Deadly Is The Female
By Bob Pakes
A DAME WITH A PAST. A MAN WITH NO FUTURE.
“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 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.
In this article the emphasis is on the Film Noir Posters. You will find a collection of the most beautiful American 1-Sheets (measuring 27 x 41 inches) that were published to promote these movies. Original Film Noir posters have become very collectible with This Gun For Hire (1942) topping the list with auction prices going up to $ 50.000. Many of these posters show the Femme Fatale in a seductive pose, while all of them are true works of art.
Enjoy these deadly females while you still can. There is no escape …
At the top of this article we have a Paramount Studios publicity still of Veronica Lake from the early 40’s. In the banner below that we see Lizabeth Scott (who also 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:
And these two books focus on Noir posters: