If you’ve ever looked into film noir, no doubt you’ve come across Double Indemnity. It’s often cited as one of the definitive examples of the genre. It actually transcends noir in my opinion and works effectively as a crime drama attracting a wider audience.
I won’t spend a lot of time focusing on the plot here, but if you’re not familiar it’s fairly simple. Walter Neff (played by the always likeable Fred MacMurrary) is an insurance salesman who one day by chance encounters Phyllis Dietrichson (in a noir defining role for Barabra Stanwyck). Dietrichson is married and the two go in on a plot together to murder her husband and collect the insurance money. As these movies usually go there ends up being a snag in the plan and everything begins to unravel.
Film noir has always been a world unto itself, a dark shadowy world full of cigarette smoke, booze and femme fatales. Its posters are no different. Unfortunately for us, hand drawn and painted movie posters are all but a lost art. It’s amazing the time and care that use to go into producing them. Each movie studio had their own distinct style when it came to advertising their films, which I hope comes across here. I’ve attempted to round up 10 of the best and most visually appealing along with my personal favorites. It wasn’t easy to narrow down and a lot ended up being left on the cutting room floor. Which opens up room for a sequel post….
Without further adieu:
Film Noir tends to be the genre of movies I lean toward, especially if I don’t have a particular movie in mind. The problem lies in the fact that I’ve seen a majority of the A+ must see essentials, so I have to dig through some of the lesser known gems. I keep a stack of dvds at the ready, sometimes I thumb through and will pick one based solely on their name, often times one word and menacing, “Conflict”, “Detour”, “Born To Kill” etc. Other times based on their glorious movie poster.
This time around I decided to watch “Singapore” a 1947 noir starring Fred MacMurray who was in the classic of the genre, Double Indemnity (and all you comic nerds out there he was who DC’s Captain Marvel was designed to look like) and the beautiful Ava Gardner. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s far from a classic, but if you’re in the mood for a lesser noir that still has something to offer it’s worth checking out.
Flash Gordon is a touchstone of both the science fiction and adventure genres that’s gone on to influence a staggering amount of what’s come after it (ever hear of Star Wars?). Starting first as a comic strip by Alex Raymond it debuted in 1934. 2 years later its success quickly led to 3 different sets film serials. The first one simply titled, Flash Gordon from 1936 will be today’s focus in the Pulp Corner.