The film noir outside of the US

The film noir outside of the US

Even after 1958, crime films were still made according to the classic recipe of the current: Roman Polanski’s Chinatown in the seventies, William Friedkin’s life and death in LA in the eighties, Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct in the nineties and, last but not least, Curtis Hanson’s LA Confidential.

Of course, a movement with a French name found a soundboard in France too. As early as 1943, Henri-Georges Clouzot made The Raven, a captivating film noir in which an anonymous letter writer incites the citizens of a small town against one another. In 1955 Clouzot then presented his masterpiece: the mystery thriller Die Teuflischen impresses above all with its sinister atmosphere. In 123movies tv you can have the best choices for watching these films now.


Louis Malles also emphasizes the slow crime thriller Elevator to the Scaffold and Jacques Becker’s gripping prison drama The Hole are among the highlights of this period. For me, however, the master of French noir is Jean-Pierre Melville. His gangster films convince with stylistic coolness and merciless fatalism whether in black and white (the devil with the white vest, the second breath) or color (the ice cold angel, four in the red circle, army in the shadow).


After his first attempt at A Stray Dog (1949), Akira Kurosawa made two films influenced by the black series in the sixties. The Bad Sleep Well and Between Heaven and Hell. The latter is one of the masterpieces of the Japanese director.

The big studios released cheap film noirs almost every week. Some of these B-movies are a lot of fun: Intimidation is a gripping thriller with moral dilemmas, in The Black Test Car two automakers are at war and in Take Aim at the Police Van the plot is so complex that you can hardly keep up.

Also famous are the shrill thrillers by Seijun Suzuki, who stylized film noir in Hunt for the Beast , Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifter into pop art and thus anticipated Tarantino’s post-modern cinema.

Great Britain

With the film Noir The Third Man, shot in the devastated post-war Vienna, Great Britain represents one of the most famous representatives of the entire movement. Carol Reed previously shot a stylistically interesting work with Outcast and described a dark story from the perspective of a child in Little Heart in Need.

Brighton Rock scores with a young Richard Attenborough as a psychopathic murderer and a villain is also the star of the film in The Rat of Soho: Richard Widmark plays a big role as an amoral gangster and London can easily compete with American cities as a setting.

The end of film noir

In general, Orson Welles is later seen in The Signs of Evil (1958) as the end point of the classical era of the current.

However, the first Neo-Noir appeared in 1955 and deconstructed the Black Series three years before its “official” end. With Rattennest, Robert Aldrich shot an exaggerated parody of the world of film noir and blew it up in his iconographic finale. After that, conventional representatives of the current were no longer to be taken seriously.

Classic stragglers

Among the early neo-noirs, Samuel Fuller’s slightly exaggerated ripper Everything on one card and Allen Baron’s Blast of Silence shine. Baron managed a unique work – on the one hand stylized film noir, on the other hand influenced by the French Nouvelle Vague and thus ultimately a pioneer of New Hollywood cinema of the seventies.

Hard boiled thriller

The nihilistic sides of the late film noirs flowed into hard thrillers in the following decades, which often focused on both hypothermic and uncompromising anti-heroes. Representatives of this type populate great thrillers such as Point Blank, Get Carter, Getaway or Driver.

These genre classics of the 1970s were followed by similar films in modern cinema: David Fincher’s Seven and Nicolas Winding Refns Drive continued this expression.

Postmodern neo-noirs

Film noir is also one of the strongest influences in postmodern cinema: David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Lost Highway) and Lars von Trier (The Element of Crime, Europe) in particular deconstructed components of the current. In the insider tip Brick, director Rian Johnson even relocates the film noir to a high school and puts a student in the role of the hard-boiled detective.

The pop-cultural significance of the black series can also be found in graphic novels, which were then made into a film Sin City and Watchmen formulate an homage to film noir. Even in science fiction cinema, elements of the black series appear: Works like Blade Runner or Dark City get their very own flair.


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