Black and White Film Noir

Topics: Film noir, Femme fatale, Citizen Kane Pages: 4 (1286 words) Published: April 7, 2013
Black and white film noir evolved in the 1940’s during World War II. This time period of film replicated the post war tensions and anxieties that plagued American society during and after the war. The repetitive trend of these films was dark and almost always based on crimes that involved love and betrayal. 1941- Citizen Kane

Director- Orson Wells
This film was one of the earliest film noir’s produced and was budgeted at $800,000. Wells was the director, star and producer. Wells also collaborated with Herman J. Mankiewicz and John Houseman who is unaccredited with the film on the script. It débuted on May 1, 1941 in New York City after an intense investigation by the F.B.I. The late release and investigation was due to the many similarities between the fictional character Kane and the life of William Randolph Hearst - a powerful newspaper magnate and publisher (citizen Kane, 1941). Because of Wells bold film, Citizen Kane opened a pathway in the development of cinematic technique. It uses film as an art form to energetically communicate and display a non-static view of life (Citizen Kane, 1941). 1942- The Glass Key

Director- Stuart Heisler
The Glass Key was a remake of a 1935 film. The trend of the noir films is the story line of this film. Ed Beaumont is an uncorrupt political aid for his “dirty” politician employer who is played by Brian Donlevy. Beaumont is played by Alan Ladd who tries to save his boss from a murder rap all while the boss’s fiancé played by Veronica Lake is a seductive femme fatale. This film displays all the key components that make a classic black and white film noir. The plot centers on a political scandal that is threatened to be exposed, a seducing femme fatale that plays on the hearts and minds of both hero and the villain and the unsuspecting hero that is manipulated and deceived by the femme fatale (The Glass Key, 1942). 1943-Shadow of Doubt

Director – Alfred Hitchcock
Shadow of Doubt is considered one of Hitchcock’s best...
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