Film noir facts for kids
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|
French poetic realism,
American hardboiled fiction,
Art Deco (scenography)
|Influenced||French New Wave, Neo-noir|
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).
Images for kids
A scene from In a Lonely Place (1950) with two of noir's defining actors, Gloria Grahame and Humphrey Bogart
Marlene Dietrich, a famous actress of film noir
Harrison Ford as detective Rick Deckard in Blade Runner (1982). Like many classic noirs, the film is set in a version of Los Angeles where it constantly rains. The steam in the foreground is a familiar noir trope, while the "bluish-smoky exterior" updates the black-and-white mode.
Film noir Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.