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Primeval Noir

by Black Irish
La Nuit du Carrefour (1932) – Jean Renoir Film noir has always been infamously elusive in it’s definition, appropriate considering it was defined long after the fact by critics, scholars and cinephiles yet also in keeping with the frequently off-kilter, nightmarish worlds they brought to our consciousness. It is said to have existed in Hollywood, roughly, between the early forties and late fifties [with The Maltese Falcon and Touch of Evil traditionally, if not accurately, acting as the eras’ renowned bookends.] However, this aesthetic did not come into it’s own from nothing but rather, as many have pointed out, had roots that can be said… Read more

La Nuit du Carrefour (1932) – Jean Renoir

Film noir has always been infamously elusive in it’s definition, appropriate considering it was defined long after the fact by critics, scholars and cinephiles yet also in keeping with the frequently off-kilter, nightmarish worlds they brought to our consciousness. It is said to have existed in Hollywood, roughly, between the early forties and late fifties [with The Maltese Falcon and Touch of Evil traditionally, if not accurately, acting as the eras’ renowned bookends.] However, this aesthetic did not come into it’s own from nothing but rather, as many have pointed out, had roots that can be said to range from German expressionism, poetic realism, gangster films, pre-code Hollywood, gothic horror, hothouse melodramas, suspense films, thrillers, and everything between. This list intends to represent the strange primordial mixture of such films that existed in the years leading up to, and including, 1941 as well as led to the ‘genre’ as we now know it.

