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French Poetic Realism and American Noir: “It’s always too late’”

Rebecca Martin


This paper investigates the connections between French Poetic Realism of the 1930s and American film noir and argues that their significance has been understated. The goals of this study are three-fold. It begins with an examination of the treatment of Poetic Realism in the most significant critical views of the genealogy of American film noir; then several films are analyzed in some detail to reinforce the connections and contrasts in specific French and American films. The paper concludes with several proposals about why the role of Poetic Realism has been so often presented as relatively insignificant.


film noir, French Poetic Realism, réalisme poétique, Jean Renoir, Marcel Carné, Fritz Lang, Jean Gabin, German Expressionism, émigré filmmakers, Post-World War II film—USA

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ling-2017-002-mart

Copyright (©) 2018 Rebecca Martin – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie


Linguæ & - Rivista di lingue e culture moderne
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (06/04/2012 n. 185)
Online ISSN 1724-8698 - Print ISSN 2281-8952

Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione, Studi Umanistici e Internazionali: Storia, Culture, Lingue, Letterature, Arti, Media
Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo

Editor-in-Chief: Roberta Mullini
Editorial Board: Maurizio Ascari - Stefano Beretta - Antonio Bertacca- Tania Collani - Chiara Elefante - Marina Guglielmi - Maryline Heck - Richard Hillman - Reinhard Johler - Stephen Knight - Cesare Mascitelli - Sonia Massai - Aurélie Moioli - Maria de Fátima Silva - Bart Van Den Bossche 

Editorial Staff: Margaret Amatulli - Alessandra Calanchi - Riccardo Donati - Ivo Klaver  - Massimiliano Morini - Antonella Negri - Luca Renzi

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