RARA-AVIS: Re: Cain and Hammett

From: Jack Bludis ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 03 Oct 2007

Cain is noir; Hammett is hardboiled--in my opinion. And, also, in my opinion, Spade is hardboiled and not noir. Chandler is also hardboiled and not noir.

I admit that my definition of noir is too narrow for some, but I've seen Eddie Muller's name taken in vain here. For my money, Eddie is the expert on noir--damn the definitions.

It is my recollection however that in what I thought was a great, short film, pieced together from snippets of noir films to form a virtually coherent story, each of the films featured characters who were screwed, whether jailed, murdered, or killed in the midst of crime or an attempted escape.

I also admit that defining hardboiled as just "tough" may be a bit to broad for some, but I challenge anybody to find a lead character in anything they consider hardboiled who is not tough.

The on-and-on discussion is actually fun, but I think it is as impossible for us to come up with a definition of either hardboiled or noir that will satisfy everybody. And if it can be done, it could probably be done by Eddie Muller.

Jack Bludis

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