by Tony d’Ambra
Hollywood b-movies are a treasure trove of haunting images as arresting and poetic as any in cinema. For this reason alone they must be preserved.
The efforts of the Film Noir Foundation (FNF) in film noir preservation and restoration are to be applauded and supported, but let me be frank, it is the Studios that should be forking out the big money here. It is a scandal that the custodians of this patrimony have presided over a criminal neglect of their archives, and do not make any ongoing public commitment to contribute to a public fund for preservation. In recent years the FNF screened a pristine print of a noir from a studio archive, and when the FNF asked to re-screen the movie, the studio reported it had been lost. Only in the last month, many Hollywood films from the silent era lost or destroyed by the Studios, have been released from Russian archives, where they have been meticulously preserved since the Russian revolution. Go figure! LA is awash with cash – some should be directed to preserving film noir history.
These film noir frames are all from Hollywood b’s:
Note: Tony d’Ambra’s pointed commentary and exquisite screen cap display is in conjunction with the noble fundraising project presently ongoing at Ferdy-on-Films, Cinema Styles and the Self-Styled Siren.