Down these mean streets a man must go … and occasionally he has to ask for cash, too.
The Film Noir Foundation, a most-worthy non-profit based in the Bay Area and run, by among others, the film noir scholar, author, and diehard fan Eddie Muller, just got some props on the editorial page of the New York Times of all places. The editors write: “Critics have wondered why we love to watch tragedy. It’s easier to understand why we love film noir. In tragedy, none of the characters know they’re going to be tragic until it’s too late. The characters in film noir know what terrible cards they’re holding. We’re the bystanders witnessing a pitiless world where the game is rigged.”
Right now, the Foundation has a blogathon going where folks are encouraged to add their thoughts about Mitchum and Bogart, Chandler and Hammett, Out of the Past and Kiss Me Deadly, to the conversation. And then, if you’re really enthused, you can send the Foundation a few fivers so it can continue its efforts to preserve and restore vintage noirs from the 1940s and ‘50s.
Here are a few of my favorite noir quotes, and the films they’re from:
”What’s the matter? You look like you’ve been on a hayride with Dracula.” – Patricia Farr to Alan Ladd in This Gun for Hire
"The streets were dark with something more than night." -- Edward G. Robinson, The Woman in the Window"
“The only thing standing between you and a watery grave is your wits, and that's not my idea of adequate protection." – Humphrey Bogart, Beat the Devil