The name is French and it has connections to German expressionist cinema, but film noir was inspired by the American Raymond Chandler, whose prose was marked by the gripping realism of seedy hotels, dimly lit bars, main streets, country clubs, mansions, cul-de-sac apartments, corporate boardrooms, and flop houses of America.
Chandler and the other writers and directors, including James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, Jane Greer, Ken Annakin, Rouben Mamoulian and Mike Mazurki, who were primarily responsible for the creation of the film noir genre and its common plots and themes, are the main focus of this work. It correlates the rise of film noir with the new appetites of the American public after World War II and explains how it was developed by smaller studios and filmmakers as a result of the emphasis on quality within a deliberately restricted element of cities at night. The author also discusses how RKO capitalized on films such as Murder, My Sweet and Out of the Past - two of film noir's most famous titles - and film noir's connection to British noir and the great international triumph of Sir Carol Reed in The Third Man.
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