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Quotes (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge)

Q (AtoZ Challenge 2017) 1940s Film Noir - Quotes

Film noir uses a very characteristic form of dialogue. We all know that noir privet detectives are streetwise, disillusioned and wisecracking, as well as we know that femme fatales are sensual and smooth, whatever they say.

The dialogue was very important in film noir, because, as much as the plot relied on the action, some of this action happened in dialogues. In fact, the dialogue was one of film noir secret weapons, one of those means filmmakers used so to replace more lavish formed of filmmaking which they could not afford or addressed adult matters which the Hays Code would not allow.

So, as it happened, film noir transformed a limitation into one of its strongest features.

Quotes (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge) Is there anything more entertaining than a #FilmNoir dialogue? Share on X

FILMS CITED

The Third Man (1950) by Carol Reed
Set in postwar Vienna, Austria, “The Third Man” stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, who arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime (Orson Welles), only to find him dead. Martins develops a conspiracy theory after learning of a “third man” present at the time of Harry’s death, running into interference from British officer Maj. Calloway (Trevor Howard) and falling head-over-heels for Harry’s grief-stricken lover, Anna (Alida Valli). (Google synopsis)

To Have and Have Not (1948) by Howard Hawks
In Vichy France, fishing boat captain Harry (Humphrey Bogart) avoids getting involved in politics, refusing to smuggle French Resistance fighters into Martinique. But when a Resistance client is shot before he can pay, Harry agrees to help hotel owner Gerard (Marcel Dalio) smuggle two fighters to the island. Harry is further swayed by Slim (Lauren Bacall), a wandering American girl, and when the police take his friend Eddie (Walter Brennan) hostage, he is forced to fight for the Resistance. (Google synopsis)


No Film School – The Stylistic Elements of Film Noir
School Media Arts – Characteristics of Film Noir
Understanding Media – Primary Characteristics and Conventions of Film Noir


1940s Film Noir - QUOTES (AtoZ Challenge 2017) - Dialogue was very important in film noir, because, as much as the plot relied on action, some of this action happened in dialogues. In fact, dialogue was one of film noir secret weapons

29 Comments

  • joy
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 01:04

    you had me at that photo of Orson Welles 😀

    joy @ The Joyous Living

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted April 20, 2017 at 13:36

      He’s a fantastic actor. I had never seen him on film before researching this series, but really he had such personality.

  • Cheryl
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 03:15

    😀 Loved these! Especially the whistle!

    Calen~
    Impromptu Promptlings
    A to Z Challenge Letter O&P

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 11:17

      I agree, that’s great. Bogart and Bacall are really brilliant together 🙂

  • Kristin
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 04:48

    I often listen to Audio Noir, which features old detective radio shows. I have heard several Harry Lime episodes.

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 11:19

      Audio Noir. I want to chack that out. I’ve never listen to noir radio show, though I know there are a few places on the net where they are available. Sounds like fun.

  • Sara C. Snider
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 08:35

    Fun clips. The Robert Mitchum one is great. 🙂

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 08:42

    Hi Sarah – these are all fascinating – and would be wonderful to see … I’ve probably seen newer versions – while these all have such excellent actors/actresses appearing in them – fantastic … I’ll enjoy going through the clips you’ve included – once the A-Z is over … thanks – wonderful voices … cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/q-is-for-quirky-quizzy-facts-and-quaggas.html

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 11:20

      It was fun looking them up on the net. So many great lines 😉

  • Raesquiggles
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 12:07

    Always delivered so well – these actors should never be forgotten.

    @Raesquiggles – Queen’s coronation – Westminster Abbey
    The Quiet Writer

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 11:22

      We tend to discradite them, don’t you think? We tend to think they’ve done all stuff and today’s filmmaking and acting is a lot better.
      Not so, not always 😉

  • Margot Kinberg
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 15:40

    Oh, that ‘whistle’ scene is classic, isn’t it? Among other things, it shows the way that dialogue was used to convey innuendo, threat, or other things without actually saying anything that would’ve been censored. It took real talent to do that!

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 11:24

      I agree. Besides, I’m a great promoter of innuendo in all kinds of storytelling. It’s a risky technique, I know, the audince may not catch the gist, but costructing the innuendo in an accessible way is the ‘art’ part of it 😉

  • CD Gallant-King
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 16:29

    Oh, I thought you were referring to the rapid fire delivery of films such as “His Girl Friday” (which isn’t actually Noir anyway) but now I see what you mean. Yeah, this is good, too. 🙂

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 11:25

      Is it just me, or there are lots of good dialogues in these old movies? They don’t write such great dialogue today. Just my opinion 😉

  • Birgit
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 18:38

    Ah yes, there are many great scenes and quotes from Film Noir. That gal in the Big Sleep(who was in Strangers on a Train and later Mrs. Tate in Bewitched) liked playing Trampy gals.

  • Laurel Garver
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 18:40

    Nothing is more iconic than Noir dialogue. Bacall’s whistle description is quite erotic really–the pinnacle femme fatale performance.

    http://laurelgarver.blogspot.com/2017/04/q-questioning.html

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 11:28

      Not a mere chance that noir dialogue is so popular and so imitated. It’s really crisp and fascinating, so suggestive, and because it is like so, it helps the viewer get intot he story, in my opinion.
      Those were some master writers.

  • Jacqui
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 23:57

    The Third Man–there’s one I haven’t thought about in a while.

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 11:29

      I haven’t watch it yet, but it feels like The Third Man is an atypical kind of noir.

  • Kalpanaa
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 11:39

    Thoroughly enjoyed that scene from How to be Cool.

  • Debs
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 17:42

    Oh yes …
    Just perfect.

    I have to say the Orson Welles one reminded me of just how good he is.
    And just how good the film is.

    http://www.bunnyandthebloke.com/blog/a-z-challenge-r-is-for-i-got-rhythm

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted April 22, 2017 at 11:31

      This clip is the first time I’ve seen him acting. I’m quite impressed, really.

  • Lama Jigme Gyatso
    Posted July 23, 2021 at 18:25

    In which movie, does the protagonist enter his dark apartment, do find a man in a chair holding a gun who says, “We have much to discuss, you and I”?

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted July 24, 2021 at 15:20

      I confess I don’t know, LOL. Which one is it?

      • Lama Jigme Gyatso
        Posted July 25, 2021 at 00:26

        I wish I knew 🙁

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