Some times referred as a genre on its own, Film Noir (French for “black film”) is a term used to describe a very stylized form of Hollywood crime dramas – particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. The classic film noir of Hollywood were made in the 1940s and 50s. It is important to understand that the term describes more of the mood and tone of the film than it does the particular plot of characters. Most of these films, however, involve a private eye or some sort of law enforcement and the story centers around a crime mystery or murder.
Classic Film Noir films include THE MALTESE FALCON, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, LAURA, GUN CRAZY and THE BIG SLEEP.