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Retro Noir
Showing all content using the tag "Retro Noir" including series, stories, blog posts, and users. To browse published posts on the front page, click here.
June 6 2014

Noir’s Hard Luck Ladies: Joan Crawford

In some ways, Joan Crawford might seem an odd choice for a hard luck lady of noir. Unlike many of the actors I’ve profiled in this series—people like Peggie Castle or Barbara Payton—who...
July 8 2013

Mad Men’s Season 6: What Happened and Why You Should be Watching

It’s become standard practice for us to talk about the novelistic nature of series television, but this shorthand is somewhat misleading. Certainly, now that shows like The Sopranos or The...
November 11 2012

Noir in Film: 5 Great Films Adapted from Noir Classics

Raymond Chandler is considered one of the fathers of noir for good reason. His wonderful creation, Philip Marlowe, is one of the most popular detectives in crime fiction, and all of his books were adapted...
November 9 2012

Noir’s Hard Luck Ladies: Barbara Payton

Bad Blonde (1953) is the kind of movie that exists on two levels. On one level it is an entertaining film noir about an up-and-coming boxer who is lured into a scheme to commit murder by the duplicitous...
July 29 2012

Fresh Meat: Sunset by Christos Gage and Jorge Lucas

Sunset by Christos Gage and Jorge Lucas is a noir graphic novel featuring Nick Bellamy, a 78-year-old army vet who’s out for revenge (available July 31, 2012). Sunset  comes with a warning: “If...
January 4 2012

Worst Wives: Noir’s Bad Marriages, Take Two

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then, at least in the lurid world of film noir, comes the inevitable murder attempt (check out Husbands from Hell for a few examples). Classic noir usually held...
October 23 2011

Daniel Woodrell: Black Hearts in the Back Woods Meet Cynicism in Small Towns

Daniel Woodrell is arguably as famous for his invention of the term “country noir” to describe his own writing as for his novel (turned movie) Winter’s Bone. Of course, he is not satisfied with...
October 11 2011

Desert Fury: Noir Camp Taken To Extremes

I met a guy at a party one night who told me he didn’t like classic films. Without telling him anything about myself, I asked him why he didn’t care for the old stuff. “It’s campy,” he...
September 25 2011

Lost James M. Cain Manuscript Found!

Nine years ago, Charles Ardai, founder of Hard Case Crime, first heard about The Cocktail Waitress, the last novel written by noir great James M. Cain before he died in 1977. The book had never been...
September 14 2011

Hitchcock: Dance of the Metaphors

Alfred Hitchcock’s name is synonymous with many things, among them innovative film making, a macabre sense of humour, and, of course, that ionic profile. I don’t know when I first started watching...
September 12 2011

Catting Around In Crime Fiction

There are two kinds of mystery fans: those who like mysteries with cats, and those who do not. Being a hardboiled hard ass, I naturally fall into the second camp. I’d rather be mauled by a tiger that...
September 7 2011

Ernest Hemingway, Crime Writer—With A Little Help From Hollywood

Uncle Frank wanted to be Ernest Hemingway. He was my mother’s younger brother, a dashing figure who often stayed with us when I was a child in the early 1950s. Then he’d be off, hitchhiking from...
September 4 2011

The Nothing Man: Jim Thompson in Hollywood, Part Two

Yesterday I looked at Jim Thompson’s time in Hollywood—a time filled mostly with frustration and creative blocks. Even the bright spots in Thompson’s film career, working with Stanley Kubrick...
September 3 2011

The Nothing Man: Jim Thompson in Hollywood, Part One

Crime fiction and crime films are helplessly entwined, and after a certain point it’s impossible to tell which influenced the other more. Sure you can’t talk about the creation of film noir without...
August 31 2011

Single Indemnity: Criminally Bad Noir

THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR FANS OF FILM NOIR. Be careful when you’re trolling the Internet looking for cheap box sets. Not every obscure B-movie is a gem awaiting rediscovery. As a...
August 21 2011

A Few Of My Favorite Femmes Fatales

Every January I renew my commitment to the genre that has given me so much inspiration by attending the Noir City film festival in San Francisco, where I, along with thousands of other acolytes, are...
August 12 2011

Noir’s Hard Luck Ladies: Peggie Castle

It’s important to remember that film noir is a recovered movie genre, by which I mean that most of the films we call noir were once lost. Many of these movies, in fact, are still in danger of...
August 10 2011

Pulp Kafka: The Nightmares of Cornell Woolrich

The poet W.H. Auden once called Franz Kafka the voice of the 20th Century. What Auden saw in Kafka’s twisted tales was not simply their influence on other writers, but the way they captured the unease...
August 9 2011

When Poker Was Dangerous: Al Alvarez and The Biggest Game in Town

I’m not a poker guy. Let’s just get that out in the open right away. It’s not that I dislike the game. I enjoy playing it and I’ll admit to getting sucked into the World Series of Poker (WSOP)...
August 8 2011

Where Do You Keep Your Stash (or Stache)?

Do you wear your fandom on your sleeve? On your wrist? In your ears? Pick your favorite classic mystery writer or character and do an Etsy search and I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be surprised...
July 29 2011

Contagion Noir: The History of the Epidemic Flick

Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion hits theaters on September 9th. A thriller about a team of CDC doctors in a race against a deadly virus, the movie is the latest in a long line of films about dangerous...
July 21 2011

Phil Karlson And The Cinema Of Ass-Kicking

There’s some pretty stiff completion for the toughest director in film noir. In the forties and fifties, the directors of B-level crime pictures seemed to be locked in a contest to see who could inject...
May 25 2011

Retro versus Neo-Noir

The classic period of film noir lasted from roughly 1940 to 1960. Roughly is the operative word here since the exact perimeters of the period have always been open for debate. I mark the beginning as...
May 10 2011

Masters of Darkness and Light: Film Noir’s Unheralded Geniuses

The word noir summons a host of images: -shadows of venetian blinds splayed across the wall of a dingy office -a man, his eyes obscured by a fedora, smoking a cigarette in the rain -a woman...