Houses of Noir: Dark Visions from Thirteen Film Studios
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Film noir is a particularly American stylistic phenomenon (although named by French film critics) that permeated nearly every major, minor and independent Hollywood studio production from 1940 through the early 1960s. The author examines the best noir film from each studio and includes each studio's history, a meticulous plot outline and information on the careers of each studio's star roster. He also comments on producers, directors, screenwriters, camera men, composers, art and set directors and presents stills that represent the noir style. The book also has a discussion of independent productions and the second best film noirs of major and minor studios.
musical score swells up into a variation of the “dum, dee, dum, dum” themes he used in Robert Siodmak’s The Killers (1946) and the later television series Dragnet. The music punctuates the title cards, noting especially that the ﬁlm is “A John Huston Production.” The camera moves under the titles off the dock area to a police car cruising into the street of an unnamed mid–western big city circa. (On the poster for this ﬁlm, under the main title there is the subtitle “The City Under the City”
bar drinks a beverage containing luminous poisoning. With only a few days, he wants to 139 HOUSES OF NOIR Too Late for Tears (1949): Unshaven Dan Duryea and Lizabeth Scott have a face-off. track down his murderer before he dies. Wonderful use of locales and a terriﬁc Dimitri Tiomkin score. Gun Crazy (1950) Joseph H. Lewis, director. Cast: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger. A Bonnie and Clyde story where lovers meet at a carnival, share a love for guns and ammunition and rob banks. Of
grand carpeted staircase that leads to the front door. Shots are heard and Dum Dum falls dead, rolling to the bottom of the staircase. Riordan and Lubinsky, together with the police force, climb 148 Twelve — Universal Pictures and The Killers (1946) the staircase after going through the front door; they ﬁnd Colfax on an upper stairwell, mortally wounded. Colfax admits he was married to Kitty (“a wife cannot testify against her husband”) but Riordan chose to make himself a target to bring her
Crawford won the Academy Award for Best Actress starring in Warner Bros.’ adaptation of James M. Cain novel Mildred Pierce. The 1945 movie was described as a “woman’s picture noir” by many critics. I prefer another ﬁlm made two years later, Possessed (1947), for which Crawford received an Academy Award nomination. Warner Bros. had certainly put its mark on the Hollywood ﬁlm industry by 1947, creating many ﬁlm noirs. Jack L. Warner was the studio head and his brother Harry the president of the
of her. Louise surprises us by saying if Carol doesn’t approve, she’ll go away. Carol realizes her father needs someone, but asks Louise that she not call her “mother.” They embrace. 160 Thirteen — Warner Bros. and Possessed (1947) The next scene is the wedding at the Graham home. David Sutton shows up late to the proceedings, missing the entire ceremony but is looking only for the food and drink. Apparently, he was not invited. But as David washes down some hors d’oevures behind a potted