I'm never sure what constitutes a noir and I'm sure that we all have slightly different opinions, anyhow afficiandos, guide me, I've seen two films recently that I'd class as Noir, A Bullet For Joey with Edward G Robinson as the good cop and George Raft as the rogue. Today I watched The Burglar with Dan Duryea and Jayne Mansfield, to me these are noir films especially the later movie.
For me Noir films are mostly black and white, have villans that almost always have a redeeming feature although there might also be villans who are out an out ruthless in these type if films there is often a rogue type too, gone off the tracks but redeemable in some way. They usually have a femme fatale who none of the characters can resist for very long. Do we have a thread dedicated to reviewing Noir films like the ones we have for other movies? I'm never quite sure were to write them up, I wrote this on the What Films Have You Seen Lately about A Bullet For Joey
A Bullet For Joey is a reteaming of Edward G Robinson and George Raft, together again after a rather stormy relationship on the set of Manpower. A noirish thriller, Edward G is the cop and Raft is the underworld figure brought back to Canada after being exiled to Lisbon, his wish is to get back home to the States, he rounds up his gang and goes after a Dr Macklin played by Joe Dolenz, Peter Van Eyck is the paymaster behind the crime. The fun is the reteaming of the two studio tough guys although they only get to act together towards the end, the story twists and turns and has Audrey Totter as the femme fatal. A good noir storyline that doesn't lag at all.
I really enjoyed The Burglar, my first Jayne Mansfield movie and so fresh she looks, very different from what I'd imagined, I like Dan Duryea, he reminds me of Richard Widmark but not as dangerous, Martha Vickers played the other femme fatale. The location work was superb, especially at the amusement park, the plot had a very good twist and the whole feel of the movie went from seedy and disreputable to quite bright and airy, at the same moment as the feelings towards the gang changed, I wanted so much for them to get away with what they'd done.
Perhaps that is another sign of a good noir film that if the rogue has a redeeming quality or a humane reason for what he's done we want the rogues to get away with it and don't care too much about the police.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin