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Deadly Is The Female


By Bob Pakes

“It was the 40’s, right after the war. You could always find me in the theater around the corner. People like me liked our pictures dark and mysterious. The French invented a name for these films: FILM NOIR (BLACK FILM), about the dark side of human nature. They lived on the edge. Told stories about life on the streets. Shady characters. Crooked cops. Twisted love. And bad luck.”
– Richard Widmark
It’s not easy to define ‘film noir’, but most movie scholars agree on the following:
– The woman is in full control. She is smart, sophisticated and powerful. But also cruel and ruthless. And very sexual.
– The man? Doomed from the start. Dead in the end. But thankful for the few weeks he got to spent with her.



This article is about the beautiful American 1-sheet posters that were issued to promote film noir movies.
Original 1-sheet (27″ x 41″) noir posters have become very collectible, with This Gun For Hire (1942) topping the list with auction prices going over $50.000. Many of the noir posters in this article, present the movie’s female lead, the femme fatale, in a seductive pose, while all of these posters are true works of art.
Enjoy these deadly females while you still can. There is no escape …

Deadly Is The Female BANNER (Rita and Lizabeth)




The Maltese Falcon (1941) Hot Spot (1941) Out of the Fog (1941)




Crossroads (1942) This Gun for Hire (1942) A Gentleman After Dark (1942)




The Fallen Sparrow 1943) Journey into Fear (1943) Shadow of a Doubt (1943)




The Man in Half Moon Street (1944) Christmas Holiday (1944)Destiny (1944)


Double Indemnity (1944)Laura (1944) Murder, My Sweet (1944)




Fallen Angel (1945) Conflict (1945) Mildred Pierce (1945)


Dillinger (1945) Bewitched (1945) Uncle Harry (1945)




Born to Kill (1946) Gilda (1946) Blonde Alibi (1946)


The Blue Dahlia (1946) The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) The Killers (1946)




Woman on the Beach (1947) Lady in the Lake (1947) The Lady from Shanghai (1947)


Singapore (1947) Nora Prentiss (1947) Johnny O'Clock (1947)


The Web (1947) Nightmare Alley (1947) Dead Reckoning (1947)




Blonde Ice (1948) They Live by Night (1948) I Love Trouble (1948)


Cry of the City (1948) Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948) Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948)




Alias Nick Beal (1949) A Woman's Secret (1949) Trapped (1949)


Red Light (1949) Manhandled (1949) Chicago Deadline (1949)




The Woman on Pier 13 (1950) No Way Out (1950) Backfire (1950)


Born to be Bad (1950) Woman in Hiding (1950) The Damned Don't Cry (1950)




Roadblock (1951) On Dangerous Ground (1951) He Ran All the Way (1951)




Stolen Face (1952) Hoodlum Empire (1952) Affair in Trinidad (1952)




Vicki (1953) The Big Heat (1953) Pickup on South Street (1953)




The Long Wait (1954) Human Desire (1954) Drive a Crooked Road (1954)




The Big Combo (1955) Kiss Me Deadly (1955) 5 Against the House (1955)




The Come On (1956) A Kiss Before Dying (1956) Slightly Scarlet (1956)




The Burglar (1957) Guns Don't Argue (1957) The Tattered Dress (1957)




Ava Gardner in The KillersPHOTO INFO:
At the top of this article we have a publicity still of Veronica Lake from the early 40’s. In the banner below that we see Lizabeth Scott (who co-starred with Elvis in Loving You) in Pitfall (1948) and Rita Hayworth in Lady From Shanghai (1947). Rita can also be seen in the banner below. Ava Gardner is the lady to the right, in a pubicity still for The Killers (1946).
Many excellent books about film noir have been published. The titles shown here come especially recommended:
Film Noir The Noir Style
Crime Scenes



Deadly Is The Female END BANNER (Rita Hayworth in Lady From Shanghai)




3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Alan White #

    Great memories of a bygone age, well done Bob.

    April 16, 2015
  2. Jove Pascual #

    Thanks for these posters, film noir is my favorite genre. I noticed the poster of The Maltese Falcon has Bogart as he appeared in High Sierra.

    May 1, 2015
  3. Alan White #

    Well worth a second look, fantastic.

    April 18, 2020

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