Film Noir: Dark, Different & Influenced by European Ideas

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  2091 Words
Date:  2023-01-14

The term 'film noir' is one that is used to describe a particular group of films that are seen as different from the usual gangster and crime films. This is due to the visual and structural difference. The films under this category, the lighting is different from that of other films because the light is dull. In terms of structure, the movies are made in a way that there is nobody who wins especially the hero. The noir genre is greatly influenced by ideas of Europeans, German movements, and being exposed to the culture of the Europeans that in turn, affected the American culture (Spicer, 2002). The Killers is a story of a crime that has influenced writers like Dashiell Hammett, who published their own story three years after posting of the film (Collinge, 2012). This paper seeks to discuss the aesthetics and themes portrayed than to discuss film noir as a genre influencing Europeans and Americans.

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During this time, there were many influences, especially social influences, to the genre noir (Martin, 2017). As a result of the influences from the World War, the language and the setting of the film had a symbol of some instability. The environment itself was not in a stable state because of the security of the people was at risk. Therefore the coloring used, the old setting has also been used to portray the ancient times. The language used by the characters in the film also explains the state of the country during those times. Clothing used by the characters, especially the killers' influences the setting for the audience to be able to identify them. Just from the view, one can know that they are the killers. Fearless and very proud of themselves show that there is corruption in that country some few people having social influence affecting the people.

Aesthetics of the genre

During the times when the film noir genre was the most common that was meant for the men while on the other hand, romantic films were meant for the ladies. The film noir genre was considered a sophisticated type of film dealing with severe issues while on the other hand the melodramatic films were concerned more with emotions of the audience Hilscher, Cupchik, (Leonard, 2008). The film genre is quite influential because the actions tend to provide some hints. The film noir genre is a type that is seen to be more unrealistic due to the levels of hyperbole used. Therefore to some, they may be less influential than to others. It is also definite that males will be influenced more by film noir than females.

According to Doll, Susan, Faller, and Greg (2019), the film noir is a genre that is a combination with another type of genre. They describe one "Blade Runner" as a type that combines with science fiction. In this case, the film "The Killers" has been combined with drama. Through the knowledge that the film producers have, they can understand the specifics to be combined and the ones that fit. They know how and when to include, for example, comedy or drama combination in the film. This is determined by the subject matter and the central theme of concentration in the film. After determination of the best-suited genre, there has to be some selection of historical patterns, character, the kind of decorations, and other relevant factors required. However, it is not in all the cases that the films combine two different genres on the same one. The subject matter and the narrative form determine how this will be carried out in making the film more exciting and relevant regarding the specific subject matter that the producers select.


The central theme of the story is about Corruption in America during the 1920s. This is as a result of the Teapot Dome Scandal that happened to interfere with the country's economic stability. This resulted in moral decay because there were wild thoughts, and people were guided by their emotions. What resulted was a country that people are doing that which they cold for their sake only and not for other people. Looking at the film, Ole could have been involved in some deal in Chicago that leads to him being killed. Al and Max from the way they behave and state their intentions mean or is a sign that they did not fear. The fact that George does not want to include the police in this situation is also a sign that he is in fear of the two hired killers to come back to him. This shows the kind of instability that was present during those days (Cunnings, 2019).

Emasculation- the two hired killers teat Nick Sam and George in a manner that attacks their masculinity, for example, when they tell Nick to go to his boyfriend while both of them are men. In the instance where Al says that he caught them like girlfriend also shows that they are emasculated. The two also emasculate Ole even before seeing him yet he is a boxer, and he is big and strong, yet they do not consider this. They only tend to feed their masculine nature and then make fun of other people (Cunnings, 2019).

Crime- for the people in a society to feel safe, there have to be laws put in place to ensure that the people's safety is enhanced. In the film, the society is not in good condition, ensuring safety for the people. Aland Max is not in fear of what they intend to do to a matter of fact they announce their intention without a doubt. Nick seems shocked while George, on the other hand, is not worried. He says that Ole may have been involved in a circumstance that people wanted him dead. George seems to be okay with the happenings in the town and not to report anything to the police while on the other hand, Nick desires to be in a place that is better than this one. The police had been bribed by the bosses in Chicago to make sure that their issues were more privileged than others leaving no choice for people like Ole to die without any means to defend themselves (Cunnings, 2019).

