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Fashion & Film Features Thousand Words

Gloria Grahame’s best film noir performances: Part I

One of film noir’s defining actors, Gloria Grahame gave her femme fatale characters a raw, vulnerable sensuality. She was not simply pretty. Her glamour and sexuality hid surprising, unexpected emotional registers. Her bad girls were human. Her characters were smart, daring, warm. I can never quite figure out Gloria Grahame on screen. Isn’t this one […]

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Features Thousand Words

Thousand Words: The Family in Film Noir

The family has always been a notable thematic absence from the shadowy, suspicious world of classical American film noir. To understand why this is the case is to understand the impact of the second world war upon Hollywood and the nation at large, but these are broader concerns than shall be addressed here. If film noir can be crystallised […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953)

This article contains film spoilers. Discouraged and temporarily defeated, detective Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford) leans heavily, hands in pockets, against the doorway of his young daughter’s room. “That’s the most beautiful castle in the whole world”, he says, referring to the child’s impressive building block creation sprawled across the bedroom floor. She grins, immediately bounding up into her […]