds his wife murdered but his alibi fails to hold up when no one in the night spots they visited remembers the phantom lady was she there at all?  Convicted only his secretary Carol ‘Kansas’ Richman played by the gorgeous Ella Raines can save him.

Phantom-Lady-3

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Old Movie Review – Somewhere in the Night

Every now and then I like to review a movie that doesn’t get much attention these days.

Somewhere in the Night – Often packaged on DVD as that now coolest of genes the ‘Noir’ Somewhere…. really doesn’t fit into this category.  It has elements of the noir such as the difficulty of the returning soldier to fit into society, a sort of femme fatale, psychological trauma but in the end it’s more a straight ahead crime film.

SomewhereintheNight_WB

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