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Film Noir By Dillon, Mike

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-REM2150-1
Published: 1/3/2024
Retrieved: 15 June 2024, from


Hollywood of the 1940s and 1950s saw the emergence of ‘film noir’, a cycle of fatalistic crime thrillers, often produced as ‘B’ movies and distinguished by their narrative experimentation, expressive visual design, and stylized dialogue. Noir cemented the now-familiar archetypes of private detectives and femme fatales as well as techniques like flashbacks and first-person narration. Noir’s roots are wide-ranging, including hardboiled American crime fiction and cinematic movements like French Poetic Realism, Italian Neorealism, and German Expressionism. In subsequent decades, new generations of ‘neo-noir’ filmmakers would approach these conventions self-consciously, signalling a deliberate retooling (or even subversion) of the classical moulds. Today, neo-noir is visible across a variety of genres, such as science fiction and superhero films, and features in the works of numerous acclaimed filmmakers.

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Dillon, Mike. Film Noir. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

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