The film noir genre genre is stylistic and “dark.” The themes are often criminal in nature, but they can also portray any sort of adverse human trait. The story line in a film noir flick usually plays itself out in an engrossing manner. Follow these steps to get a “feel” for this dark genre with your Netflix account.
Point your browser to Netflix. If you do not already have a Netflix account, you should seriously consider getting one. They offer plans that start from $4.99 per month. This way, you will be able to get a good introduction to film noir without spending a lot of money.
From Netflix.com, you will need to execute a search for the following film noir dvds: The Maltese Falcon (1941); Double Indemnity (1944); Mildred Pierce (1945). Once you have found these films you will need to add them to your Netflix queue one at a time. The Maltese Falcon (1941) is generally considered the first of the film noir genre. The film stars Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre in a daring jewel heist scheme. Double Indemnity (1944) stars Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in the retelling of a true story about marriage, infidelity, and the ultimate crime of passion. Finally, Mildred Pierce (1945) is a film about a family twisted up in a murder investigation and an underlying theme of a supremely devoted mother and an unappreciative daughter. The film stars Joan Crawford and Ann Blythe.
Each of these three films are classics in the film noir realm, and there is no better way to get familiar with the genre than to simply sit back and take an analyzing look at the style of the films. If you decide that you like this slick style of films, you can make a dvd purchase from Amazon.com.
If money is a little tight right now, a cheaper option for finding films of the film noir genre would be to contact your local library and find out if they offer the suggested movies on DVD or VHS. If you enjoy films that reflect the “darkside” of human nature, you will no doubt enjoy the film noir.