Chaos- there is irony from the story where the characters influence each other, having a claim that the world is different from what people think. On a very bright and peaceful day, people have their way in the city with the intention of killing. Nick is affected most because events are occurring opposite of his expectation, Ole was lying in his bed waiting for his death while George, on the other hand, did not want to report the matter to the police. The little thinking of what the world is like and the way it is different. There is chaos even when Nick and Sam are tied without having done anything wrong (Cunnings, 2019).

Style and Symbols

The author wrote from the third person but had a limit of the narration of what the characters in the story did and said. Their thoughts are not revealed. Dialogue has been used most often in the story that tends to make the story clear, bringing out all styles that the author wants to express in the story. The symbols are; the black attire of the two hired men, which is a symbol of death, corruption, and evil. Counter towel- this is a symbol that George doesn't want to remember about Ole's matter. The restaurant- it is a symbol of times changing because it was a tavern before it was made into a restaurant. The streetcar tracks reveal the inability to escape from death. This is because the tracks connect to Chicago and the world outside since Ole was in Chicago, the bosses in Chicago were able to catch up, and he had nowhere to run. Especially with the corruption issues and the police having been bribed. The tree branches symbolized the imminence of death. It is just before winter, and a bare branch is seen to be a traditional symbol of death (Cunnings, 2019).

European and American Influences by the Film

The film is one that has drama and clear about aspects like that of uncertainty. In America, there were also writers Like Hurston Zara who did writings about the African American Experience that gave the Americans some chance to have a feel of that feeling of people being oppressed (Spicer, 2013). According to Avis, a film is defined as a particular genre because of the place of setting, the type of narrative the purpose and the production model. The way a story is made helps to identify the culture and emotional feelings of the characters in a film. Therefore different films have different messages, and one cannot be made to link with another (Avis, 2015)

The world was not indeed what people thought it to be. The different events in the various places were severe enough for the people. They did not know any solution to the rising issues even of their situations in their own countries. It was until they understood that they would be able to change not accept like George and Sam. People have to overcome the fear of the unknown and defend a proper living environment. The upcoming issue of corruption and bribery are some of the issues that resulted in the European and American authors to be in the light. Hemingway uses the character Nick, who wants to change the current situation of accepting things as they are and wanting to bring positive change to society (Spicer, 2013).

Siodmak has his characters always appearing in uniform. This helps the male characters to have back the identity that they had lost. This is a theme that he uses to assist in creating emphasis on the struggle encountered during the war, and they lost the battle. In many noirs, the males are seen in some battle to regain the lost identity during the war. The films create some gender challenges that were encountered during the first and Second World War, where women were given more chances to work than men. The men were in uniform, therefore, brings them all at an equal level that enables them to regain the courage to become just like they were previously. An example is the two hired men to kill dressed in almost the same kind of dressing. The theme and style in the film are developed in a way that it brings out the predominant ideas of the story in a transparent manner. If it is corruption, it is easily identifiable and also with hints. People get attracted to the kind of work that he does, therefore, becoming so much influence from the way that he makes his movies in an attracting and articulate manner (Spicer, 2013).

The film is to create alienation based on good events during the time. Crime and corruption were the most during that time. The film helps to provide knowledge regarding the state of national and social affairs during those days. The film genre was the most common during this time and was common for the film producers. There is also some cultural basis on the film noir because it portrayed a unique element that was used widely during these times (Spicer, 2002)

The murder at the beginning of the film leads to the events that occur all through the rest of the film. It is a style creating interest in the film hence making it bear some suspense revealing the creativity of producers. There is the use of many flashbacks that has helped to emphasize the main topic that Siodmak uses to create a more in-depth focus on the film this helps to shed light on the predominant issues of corruption, death and the effects of World War Two. The rampant matters of crime and chaos have also been revealed by Siodmak. The political scientists would refer to this as interpellation, which can be determined as the social factors that determine a human being as a social being. This now helps to understand how this film was influential. The film develops and makes the conventions of the narratives of its kind. This helps to create evidence of this genre and the way it is affected. The doubling figures, image, and the voice form the part to understand the influence of genre that the film belongs. There is some anticipation of the movie during its formation about the future projects to be fulfilled. The illusion and ideation of the film also play a significant role in the formation of enactment of the film. The language is on...

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Film Noir: Dark, Different & Influenced by European Ideas. (2023, Jan 14). Retrieved from

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