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Film noir facts for kids

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Film noir
Two silhouetted figures in The Big Combo (1955). The film's cinematographer was John Alton, the creator of many of film noir's stylized images.
Years active early 1920s – late 1950s
Country United States
Influences German Expressionism,
French poetic realism,
Italian neorealism,
American hardboiled fiction,
Art Deco (scenography)
Influenced French New Wave, Neo-noir

Film noir is a term used to describe crime drama movies from Hollywood that are often focused on crime, and corruption.

Film noir movies were mostly made from the early 1940s to the late 1950s in the United States, and they were usually filmed in black-and-white. The term "film noir" comes from the French term for "black film" or "dark film". Film noir movies include many different genres of movies, such as gangster movies, police movies, and detective movies.

Film noir movies were often filmed so that there were many dark shadows in the movie, even on characters' faces. The Hollywood film noir movies were influenced by German film directors such as Fritz Lang, who used dramatic lighting techniques. Another influence on film noir movies was 1930s French books or movies about heroes who would die at the end of the story or stories with sad endings. Film noir movies were also influenced by crime fiction, such as the detective and crime stories by Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler.

Examples of film noir movies and actors

Some important film noir movies are: Stranger on the Third Floor (1940); The Maltese Falcon (1941) Double Indemnity (1944) The Big Sleep (1946) The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946); Key Largo (1948), and Touch of Evil (1958).

The important actors from Hollywood film noir movies were Robert Mitchum, Humphrey Bogart, and Peter Lorre.

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