Film Noir : Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

I haven't by any means seen every film produced during what is usually considered Hollywood's Classic Noir Era but I've probably seen out of Shelby's "Dark City The Film Noir" list about 330-5 noirs. But here is stuff you practically never saw or heard in Classic Hollywood film noir (usually defined as the period from 1941-1958).

Diegetic Popular Music, Popular music whose source is visible on the screen especially in Noirs after say 1952, you never saw a character, turn on a car radio, punch in a jukebox, or put a record on a turntable and heard Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Patti Page, Ames Brothers, Hank Williams, Dinah Shore, Bill Haley and His Comets, Platters, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Harry Belafonte, Chuck Berry, Ricky Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis,The Kingston Trio, Little Anthony and the Imperials, etc., etc. All popular artists who would have been live in a band, on the air, or on records.

I have seen Louis Armstrong in The Beat Generation, and Nat King Cole in The Blue Gardenia and some Jazz bands, notably the one in D.O.A., and others that I can't recall at the moment but, contrary to popular belief, most Film Noir had studio orchestra "string" scores.

Pizza Parlors/Joints Never seen a Noir with a Pizza Parlor, have you? I've seen Italian restaurants sure. Pizza places were there because the first printed reference to "pizza" served in the US is a 1904 article in The Boston Journal, and Gennaro Lombardi opened a grocery store in 1897 which was later established as the "said" first pizzeria in America in 1905 with New York's issuance of the mercantile license. So WTF? It was around and a relatively cheap food. Any body see a character eat a slice, or pick up a pie for the gang? The same goes for...

Chinese Restaurants the only one I can think of is in Pickup on South Street, there's always a diner or a burger joint in noirs, but on a side note you ever notice the character always orders a burger and a coffee, and never a Coke, and what about fries they too are usually MIA in Noirs. What about Hot Dogs, Tacos or a bowl of Chili?

Levis jeans or just jeans in general, the only noir that I've seen where a character noticeably wears jeans is Steve Cochran in Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951)

got any thing to add?

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

There is a Chinese restaurant in Woman on the Run I believe.

You are right about Jazz scores for Noir. In general Noir had a more traditional sound track. You can add one jazzy sound track to the list, The Strip with Mickey Rooney which is in the September/October thread on the board. It also features Louis Armstrong.
Another kind-of Noir with a Jazz score is The Wild Party with Anthony Quinn. Unfortunately not a good movie, but a great score.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

Where/how did you see The Strip?

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

archive.org

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

Couldn't find it at archive.org Any other source for The Strip? Thanks.

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

Thanks. Great music. Mediocre noir.

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

Hi Mgt,the first thing that comes to mind is I believe that the guys in Classic Noir always wear trousers,with no jeans in sight!

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

It's rare agree, like I mentioned the only Noir where it's noticeable was Steve Cochran in
Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951)

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

I think jeans became more noticeable in late 50s noirs that had a bigger focus on rebellious teens/adolescents, like 'Edge Of The City', 'Stakeout On Dope Street' and 'Crime In The Streets'. And even then half of them still wore regular trousers, heh.

Louis Armstrong & his orchestra also make an appearance in the Mickey Rooney noir 'The Strip'.

Seeing an actual singer at a nightclub did happen on occasion, like Hadda Brooks in 'In A Lonely Place', and someone named Dean Sheldon in 1961's 'Blast Of Silence' (past your cutoff year but too memorable a movie/performance to not mention).

But like you said, they're exceptions to the rule.

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

Where/how did you see The Strip?

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

TV sets. There is a brief scene in On Dangerous Ground where the kids of one of the characters are watching TV, but that's about it.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

Yea TV sets, there are not a whole lot of Noir's with TV's, another that comes to mind is Slightly Scarlet (1956).

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

Not true about the TV sets at all. In many 50s movies, not only Noir, you can see a TV in someone's living room. It was the newest medium and a prestige item to buy, like the latest phone today.

At the moment I can only come up with two (I'd have to go through my Noir collection), 99 River Street and Shield for Murder, but come the mid-50s, TV sets could be seen in many movies.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

Suddenly (1954) with Frank Sinatra has a broken TV and a TV repair guy. The TV becomes a plot device as well.

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

Dial 1119 also has a TV set.

Some studios did have a policy for a while where they did not want to have to admit that TV existed. They didn't mind using them as gist for spoofing, as in Callaway Went Thataway, Champagne For Caesar and The Twonky. But, as you noted, by the mid 50s that attitude was changing once the big guys realized just how lucrative it could be to sell vintage films to TV.

It ain't easy being green, or anything else, other than to be me

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)


...they did not want to have to admit that TV existed

True, after all it was the competition that eventually killed off B movies.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

Originally the studios stayed away from producing shows for TV. It wasn't until Disney signed with ABC to produce a weekly show that a major (and this was actually a minor major) got into the TV game. ABC not only got the show, but Disney got some seed money for his crazy idea of a theme part in Annaheim, CA. The parks kept Disney afloat and eventually they bought ABC.

Warners was the first major to produce shows for ABC and they had sampled the waters with a show called Warner Bros Presents that had rotating elements based on Kings Row, Casablanca and a newbie called Cheyenne. The one that clicked with the audience was Cheyenne and WB and ABC were off to the races. By 1959, WB was the single greatest supplier of programs to the channel.



It ain't easy being green, or anything else, other than to be me

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

Forgot about Dial 1119. Did you ever notice how modern looking it is? It looks like a flat screen TV.

