A British documentary on a decidedly American film genre with a French name. The Rules of Film Noir is definitely a first class documentary that does everything a film doc should. In its slightly under one hour run time, it takes us from the beginnings of the genre, through the starkly dark heart of its pinnacle to the bleak and inevitable end that very well suits its subject matter. Along the way it dissects and provides opinions on just what it is that makes films noir so unique not only to America but to their time period. Most of all, though, it leaves the viewer with the feeling of wanting to immediately seek out some of these films and just bask in their dark glow.
For those who are true students of the genre I can’t say that there’s anything truly new here, but if you’re like me and have some familiarity with the topic and want more, this documentary is a great watch, because it not only serves as a reminder of just what makes these films from the 40s and 50s so entertaining, but also provides a great list of films with just enough clips to whet your appetite for further exploration. There are so many good movies previewed here that the only real question one is left with afterwards is “Okay, which one am I off to watch now?”
And if you’re new to the genre, well… I’ll just say that after watching this you’ll definitely be wanting to explore his new and fertile ground to see the kind of films you’ve been missing.
Obviously, this documentary gets my highest recommendation, and the good news is, that you don’t even have to leave this page to watch it. Just click play below, sit back, and let the glorious darkness of one of my favorite film genres wash over you.
- Film Noir of the Week (prettycleverfilms.com)
- Top 5 Film Noir Bad Guys (prettycleverfilms.com)
- 1947: The Year in Noir (aurorasginjoint.com)
- Golden Age on the Printed Page: The Dark Side of the Screen (journeysinclassicfilm.com)