New York City Noir: Dark Dangerous Corrupt Sexy

The Taking Pelham 123 (1974)

The NY Times today published an article, Noir and the City: Dark, Dangerous, Corrupt and Sexy, by Terrence Rafferty, covering the N.Y.C. Noir film noir festival organised by Film Forum starting Friday. See my post of July 11 for the full program.

Rafferty reviews the major pictures and the article is supported on-line with high quality stills.

GUILT, desire, fear, ambition and the bad behavior those human frailties give rise to are the favored themes of the sort of film we now call noir. So it’s hardly surprising that a fair number of these pictures are set in New York City, where guilt, fear, desire, ambition and bad behavior are pretty much a way of life. Any city will do, of course, because all cities generate a certain amount of the anxiety that film noir feeds on. And all cities, somewhere, have dark, scary streets that can, in noir’ violent allegories of moral ambiguity, stand in for the dimmer, grubbier recesses of the soul. But New Yorkers pride themselves on having more of everything than people in other cities do. If noir is the great urban style of the movies and it is then New York City is surely the noirest place on earth.  More

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