> Pulp fiction, poetic realism and German expressionism supply the style
> Downbeat crime flicks involving duplicitous dames and half-smart guys provide the substance
> The first authentic American film noir, The Maltese Falcon, appears in 1941
> Between 1944 and 1958 around 500 cheap, B-movie noirs pour out of the studios
> Better times, the blacklist and the demise of the studio system contribute to the end
> But the genre thrives on in colour neo-noirs, such as LA Confidential (1997)
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