youtube film noir 1940s


This then is a list of the 15 essential films that one must be familiar with in order to understand the early, ‘classic’ period of film noir that thrived from 1940 to 1949.White Heat is part film noir, part gangster film, with James Cagney as criminal ringleader Cody Jarrett. Film scholar Alain Silver has asserted that film noir is not a genre but a ‘cycle’ of films that occurred during a certain historical period of time. Veda eventually despises the plebeian way her mother makes a living and seems to be in love with Monte, who – in the opening scene of the film – is shot to death at Mildred’s beachfront home. This was especially true about the 1940s and 1950s, when World War II plus post-war events (notably during the earlier years of the Cold War) had so profoundly affected the everyday lives of people around the globe.
Married to the deceitful Verna (Virginia Mayo) but totally devoted to his mother, “Ma” (Margaret Wycherly) Cody and his gang rob a mail train but the job goes awry. Taste of Cinema 2019. When Joan Crawford left MGM and came to Warners, this was her initial outing as star (Bette Davis famously turned down the part before her) and it was an enormous success. The portrait is of Laura (Tierney), a beautiful advertising executive. One night in Laura’s apartment, McPherson drinks himself into a stupor while looking at Laura’s portrait only to fall asleep and wake up to…surprise! Film noir thrived predominantly in Hollywood crime films in the early post World War II years, as men were returning from the military to their lives at home, and it expresses the anxiety that many men felt about being displaced as workers, boyfriends, husbands and fathers during wartime.

When hard working Mildred (Crawford) divorces her first husband Bert Pierce (Bruce Bennett), she is determined to make a success of herself for her daughter Veda, who seems to want all the best things in life. This was the fourth and final film of Bogart and Bacall, including Dark Passage (1947), another outstanding film noir.The definitive film of one of the definitive actresses of the classic noir period, Gilda stars Glenn Ford as Johnny Farrell and Rita Hayworth as the title character. The protagonists of these film are men who are often in love with and yet betrayed by beautiful women and they often face the choice between a fair haired ‘good’ woman and a dark haired, sultry ‘femme fatale’ who is likely to lead them astray down the wrong path (which is the path that they take, for the most part). The situation becomes even worse for Wanley when Reed begins to be blackmailed by crooked ex-cop Heidt (Dan Duryea, a frequent noir bad buy and character actor).
As with most of the films of this era, the story is told by Welles in flashback with a voice over. The film seems to function in two worlds, the melodramatic daytime world of Mildred’s successful restaurant chain that is filmed in low contrast ‘high-key’ lighting, and the noir nighttime world of Mildred’s outside life with daughter Veda (Ann Blyth) and her chiseling second husband, Monte Beragon (Zachary Scott) that is filmed in the shadowy, high contrast, chiaroscuro lighting style typical of film noir. Cody confesses to a lesser crime in order to get a shorter prison stretch; in prison he is befriended by Hank Fallon (Edmund O’Brien) an undercover agent trying to find out who is laundering Cody’s money. Produced at Twentieth Century Fox and shot in beautiful black and white by Preminger, another German emigre and one of the masters of the genre, Laura was based on a novel by Vera Caspary and was transformed from what might have been a run of the mill detective film into a true classic.Orson Welles was given the chance to direct again after his falling out at RKO and he produced The Stranger (1946), a solid film noir that starred Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young.

Can Wanley escape from the trap that his fascination with the beautiful Alice has ensnared him?

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