film noir

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film noir

(fĭlm′ nwär′)
n. pl. film noirs (fĭlm′ nwärz′, nwär′) or films noirs (fĭlm′ nwär′)
1. A movie characterized by low-key lighting, a bleak urban setting, and corrupt, cynical characters.
2. The genre or style of such movies.

[French : film, film (from English film; see film) + noir, black (from Old French, from Latin niger, nigr-; see nekw-t- in Indo-European roots).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

film noir

(nwɑː)
n
(Film) a gangster thriller, made esp in the 1940s in Hollywood characterized by contrasty lighting and often somewhat impenetrable plots
[C20: French, literally: black film]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

film′ noir′


n.
1. a motion picture genre marked by grim urban settings, cynical, bleakly pessimistic characters, and starkly shadowed photography.
2. a motion picture in this genre.
[1955–60; < French: literally, black film]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

film noir

1. A French phrase meaning black film, used to mean the type of moody gangster movies made in the 1940s.
2. Moody style of gangster or thriller film, often shot in dark contrasting images.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.film noir - a movie that is marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, menace, and cynical characters; "film noir was applied by French critics to describe American thriller or detective films in the 1940s"
motion picture, motion-picture show, movie, moving picture, moving-picture show, pic, film, picture show, flick, picture - a form of entertainment that enacts a story by sound and a sequence of images giving the illusion of continuous movement; "they went to a movie every Saturday night"; "the film was shot on location"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In this regard particularly, Night Bird and The College Widow are films noirs avant la lettre, lifting a drinking and a looking glass to movies that had not yet been born, even as they reveal Faulkner's obsession with what seems to be a work permanently in progress.
Before the notion was widely adopted in the 1970s, many of the classic films noirs were referred to as melodramas.
Similarly, the male protagonists of films noirs often confuse the real woman with her painted representation.
Although one could identify scores of films noirs in which chiaroscuro sets the scene for a hyper-perfect, undetectable deception, a fairly representative example appears in Tension (John Berry, 1950), an underappreciated film that begins as a Walter Neff-style murder scheme and transforms into a quintessentially noir "wrong man" scenario.
Heist films come in two flavors: films noirs like The Asphalt Jungle and Dog Day Afternoon in which the well-laid plans of a crew of thieves unravel and implode, and cunning capers like To Catch a Thief and The Thomas Crown Affair in which a clever thief outwits both the cops and the audience.
In the Western topos of Rawhide, as in other more conventional films noirs, the viewer not only witnesses the revelation of an impossible-to-reveal criminal backstage, by definition unavailable to the public eye, but also sees its normalizing external effects--the refreshed travelers who proceed westward, never suspecting a thing.
Films noirs, also an American form, are generally considered to have been made in Hollywood during a narrower period beginning with John Huston's The Maltese Falcon (1941) and ending with Orson Welles's Touch of Evil (1958).