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Film Genres: Film noir

This guide highlights library resources for some of the more popular film genres.

A quick definition for film noir

From the Critical Dictionary of Film and Television Theory, film noir is "concerned with the seedy underbelly of America, where crime, corruption and sexual desire intermingle. Recurrent characters include the world-weary detective, the beautiful but deadly femme fatale and her male dupes. Visually, its most striking feature is the use of low-key, high contrast lighting, which evokes the immorality of the world explored within the film.

In the Library's collections

To find what we have in the Library's collection, you can do a subject search for "film noir" in the online catalog. That search will show you what film titles are classified as film noir as well as books and other items about Film Noir.

As you look at the list under Film Noir, the subject headings which include "history and criticism" talk about the genre itself. The headings which also include a country name are specifically talking about Film Noir in that country.

You can also do a subject search for "noir fiction." That will lead you to the noir novels and criticism of the literature form of noir.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book titles

Finding articles & using SUMMON

Articles and other writings about movies can be found in many publications. Our collection does not include a journal or magazine which looks exclusively at film noir. Other film journals within our collection will cover film noir. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find relevant articles. You can also use SUMMON below.

About?

Dartmouth Users: Using Summon from off-campus? You'll need VPN for access to full-text.

Selected film noir movie titles

For more movie titles, click here.