Bringing film noir out of the shadows
By Susan King
Even though the official film-noir period was relatively brief -- 1941 through 1958 -- there were hundreds of films made in the genre during that time. Not only is film noir part of our culture, says Alan K. Rode, who is on the board of directors at the Film Noir Foundation, "it is part of our history of the mid-20th century.
"When people went off to war and came back, the country left its adolescence and became adults. Watching 'Andy Hardy' and 'The Thin Man' movies after World War II didn't cut it for audiences because of the life experiences of people."
So heroes became anti-heroes; leading ladies turned into femme fatales who were not above murder to get what they wanted. The films were shot at night, on location. There was a lot of cigarette smoke, rain, booze and fedoras. Humphrey Bogart, Lawrence Tierney, Dick Powell and Richard Conte were among the kings of noir, with Barbara Stanwyck, Claire Trevor, Janis Carter, Cleo Moore and Joan Crawford (pictured) the queens. Continue reading this story.
Hollywood Walk of Fame: Joan Crawford
Hollywood Walk of Fame: Barbara Stanwyck
Hollywood Walk of Fame: Humphrey Bogart
Hollywood Walk of Fame: Claire Trevor
Hollywood Walk of Fame: Film noir