Noirsville: New film noir blog

Arouse (1966)

  Film noir aficionado Ray (“Cigar Joe”) Ottulich has launched a new blog where he will collect his film noir reviews from various forums, and post new reviews and noir-related snippets. The blog is appropriately titled Noirsville. Ray over the past few years has introduced me to a number of b-movies and little-known neo-noirs, and Noirsville is a very … [Read more…]

List of Films Noir In US Library of Congress National Film Registry

Cat People (1942)

A reader has asked which American films noir have been inducted into the US Library of Congress National Film Registry. I did a little digging and identified 26 Hollywood movies in the list that fall under the film noir umbrella.  There are 650 films in the list so the standard e&oe disclaimer applies.   Film Title … [Read more…]

Noir Beat: The Finnish Connection


Film Noir had antecedents in the German Expressionist cinema of the 20s and French Poetic Realism in the 30s, but there are movies from other national cinemas that also explored the corrosive aspects of modernity. Three films that have recently come my way are in this vein. One is a German silent and the other … [Read more…]

Not the Maltese Falcon: “Take off your hat in the presence of a lady with a gun”


Hollywood made two attempts at adapting Dashiell Hammett’s pulp masterpiece The Maltese Falcon before John Huston scripted and directed the definitive adaptation in 1941. The stunning serendipity of the casting of Huston’s film defines the characterisations in concrete for all time. Yet it is still worth looking at the earlier movies as they each offer … [Read more…]

Noir Beat: Tequila Philosophy

I haven’t posted here for a while: I have my own demons to contend with and my attention scatters. The recent release of Ride the Pink Horse (1947) on Blu-ray coincided with my reading of Dorothy B. Hughes original novel. The film has the same principal characters and the story-line is similar, but when you … [Read more…]

Dark Matters: True Detective, Two Men in Manhattan, and The Trial

Two Me in Manhattan

The HBO television hit True Detective (2014) on its face is a mystery thriller with gothic overtones. The pursuit of justice for children disappeared and remembered only by loved ones and an obsessed damaged cop, is itself a dark journey through a dank swamp of troubled minds. Here is where the resonance of writer Nic … [Read more…]

Noir Beat: Johnny O’Clock and more

Poster - Johnny O'Clock_1947

Lately I have been watching some old b’s that echo film critic Pauline Kael’s view that a “movie doesn’t have to be great… you can still have the joy of a good performance, or the joy in just a good line”. ”The dialog is both street-wise and poetic, and delivered with Powell’s signature take-it-or-leave-it.”Robert Rossen’s … [Read more…]