Category Archives: Readings

theres no shadow without light

“The Shadow” was my favorite reading that I did this week. I chose it randomly off the list, and I am happy about my decision.

This story had a lot more mystery in it, even though it was pretty short. It was actually a pretty quick read because it kept the reader interested in the story the entire time. The ending was a surprise for me. I thought that Corvet had actually been in the room, and I was surprised to find out what is actually Martan. The shadow is also a pretty cool figure in the story as he can be seen as almost godlike in his portrayed omniscience as well as his being everywhere in the room at once.

the noir

Noir in the story can be seen especially in the shadow. It is definitely in his name, it is in his characters attributes. Another instance of the noir in here is the setting, in a creepy house late at night, by themselves with mysterious gifts and them just waiting for a man to come and kill them. Even the name of the prison that they used to all be in has a dark tone to it; the entire story seems to be a sort of faded, dark experience.

The Actual Killers

In Hemingway’s “The Killers” I was waiting for something to happen but nothing ever did. There was no ending to the story, it basically left you waiting and wondering if they were going to come back, or something going to happen to the men in the restaurant. It was very anticlimactic.


This story was full of noir. There was no are in the way they spoke. They used the phrase “bright boy” a lot in reference to the workers in the restaurant. They also kept saying “What’s the idea?” and other phrases that relate to the noir dialect. The Description of their clothes an example of noir as well. Hemingway describes their dark overcoats, their hats;  even the way their faces are portrayed gives off a sense of noir. Setting is noir as well. The story begins with two mysterious men walking into the lunch-room, while it’s dark outside and a streetlamp comes on out the window.


Alternative Ending: (3 stars)

(This occurs as Nick is going to check on Ole Anderson at the Hirsch room).

Nick walk up to the Hirsch house and knocked on the door. A lady let them inside. She asked what he wanted and he said to see Ole Anderson. She took him to the room and knocked on the door. Ole Anderson answered and said to come in. As the door opened, in the past Nick rushed Max and Al. Ole Anderson rose up off the bed and socked Max square in the jaw. As Max lay unconscious on the floor, Al reach for his gun, but he was too slow. Mrs. Hirsch, who had let Nick in, pulled out her own pistol and shot Al in the back. They quickly tied up Max and told Nick he better get out of there.

Frozen in place, Nick asked what happened, and old Anderson explained how he knew they were coming. They had been after him for a while and he knew they would be there any day. He had got wind of them waiting for him at Henry’s and he knew all you had to do was wait for them to find him. Still confused, Nick asked how Mrs. Hirsch was able to shoot the man. She calmly explained that she wasn’t Mrs. Hirsch, she was Mrs. Bell who ran the house for her. Anderson had come to her asking to keep an eye out in case you saw anything suspicious. She explained that when she let him in the house, she noticed the men trying to be discreet but suspiciously standing out under the street lamp. She said that the knock on the door to Anderson was actually a knocking code they had agreed on in case something like this happened. Again, they told Nick he better get out before the cops come.

Nick, still a little fuzzy, headed back to Henry’s to share the details with George and Sam. Neither of them and could believe the story that Nick told.

Still ringing– Spoiler Alert

I’m not even 100% sure how to respond to “the post man always rings twice.” I honestly did not like the story very much. There are many points where I would expect it to end, but it just kept going. Not only that, but I’m kind of confused by the relationships that were going on. I don’t understand why they had to kill the Greek, when they could have just left together. I am still kind of confused about what happened with the lawyers in the trials. I feel terrible for Frank at the end of the story because he ends up going to jail after having the woman he loves and his future child killed, and worse its his fault.

In no way did I see the ending coming. I expected the story to stop after they won the case. But I wasn’t surprised when Kennedy came back looking for money. That part made a lot of sense and made story very interesting. But in the end when they seemed happy and like everything was going to work out, it really surprised me that it ended so suddenly.


The noir:

In trying to remember the door aspects of the story a lot of small details popped up for me. I known one section it references Cora smoking a cigar. In another part of the story Frank is gambling. Cora and Frank are both characters of the north ton; Cora is mysterious woman in a restaurant, and Frank is a man with a history of getting in trouble. I also picture the interrogation of Frank is a very nor the scene. The detective is questioning him and threatened him and scaring him to make Cora take the rap for the murder.

Overall, I think I’m still digesting the story as I only finished reading it today. I think it would be interesting story to continue discussions with and I look forward to talking to some of my friends in this class about it.

Learning Noir

Coming into this class I knew nothing about noir, but the readings and viewings I’ve done this week have definitely enlightened me. Learning about the history of noir and how it came to be, throughout the war,  post war, and the depression was very interesting. But the thing I liked most about learning the concept of noir was all the different types that can be found within a show, or movie, or written work.

In Scooby Doo’s The Backstage Rage, the examples of noir that caught my attention most were the setting and the villain. Episode starts out in the dark street corner, with the silhouette of a man wearing a hat and trenchcoat.  These articles of clothing are two of the main aspects of noir in the costume category. As the episode goes and moves into the puppet shop, dark and creepy ambience continue until the end of the episode.

In Bugs Bunny’s Racketeer Rabbitexamples of nor can be found in almost every aspect of the clip. From the setting and lighting, to the outfits and accessories (including cigars, revolvers, etc). This example definitely includes a dark sense of humor as well, with all the fighting and banging around of Rocky. In this clip, they even include a character, Hugo, who emits the feeling of noir to the viewers with his appearance, behavior, and voice. The image below shows Hugo on the left.

bugs noir

Pretty Little Liar’s Shadow Play,   Lighting plays a major role in the film noir. The director of this show often uses effects similar to this episode to create eerie feelings throughout the series. It also uses flashbacks and costumes to create the effects of noir.

In Nightmare Town,  Hammet uses descriptions to enable the reader to visualize the noir. For example, in one line he states, ‘The man in bleached khaki examined the other from the tips of his broad−toed shoes to the creased crown of
his black hat…” Referring to the character as “the man” creates a sense of mystery because the narrator is unfamiliar with whoever he is. The description of their clothes is an example as well because they are part of the noir costume.

The Dark Knight is an example of noir  because of the dark costumes as well as the plot and setting. Gotham city is filled with crime. When views of the city are shown, the street is frequently wet. The towers create the vertical lines that were discussed in Paul Shrader’s Notes on Noir, and the colors are always shades of grey and black.

The thing that stuck in my head most from the intro readings of noir, is that it is not a genre as I had originally assumed. It is a sort of style that can appear in different amounts and at different points within a single piece of work.


Looking back on the movies I’ve seen, I think a good example of noir is All Dogs Go to Heaven. This movie depicts characters with dark attitudes, crimes, etc. It includes noir costumes and accessories. Below can be seen one of the villains whose cigar smoke is filling up the air around him, creating a dark, musty setting.

noir dog