There is Nothing Noir in The House on 92nd Street!!!

Posted: December 30, 2010 in film-noir, movie

Among the many movies on my list of to-be-seen film noirs (based on academic lists) was The House on 92nd Street. And what a disappointment it was to discover that there is nothing noir in this movie. The movie begins as a documentary about the secret Project 79 (about the atom bombs) and turns into a spy/crime movie. But, there is not even a hint of  noir in it, except that it is made in black and white like all the movies of that period. Why it is NOT a film noir? First of all, the hero is member of the FBI he is not an antihero, he is paragon of morality and patriotism. He is a real hero, while in film noir, there is no hero. There is antihero, perplexed, puzzled, often, guilty as everyone else, or even the killer. Second, the FBI does it’s job the best possible way. In film noir, the representative of the police are morally corrupted or the police has marginal part in the story. Ad for the femme fatale, you can just forget about her. All in all, The House on 92nd Street is an interesting movie to be watched for many reasons, but noir is not one of them.

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