Category Archives: Film Noir

Malle, Moreau and Miles – Elevator to Modernity

This masterful scene from Louis Malle’s Elevator to the Gallows (1958) is a quintessential example of 20th century post-war modernism. It’s all here– the near perfect intersection of film (a noir at the leading edge of the French New Wave), music (the atmospheric jazz score was improvised by Miles Davis in a single, all-night recording session), the electrified urban landscape (lit by neon, headlights, arcades and storefront displays), fashion (notice the various representations as Moreau walks in front of the arcade) and finally, dripping sensuality (Jeanne Moreau and Miles Davis fused in sexy melancholia ultimately climaxing in a downpour of rain and thunder). What cool is made of….

Have a martini….

Film Noir: Woman on the Run (1950)

English: Dennis O'Keefe in the 1946 film Doll Face

English: Dennis O’Keefe in the 1946 film Doll Face (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From IMDB: “Frank Johnson flees police after becoming an eyewitness to murder. He is pursued around scenic San Francisco by his wife, a reporter, the police, and… the real murderer.” Not bad. Has a 7.3 rating on IMDB.


Film Noir: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

English: Lizabeth Scott & Van Heflin in The St...

English: Lizabeth Scott & Van Heflin in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers – cropped screenshot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barbara Stanwyck is the ruthless, domineering woman married to Kirk Douglas, a sniveling alcoholic D.A., who is the only living witness to a crime comitted years earlier. Van Heflin is the childhood flame who returns to town and throws a wrench in the works. Good flick, early Kirk Douglas role.


Film Noir: The Scar (1948)

English: Eduard Franz (left) & Paul Henreid in...

From Internet Archive: “Harsh tale of an alienated criminal’s attempt to impersonate his psychiatrist-double. Important fatalistic noir, with classy visuals and a very fine script that features a creative doppelganger theme.” – noir expert Spencer Selby.