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

Yes, flat screen with perfect 90-degree corners. Not at all rounded as on most early set. In fact, in 1950, they were still selling really round-tube sets that were masked off top and bottom:

https://www.radiolaguy.com/images/TVs/philco51PT1207.jpg

That was an improvement over this:

http://www.estate-sale-antiques.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/CIMG7335.jpg

It ain't easy being green, or anything else, other than to be me

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

Now I'm wondering if it in actuality it was a TV. Might have been a small rear projection movie screen, something on a smaller scale than normal, mocked up to look like a TV. It would be interesting to find out.

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

I took a brief look last night and it appears to have been a composite shot. The image seems to be matted into the square, you can see the black line around the image. That's likely why it used a perfect rectangle as rounded images would probably be more difficult for the optical printer to handle.

It ain't easy being green, or anything else, other than to be me

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

I saw the same cut out in The Case Against Brooklyn (1958). Come to think about it wouldn't a real TV cause Moiré pattern problems? I think I remember seeing this effect in some films.

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

There's also a TV set in the 1951 version of M.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir (TV sets)

The Case Against Brooklyn (1958) has a sequence where the DA, the crooks, the patrons in a booking parlor and the police in a precinct house, are watching a TV news expose.

Swimming pools

Pretty sure we never see many pools. I can only recall the outdoor pools in The Big Steal.




Go to bed Frank or this is going to get ugly .

Re: Swimming pools

There is one in Kiss Me Deadly, Underworld USA, The Girl With Black Stockings, I wake Up Screaming, and there's another that has a chase at a pool can't remember the name of it.

Re: Swimming pools

I can add The Big Caper, Kansas City Confidential and Shield for Murder (chase scene at inside pool) to the list.
Especially movies set in Southern California have quite often swimming pools in them, simply because so many houses have private pools.

And what better way to get your cheesecake and beefcake shots in?

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Swimming pools

It was Shield for Murder I was thinking about, but couldn't remember the name lol.


And what better way to get your cheesecake and beefcake shots in?


True.

Re: Swimming pools

IIRC Joan Crawford also shows off her fit body in/near pools in both Mildred Pierce and The Damned Don't Cry.

Re: Swimming pools

There's one in Sunset Blvd. That's the only one which comes to mind.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

Re: Swimming pools

Not sure if CAT PEOPLE is considered noir by some, but the indoor pool therein terrorizes our freaked out heroine.

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

OK finally saw a Film Noir with a bonafide rock and roll star sing a song to the accompaniment of a jukebox. It's in The Case Against Brooklyn (1958) and the artist is Bobby Helms famous for "My Special Angel" and "Jingle Bell Rock", however the song he sings is "Jacquelyn".

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

I have never even heard of this movie. Looking it up, it sounds quite interesting.

The late 50s saw the teenage culture rise, so I guess it makes sense that we see teenage idols and crooners in the movies.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

Hi mgt,one thing that has come to mind,is I am wondering if there is a Classic Noir from the end of the era which has "cussing"?

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

Depends on what you call the end of the era. If you stay "in the box no," if you go out of the box and look at it this way below, maybe.

We all know from the many and varied books written about Film Noir that the often quoted time frame that these films fit into is usually 1941 to 1958 some occasionally stretch to 1959. Who came came up with this initially, and why is it so strictly adhered too, especially when you find examples beyond 1958?

The more Noirs I watch the more I'm questioning this. I'm beginning to come around to a different thought, and that is that Classic American Film Noir stretched from say 1940 to 1968 (1968 being the last general use of B&W film in production) here is the breakdown by year of Black & White Noirs (there may be a few more to add in, in that 1959 to 1968 stretch:

1940 (5)
1941 (11)
1942 (5)
1943 (5)
1944 (18)
1945 (22)
1946 (42)
1947 (53)
1948 (43)
1949 (52)
1950 (57)
1951 (39)
1952 (26)
1953 (21)
1954 (26)
1955 (20)
1956 (19)
1957 (12)
1958 (7)
1959 (7)
1960 (2)
1961 (5)
1962 (6)
1963 (1)
1964 (4)
1965 (3)
1966 (2)
1967 (2)
1968 (1)

I'm also thinking now that the Color Film Noirs within this 1940-1968 time frame were the first Neo Noirs so that the two sub genres actually overlap. The catalyst for this new alignment is when I read a quote about Neo Noir that said that if the filmmakers made a conscience decision to film in black and white when color was the norm then it was an artistic decision and not one of necessity for budget purposes, Same the other way if B&W was the norm for low budget B Noirs then it was an artistic decision to film it color.

The color film Noir the first 30 years (again there maybe a few more in these early years but they as a whole really up ticked in the 1980s and 1990's):

1945 (1)
1947 (1)
1948 (1)
1953 (2)
1955 (3)
1956 (3)
1958 (1)
1966 (1)
1967 (1)
1969 (1)
1970 (2)
1971 (4)
1972 (1)
1973 (0)
1974 (2)

So now Lenny Bruce was having problems with obscenity arrests from 1961 through 1964.

On June 7, 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that has reverberated in free-speech law for 40 years (at the time this was written).

The Court’s 5-4 ruling in Cohen v. California cleared a wider field for freedom of speech in several ways. It limited the fighting-words doctrine, rejected application of the obscenity doctrine to profanity, emphasized that offensive speech deserves protection and warned against the prospect that the government could ban words to discriminate against unpopular views.

Re: Stuff you practically never saw/heard in Classic Noir

Fluorescent Lamps/Lighting - Really came widely used in the early 50s, but you don't see a lot of them in film noir, The Asphalt Jungle has a shot with one that I remember, there may be a few others,
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