Most Anticipated:
- The Black Dream (Urban Gad, 1911)
- The Cheat (Cecil B. DeMille, 1915)
- Blind Justice (Benjamin Christensen, 1916)
- A Criminal’s Diary (Alexander Christian, 1916)
- Guldets Gift (Holger-Madsen, 1916)
- The Spider’s Prey (August Blom, 1916)
- The Mysterious Companion (August Blom, 1917)
- The Whispering Chorus (Cecil B. DeMille, 1918)
- Mästerman (Victor Sjöström, 1920)
- Nach dem Gesetz (Willy Grunwald, 1920)
- Outside the Law (Tod Browning, 1920)
- Der Reigen – Ein Werdegang (Richard Oswald, 1920)
- Blood Money (Fred Goodwins, 1921)
- Onder Spiritistischen Dwang (Binger/Doxatt-Pratt, 1921)
- In the Night (Frank Richardson, 1922)
- Phantom (F. W. Murnau, 1922)
- Tragödie der Liebe (Joe May, 1923)
- Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924)
- He Who Gets Slapped (Victor Sjöström, 1924)
- Der Letzte Mann (F. W. Murnau, 1924)
- Wild Oranges (King Vidor, 1924)
- The Unholy Three (Tod Browning, 1925)
- Orlacs Hände (Robert Wiene, 1925)
- Geheimnisse einer Seele (G. W. Pabst, 1926)
- Dirnentragödie (Bruno Rahn, 1927)
- Laster der Menschheit (Rudolf Meinert, 1927)
- The Way of All Flesh (Victor Fleming, 1927)
- The Docks of New York (Josef von Sternberg, 1928)
- The Racket (Lewis Milestone, 1928)
- Alibi (Roland West, 1929)
- Asphalt (Joe May, 1929)
- Die Büchse der Pandora (G. W. Pabst, 1929)
- Erotikon (Gustav Machatý, 1929)
- Jenseits der Straße (Leo Mittler, 1929)
- The Letter (Jean de Limur, 1929)
- Rotaie (Mario Camerini, 1929)
- Tagebuch einer Verlorenen (G. W. Pabst, 1929)
- Thunderbolt (Josef von Sternberg, 1929)
- The Bat Whispers (Roland West, 1930)
- Der Blaue Engel (Josef von Sternberg, 1930)
- Le Mystère de la Chambre Jaune (Marcel L’Herbier, 1930)
- La Petite Lise (Jean Grémillon, 1930)
- Tonka of the Gallows (Karl Anton, 1930)
- Up the River (John Ford, 1930)
- An American Tragedy (Josef von Sternberg, 1931)
- City Streets (Rouben Mamoulian, 1931)
- Daïnah la Métisse (Jean Grémillon, 1931)
- Dishonored (Josef von Sternberg, 1931)
- The Maltese Falcon (Roy Del Ruth, 1931)
- Panik in Chicago (Robert Wiene, 1931)
- Le Parfum de la Dame en Noir (Marcel L’Herbier, 1931)
- The Public Enemy (William A. Wellman, 1931)
- Safe in Hell (William A. Wellman, 1931)
- The Secret Six (George W. Hill, 1931)
- The Struggle (D. W. Griffith, 1931)
- Der Zinker (Frič/Lamac, 1931)
- Coeur de Lilas (Anatole Litvak, 1932)
- Fantômas (Pál Fejös, 1932)
- The Girl from Chicago (Oscar Micheaux, 1932)
- The Lodger (Maurice Elvey, 1932)
- The Match King (Keighley/Bretherton, 1932)
- Rome Express (Walter Forde, 1932)
- The Sign of Four (Graham Cutts, 1932)
- Ten Minutes to Live (Oscar Micheaux, 1932)
- Unheimliche Geschichten (Richard Oswald, 1932)
- Young America (Frank Borzage, 1932)
- Baby Face (Alfred E. Green, 1933)
- Brennendes Geheimnis (Robert Siodmak, 1933)
- Damaged Lives (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1933)
- Dragnet Girl (Yasujirô Ozu, 1933)
- L’étoile de Valencia (Serge de Poligny, 1933)
- Every-Night Dreams (Mikio Naruse, 1933)
- The House on 56th Street (Robert Florey, 1933)
- Japanese Girls at the Harbor (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1933)
- The Kiss Before the Mirror (James Whale, 1933)
- Morgen Beginnt das Leben (Werner Hochbaum, 1933)
- Policeman (Tomu Uchida, 1933)
- Private Detective 62 (Michael Curtiz, 1933)
- The Story of Temple Drake (Stephen Roberts, 1933)
- La Tête d’un Homme (Julien Duvivier, 1933)
- Le Grand Jeu (Jacques Feyder, 1934)
- The Scarlet Empress (Josef von Sternberg, 1934)
- La Bandera (Julien Duvivier, 1935)
- Black Fury (Michael Curtiz, 1935)
- The Devil Is a Woman (Josef von Sternberg, 1935)
- Deuxième Bureau (Pierre Billon, 1935)
- The Downfall of Osen (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1935)
- The Florentine Dagger (Robert Florey, 1935)
- G Men (William Keighley, 1935)
- The Informer (John Ford, 1935)
- Mad Love (Karl Freund, 1935)
- Murder in Harlem (Oscar Micheaux, 1935)
- Het Mysterie van de Mondscheinsonate (Kurt Gerron, 1935)
- The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Stuart Walker, 1935)
- Remember Last Night? (James Whale, 1935)
- The Black Room (Roy William Neill, 1935)
- The Prisoner of Shark Island (John Ford, 1936)
- The Road to Glory (Howard Hawks, 1936)
- Satan Met a Lady (William Dieterle, 1936)
- Secret Agent (Alfred Hitchcock, 1936)
- Big City (Frank Borzage, 1937)
- Black Legion (Archie Mayo, 1937)
- Drôle de Drame (Marcel Carné, 1937)
- Gueule d’Amour (Jean Grémillon, 1937)
- Der Mann, der Sherlock Holmes War (Karl Hartl, 1937)
- Marked Woman (Lloyd Bacon, 1937)
- Non-Stop New York (Robert Stevenson, 1937)
- Pépé le Moko (Julien Duvivier, 1937)
- The Squeaker (William K. Howard, 1937)
- Underworld (Oscar Micheaux, 1937)
- Dangerous to Know (Robert Florey, 1938)
- Le Drame de Shanghaï (G. W. Pabst, 1938)
- Hôtel du Nord (Marcel Carné, 1938)
- Stolen Death (Nyrki Tapiovaara, 1938)
- They Drive by Night (Arthur B. Woods, 1938)
- Blind Alley (Charles Vidor, 1939)
- Le Dernier Tournant (Pierre Chenal, 1939)
- Dust Be My Destiny (Lewis Seiler, 1939)
- Each Dawn I Die (William Keighley, 1939)
- Invisible Stripes (Lloyd Bacon, 1939)
- Le Jour se Lève (Marcel Carné, 1939)
- Let Us Live (John Brahm, 1939)
- Lying Lips (Oscar Micheaux, 1939)
- On the Night of the Fire (Brian Desmond Hurst, 1939)
- Le Récif de Corail (Maurice Gleize, 1939)
- The Roaring Twenties (Raoul Walsh, 1939)
- Sergeant Madden (Josef von Sternberg, 1939)
- De Spooktrein (Karel Lamač, 1939)
- They All Come Out (Jacques Tourneur, 1939)
- Contraband (Powellburger, 1940)
- Crimes at the Dark House (George King, 1940)
- East of the River (Alfred E. Green, 1940)
- Gaslight (Thorold Dickinson, 1940)
- Juninatten (Per Lindberg, 1940)
- Stranger on the Third Floor (Boris Ingster, 1940)
- They Drive by Night (Raoul Walsh, 1940)
- Among the Living (Stuart Heisler, 1941)
- L’Assassinat du Père Noël (Chapatte/Christian-Jacque, 1941)
- Blues in the Night (Anatole Litvak, 1941)
- Dangerously They Live (Robert Florey, 1941)
- The Face Behind the Mask (Robert Florey, 1941)
- The Ghost Train (Walter Forde, 1941)
- Footsteps in the Dark (Lloyd Bacon, 1941)
- En Forbryder (Arne Weel, 1941)
- I Wake Up Screaming (H. Bruce Humberstone, 1941)
- Ladies in Retirement (Charles Vidor, 1941)
- Out of the Fog (Anatole Litvak, 1941)
- Remorques (Jean Grémillon, 1941)
- The Shanghai Gesture (Josef von Sternberg, 1941)
- A Woman’s Face (George Cukor, 1941)

NOTES:

- Bolded titles indicate more recent additions.

- Any suggestions of films to add or remove are welcomed.

Added:

- La Chienne (Jean Renoir, 1931)
- Osaka Elegy (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1936)

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