A young woman who has been abused and taken advantage of by all the men in her life, finally finds a man she believes truly loves her, but she snaps when she finds out that he, too, is ... See full summary »
After WW2, former RAF airman Clem Morgan joins a gang of black-market smugglers-thieves but when a robbery goes wrong, Clem is caught , framed for a policeman's murder, and is sent to prison where he plots his escape and revenge.
When their ship docks the crew disembark as usual to pick up their lives in postwar London. For one of them his petty smuggling turns more serious when he finds himself caught up with a robbery in the City.
Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie murders a journalist called Fred Hale whom he believes is responsible for... See full summary »
Slice of life drama following the lives of various people in London's East End on a wet Sunday. (Is this film why people think it always rains in England ?) Rose was engaged to local wild boy Tommy Swann but he got imprisoned on Dartmoor. After he was locked up she got married to sedate but dull George. Tommy's now broken out of jail and comes to see Rose to get help to flee the country.Written by
Steve Crook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Film Noir defies definition, plenty disagree whether its a movement, genre, style. Perhaps its more usefully conceived as a sensibility, a world view, an attitude. In which case the words pessimism, determinism ie characters lacking choice their lives are predetermined, doom, gloom, the past coming back to affect the present all spring to mind. Its possible to see a cycle of films with remarkably consistent features in terms of visual style emerging in U.S primarily and to a lesser extent the U.K and France in the forties and fifties. While most noir films have a male as the central protagonist, a male who is invariably weak and flawed, a number of these films, such as Mildred Pierce, have a female protagonist. Noir manifested itself differently in Britain, combining with elements of what was to become known as kitchen sink or social realism and frequently concerned with social class.
This film uses the claustrophobic interiors of the terraced house to great effect. The noir style of long shadows, oblique angles, becomes more evident in the final climax, not really needed early on since the interiors work effectively without lighting effects. Melancholia drips through this like the rain of the title, Googie Withers is terrific, her face a mask of dreams, desires pushed away, disappointment etched over her features through her hard make up. How different she is in appearance to the femmes fatales of the U.S movies, bustling round the kitchen in her pinafore, then later on the almost military smartness of her utility dress when she attends Tommy. As a character shes every bit as strong however as her American counterparts. Like Mildred Pierce, she's strong in a domestic setting, when the usual convention for women in noir is to take them out of the domestic, placing them typically as nightclub singers or gangsters molls. In details I ll acknowledge this is on occasions cheesy and dated. Scratch at the surface however and its a fascinating exploration of the social tensions emerging after World War Two. How were people to adjust to life in peacetime? Were they able to return to the rigidly prescribed roles they d had prior to the war? Ealing studios produced a number of films which now can be seen to share many affinities with American Film Noir, this is one of the most interesting and rewarding.
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