Blues in the Night (1941): Noir Counterpoint

Blues in the Night (1941)

Blues in the Night (Warner Bros 1941) is a fascinating musical noir melodrama about a budding white jazz band scripted by Robert Rossen, directed by Anatole Litvak, and atmospherically lensed by Ernest Haller, with a b-cast, including a very young Elia Kazan, as a dizzy jazz clarinetist. These impeccable leftist credentials are reflected in the plot and the resolution which talk to personal integrity and the values of solidarity and loyalty. Amazingly for the period an establishing scene in a police lock-up respectfully credits the music’s black roots. Tied up in all this is a noir arc with a hood played by Lloyd Nolan and a killer performance by Betty Field (an actress who sadly went nowhere) as a cheap femme-fatale.  The socially aware feel-good ending is tempered by the noir-like denouement for the hoods and the femme-noir.

This movie is a serious contender as a seminal film noir,  remembering The Maltese Falcon was made in the same year, Stranger On the Third Floor only a year earlier in 1940, and Double Indemnity a full three years later in 1944.  Check out the trailer:

Pristine Film Noir Trailers

I have prepared a compilation of high quality film noir trailers available on-line at TCM:

Ace in the Hole
Act Of Violence
Angels With Dirty Faces
Asphalt Jungle, The
Big Steal, The
Clash by Night
Criss Cross
Dark Passage
Detective Story
Dial M For Murder
Double Indemnity
High Sierra
His Kind Of Woman
I am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
Johnny Angel
Johnny Eager
Key Largo
Lady Without Passport, A
Maltese Falcon, The
Mildred Pierce
Ministry Of Fear
Mystery Street
Narrow Margin, The
Night of the Iguana, The
Nora Prentiss
On Dangerous Ground
Petrified Forest, The
Postman Always Rings Twice, The (1946)
Private Detective (1939)
Public Enemy, The
Point Blank
Racket, The
Scene of the Crime
Second Chance
The Seventh Victim
Shadow Of Doubt
Shadow On The Wall
Side Street
Split Second
Stranger, The
Strip, The
Sunset Blvd
Thin Man, The
Touch of Evil
Two Mrs. Carrolls, The
Where Danger Lives
White Heat
Woman On Pier 13, The
Wrong Man, The

Film Noir Trailers

Panic In The Streets

Film Noir Trailers:

Dark Passage
Detective Story
Don’t Bother to Knock
Double Indemnity
Hold Back Tomorrow
I Want To Live
In a Lonely Place
Lady in the Lake
Leave Her To Heaven
Mildred Pierce
Ministry of Fear
Peter Gunn
Private Hell 36
Slightly Scarlet
Strange Triangle
Sunset Boulevard
The Accused
The Big Clock
The Big Sleep
The Bribe
This Gun for Hire
The Lady From Shanghai
The Lost Weekend
They Drive by Night
To Have and Have Not
The Maltese Falcon
This Gun For Hire
The Third Man
Touch Of Evil

The Best Film Noir Trailers on DVD (2000 120mins)

The Best Of Film Noir DVD

From All Movie Guide:

“The films about the tough guys and the femme fatales. Films like The Maltese Falcon. Kiss Me Deadly, Double Indemnity, This Gun for Hire, Mildred Pierce, DOA, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Bad and the Beautiful, Detour, Touch of Evil, Out ot the Past, including the original coming attraction trailers for Rear Window, Notoruius, and Vertigo. Stars such as Robert Mitchum, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bsrbara Stanwyck, Cary Grant, John Garfield, Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Lee Marving, Orson Welles, Charlton Heston, Ingrid Bergman, Fred MacMurray, Alan Ladd, Jane Greer, Ralph Meeker, and Cloris Leachmand.”

Buy from NY Times Amazon