DVD Genre Spotlight: Film Noir

Literally meaning 'black film', film noir is a niche genre of mostly 1940s-1950s Hollywood movies typified by their antihero male protagonists and mercurial femme fatales. Absent are the Capra-esque feel good tales of hope; rather, these films center on murderous plots and deceptive individuals acting out of self-interest and roiling in dirty money. Seedy characters derived from pulp magazines thrive in the urban underbelly settings, and private eyes like Philip Marlowe toe the line between the cops and the gangsters.

Classic performances from this genre include Humphrey Bogart's turn as Marlowe in The Big Sleep, and Orson Welles as the titular character in Sir Carol Reed's magnum opus, The Third Man. The AADL now has a DVD section devoted entirely to film noir for more great browsing choices at all of our locations.

The Michigan Theater is showcasing a film noir every Monday in April, with Sunset Boulevard, The Maltese Falcon, Body Heat, and Chinatown, but if you can't make these screenings the AADL owns copies of all of these films.