The death of Noir (a question for film buffs)

Since the local cable company finally added Turner Classic Movies to its line-up last spring, one of my favorite things has been the film noir showcase every Saturday morning. A lot of these films are classics that I had heard of, but never had a chance to see before: In a Lonely Place! Out of the Past! Kiss Me Deadly!

When I was at the library a few weeks ago, I found and checked out a great book on the subject: Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir by Eddie Muller. I’ve just finished reading it, and I recommend it; it’s entertaining, and there are some deliciously lurid color prints of the original movie posters.

The final section, titled “The End of the Road,” begins with this paragraph:

Then it goes on to describe “Noir” as Marion Crane in Psycho, and how her murder and that movie toppled classic noir expectations and the genre in general.

My question, however, has to do the other two films referred to. What are they? I thought at first that the second one was White Heat, but the date is off by 10 years and it isn’t set in New York. Any film noir buffs out there who can help with identification?

(Note to Moderators: If this is a General Question and winds up being gently escorted out of the Cafe, I will understand.)

Isn’t Los Robles where “Touch of Evil” is supposed to be set?

The first is definitely Touch of Evil. Don’t recognise the second.

That was fast. Thank you!

I have seen Touch of Evil, but it was years ago.

The other movie seems to be Odds Against Tomorrow, directed by Robert Wise. It apparently has a rep as the last film noir:

Odd thing is, I’d never heard of the movie before today, but as a jazz fan I knew the piece “Odds Against Tomorrow” that John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet wrote for the score.

'course it only stayed dead a little over a decade. In 1972 Chinatown revived Film Noir - or gave it a second incarnation. And the 1980s were filled with Noir homages - Body Heat, Blade Runner, Blood Simple.

Actually he was shot through the heart by a no-good two-faced broad. I should know, film was my great-uncle. But the family doesn’t really like to talk about it.

The IMDB lists Chinatown as 1974. That’s worth noting because The Friends of Eddie Coyle was 1973, if you want to talk about bringing back film noir.

Seven replies so far, and no one’s the classic 1948 bowling noir vehicle Road House. (Yes, I said bowling noir). I can’t do this justice; just check out the links.

Thanks, everyone, for your answers. I read the description of Odds Against Tomorrow, and it doesn’t sound at all familiar. Touch of Evil, on the other hand, I feel a little bit silly about not getting; even if I didn’t remember the name of the town, the movie was discussed in some detail in the book I was reading. I wonder why these are considered "death of noir’ films?

javaman: the “bowling noir” page is hilarious! I especially enjoyed the image of Double Indemnity’s Walter Neff taking a few minutes away from his murderous plans to bowl a couple of frames. And is that Rita-Hayworth-as-Gilda wielding the…erm…blue ball?

Yeah, why is one of my favs, Touch of Evil consider the death of noir? It is definitely a noir film. Was it because it was untoppable? Was it because of the twist ending? (Hint: it was only a “touch” of evil.) Please see the film guys, it is great.

Dangerosa’s right. Noir didn’t die, it just went on vacation for a while during the 60s. It’s alive and kicking today, and in far better health than, say, musicals or the western.

Judging by the quote in the OP, Muller is talking about something much more specific, the B-movie noir. Such movies can rightly be said to have died during the late fifties. The studio system collapsed, and took the B-movie system with it. The low-budget studios that filled the void (e.g. American International) made teenage/horror/monster movies, not crime thrillers.