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Film Noir and Romance: It’s No Fairy Tale Baby

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Film Noir and Romance: It’s No Fairy Tale Baby
Film Noir may not seem like a very romantic subject considering how many of the couples in the films are eventually lead into their death or a prison term. There are some romantic aspects to these type of cinema. Even if a couple does have a tragic end, there is always some sort of romance in the middle. It could be lust or love, but it is usually there. While all Film Noir never ends as fairy tale, an audience can look at most of the films and see how love, or lust, can drive people to do despicable acts of crime.
Before describing how romance and the many varying types of love appear in Film Noir, it is important to understand the different gender roles each character plays. The male protagonist paired with a femme fatale is the usual leading roles in a Film Noir, but that isn’t a hard set rule. Men can play the male victim, damaged men, a private eye, a psychopath, or a homme fatal, (Spicer 85). Women can also play a variety of roles such as the nurturer, the good-bad girl, the female victim, or a femme fatale, (Spicer 90).
Male victims can be a protagonist who just gets trapped in the web of lies weaved by a beautiful woman, a femme fatale. The damaged man is usually a veteran who has a hard time adjusting to society after war or a police officer who loses control. After seeing so much violence it is hard for some men to see the world as a happy place. These men are usually paired with a nurturing female character. A private eye appears in many police procedural Film Noirs where he can also be trapped by the femme fatale. The private eye may be a protagonist, male victims, or a damaged man also. A psychopath is usually a male criminal that deceives everyone. Humphrey Bogart’s Dixon Steele appearing in In a Lonely Place, comes to mind as an example. The homme fatale is exactly like a femme fatale, except he is man....

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