The Best of Film Noir

July 2, 2009 at 10:08 PM (Film Noir Documentaries) (, , , )


The Best of Film Noir is a very elementary introduction to the genre. It mentions some of the most notable films, such as Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep, Touch of Evil and Out of the Past. It also gives you brief glimpses of Bogart and Robert Mitchum, but it doesn’t go into any great detail about the elements of noir or a history of how it came about.

The Best of Film Noir does provide a few interesting archival interviews, especially in the bonus section that includes quick studies of Rod Steiger, Bogart and Orson Welles. There is also some archival footage of Bogie and Bacall at the 1955 Oscars and a funny story of Bogart starting a fight at a party that had to be broken up by John Wayne.

 After the one hour documentary, there are condensed versions of D.O.A. and Detour, which I don’t understand. If you want to see those films, you should just watch the whole movie. Also in the extras after the documentary is a quick commentary by film critic Jeffrey Wells, which is informative for newcomers to the film noir genre.

 If you already have a healthy understanding, you will not get much from this documentary that you don’t already know. The best thing about this documentary is the archival footage and interviews. If you are new to film noir, it is a good place to get a few recommendations as to films you should check out.

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