The Friday Noir column has been tugging along at a steady pace for well over a year at this point. After being privy to so many double-crosses, back stabbings, bleak outlooks and cynical one-liners, it feels like the right time to shine some proverbial light on the sinister world of film noir. What follows is a list of five previously movies reviewed that best exemplify many of the alluring qualities of this fondly remembered and frequently emulated genre.
Some pertinent details details about the list below need be shared with the readers in the hopes of anticipating and preventing any head scratching. First, the list is comprised strictly of films from the classic noir era, thus limiting the candidates to such films made and released in the mid 1940s up until the late 1950s. Neonoirs, and there are excellent ones, make no mistake about it, are therefore ineligible. The list aims to tackle the source of noir rather than its imitators. Apologies to L.A. Confidential fans.
Second, some commonly regarded masterworks are absent. As great as The Maltese Falcon, Sunset Boulevard and Touch of Evil are, they obvious are selections and by that nature less inspired choices. They are wonderful films, as is Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past for that matter, but who would not mention them in a typical compilation of film noir favourites? Readers are invited to think of the following as recommendations of some great film noir entries other than the popular classics. And now, with those details finally out of the way…
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