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Kiss the Blood Off My HandsOn Classic Film Noir$
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Robert Miklitsch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038594

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038594.001.0001

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Periodizing Classic Noir

Periodizing Classic Noir

From Stranger on the Third Floor to the “Thrillers of Tomorrow”

(p.193) 10 Periodizing Classic Noir
Kiss the Blood Off My Hands

Robert Miklitsch

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter traces the history of classic noir by reflecting on the way in which the genre has been discursively constituted through its beginnings and endings, an act of periodization that typically entails nominating particular films as the first and last noir in order to differentiate the intervening films from, respectively, proto- and neo-noir. While the recent interest in Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) is one sign that Boris Ingster's film has supplanted The Maltese Falcon (1941) as the first, titular American noir, recent transnational readings of the genre have problematized the reflexive determination of classic noir as a strictly American phenomenon. In fact, the impact of Odds against Tomorrow (1959) on transnational neo-noir indicates that the end or terminus of the classical era is just as provisional—just as open to interpretation and therefore, revision—as its origin.

Keywords:   classic noir, proto-noir, neo-noir, American noir, classical era

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