The gangster genre is a product of a much larger genre. Crime genre is very similar to the gangster genre. Crime genre films typically involve criminals or gangsters. The characters can be robbers, murderers, thieves, or underworld figures. They also sometimes highlight the life of a crime figure and glorify the rise and fall of a particular criminal or group of criminals. Another category of films that is associated with the gangster genre is film noir.
Similar to the gangster genre is film noir. Film noir is typically a darker film. These types of films deal with hardboiled detectives, gangsters, or normal people who turn to a life of crime. These films also usually used low-key lighting. Film noir is used to describe crime dramas. Most film noirs take place in America, because it was originally identified with films produced in the United States. Film noirs were made mostly during the 1940s and 1950s.
Film noir is described as the type of mood that a film has. Some of these moods are gloomy, alienation, bleakness, disillusionment, uncertainty, corruption, evil, guilt, depression, and paranoia. The characters in film noir come from the dark and gloomy underworld of crime and corruption. They are dynamic, menacing, sinister, and fearful. Most of the characters are typically men as well. The narratives are complex and use numerous types of editing and shots. These films also have share traits of having disorienting visual schemes, shadows, skewed camera angles, and low-key lighting. An example of a film noir scene would be a mobster sitting in a dark room with a dimed light overhead. The viewer can see the smoke rising off of the cigarette that he is smoking. They typically also have a setting that takes place in a urban setting such as Chicago. An example of an outdoor setting would be at night in dark alleys or streets The narratives also usually end with the character loosing his or hers conquest.
Film noirs show the darker side of human nature. They reveal how truly inhumane people can be. They have an atmosphere of danger, doubt, anxiety, realism, and the suspicion that anything can go wrong. They reveal to the viewer the underworld of crime that goes on that no one really knows about. They also reveal true stories of criminals and gangsters. Film noir is without a doubt a type of film that is different from the rest.
Silver, A. U. (1996). Film noir reader. Pompton plains, New jersey: Limelight editions.