GUN, KEY AND DAHLIA
This Gun for Hire (Frank Tuttle, 1942), The Glass Key (Stuart Heisler, 1943) and The Blue Dahlia (George Marshall, 1946) – these are films marked by some most typical noir characteristics. They are similar in respect of their heroes and relations between them which create the dark world shaped with some expressionistic sharpness. It is the reality without hope and without distinct moral identity. The structure of city-labyrinth and domination of night scenes strengthen the climate of threatening and visualize some gloomy alleys of the heroes’ psyche. Each of the movies is based on the schema of investigating (it’s one of the first five characteristics of film noir – according to Christine Gledhill) and on the visual level they are joined by the specific actors couple – Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. One could say that these films are “different and identical” and that they have some typical features of the genre cinema. However, it would be wiser, following in this respect some experts, to treat these movies as part of a series of the national film works possessing some common characteristics, such as style, atmosphere and the topic. What is more, these mentioned films begin, within the created by them series, the new film type, in which the main feature is the mentioned actors couple.