27 Oct 2021

Film Noir

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“In a Lonely Place” (1950).

Titus Techera and Terry Teachout Substacking on Film Noir.

The films noir that remain watchable, by contrast, are the ones that concentrate on the dark crosscurrents of middle-class American life & revolve, as do the great Westerns of the ’40s & ’50s, around the problem of individual responsibility. To be sure, the tacit assumption is that the anonymous cities in which films noir are set are so corrupt that upright individual conduct is all but impossible. Nevertheless, every classic film noir hinges on a crucial moral choice made by the protagonist, as Walter Neff, Fred MacMurray’s character, admits to the audience in his voice-over narration for Double Indemnity: “I’m not trying to whitewash myself,” he says about the crime he commits out of love, lust, & greed. “I fought it…only maybe I didn’t fight it hard enough.”

2 Feedbacks on "Film Noir"


Individual responsibility is the bete noir of those who oversee us.
Such thoughts must be quashed,for the “greater good”.


Thanks for the link. Of the eight films they discuss “Pitfall” may be the least known but it’s one of the best.


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