Monday, 6 October 2008

Documentary-Style Noirs

Film Noir-2 (Documentary Style)

There are numerous, pseudo documentary-style film noirs, often set in dark, rain-swept, crime-ridden urban areas, which were made in a realistic, semi-documentary fashion:

  • Henry Hathaway's The House on 92nd Street (1945) about Nazi spies scheming to learn the atom bomb formula
  • Call Northside 777 (1948) with James Stewart as a Chicago reporter who uncovered a police cover up that sent a wrongly-convicted, innocent slum boy to jail for killing a cop eleven years earlier
  • director Jules Dassin's great crime drama The Naked City (1948) with Barry Fitzgerald as a New York City cop investigating a murder over six days, and climaxing with a suspenseful chase and shootout on the Williamsburg Bridge
  • Crane Wilbur's crime drama Canon City (1948) - a re-enactment of a 1947 prison escape in Colorado
  • The little-seen Abandoned (1949), from director Joseph Newman, about a late 1940s LA newspaper reporter (Dennis O'Keefe) pursuing a missing girl, along with her sister (Gale Storm known for the TV series My Little Margie), into the sordid black-market baby adoption racket, while encountering a corrupt private investigator (Raymond Burr)
  • Also, Joseph Newman's moralistic urban crime drama 711 Ocean Drive (1950), about the rise and fall of an organized crime kingpin (Edmond O'Brien as a telephone company repairman turned bad); the film capitalized on various book-making scandals at the time sensationalized and exposed in the newspapers; with on-location settings of L.A., Palm Springs and Nevada, particularly at Hoover Dam
  • Alfred Hitchcock's true-life story The Wrong Man (1956) with Henry Fonda as a musician framed and wrongly-accused of committing armed robbery - and undergoing a nightmarish ordeal

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