Talk:Film noir/Archive 2

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French film noir in the late 1930s

Hi, I just wanted to see what other editors thought about incorporating some of the content below in the Film Noir article. It discusses the use of the term "film noir" to refer to French films in the late 1930s. This paragraph is from the Nino Frank article, about the French film critic who coined the term "film noir": Charles O’Brien’s research indicates that the term “film noir” was used in French film reviews and newspaper articles in 1938 and 1939, to refer to French films such as Quai des brumes by Marcel Carné (1937) and La Bête humaine, by Jean Renoir (1938). O’Brien states that he found a “dozen explicit invocations of film noir” in the late 1930s, such as the paper L'lntransigeant, which called Quai des brumes a "film noir” and the newspaper Action française, in which a January 1938 film review by Francois Vinneuil called Le Puritain "un sujet classique: le film noir, plongeant dans la débauche et le crime." (“a classic subject: the film noir, plunging into debauchery and crime”). [6] ^ Charles O'Brien. Film noir in France: Before the Liberation . From filmmuseum, Spring 1996 Available at: —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nazamo (talkcontribs) 16:54, 2 January 2007 (UTC).

I think it's a fine idea to include. We just have to be careful not to confuse the demonstrable fact--that the term was used by French critics to describe certain French films of the 1930s and then repurposed to describe certain American films of the 1940s--with the contestable claim (never well-evidenced) that one set of films actually influenced the makers of the other set. I think one sentence at the appropriate point in the "Prehistory of noir" section can cover it well.—DCGeist 17:47, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

First sentence

The first sentence currently reads:

Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those focused on sex and corruption.

"Focused on sex" doesn't sit well with me. It's not so much that it's incorrect, as that it's too open to too many different interpretations. The most direct interpretation of this sentence would be that "film noir" describes porno movies that include themes of crime and corruption. I would recommend:

Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those where moral ambiguity is a prominent theme.

KarlBunker 15:35, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Pondering... Of course you're right in the hypothetical. The use of "sex" in the current sentence accords perfectly with one of the Wesbter's definitions of sex: "sexually motivated phenomena or behavior"—which, aside from crime itself, is the narrative element most often central to movies described as "film noirs." Granted, that is the number 3 definition of sex. I can't imagine anyone actually thinking that film noir describes a certain brand of porno, but as you suggest, it's possible.
Here's my thought on the recommended substitution—"moral ambiguity" comes up frequently in discussions of noir when the elements frequently at play are in fact sympathy with and/or attraction to the immoral. Is there any ambiguity about the moral status of Howard Neff's behavior in Double Indemnity? No: his actions are very, very bad. But we're rooting for him. He might have been a (marginally) good person in the past, but that's not why we're on his side; it's because we appreciate his motivation. Speaking of whom, How about Phyllis? She's presented as downright evil. But very attractive. Similarly for White Heat: Cagney's character is bad, crazy bad. No ambiguity in moral status. But he's the most attractive person on screen.
For the opposite side of the coin, take another classic: Dark Passage. Yes, Bogart's character has been convicted of a crime and then escapes from prison. Lauren Bacall's character harbors him illegally. But these are clearly good people. Bogart was falsely convicted; Bacall believes in his innocence and has fallen in love with him. Their moral status is entirely unambiguous; we root for them in an uncomplicated way to succeed in their nominally illegal activities. Of course, like sex, moral ambiguity may be interpreted differently, but--in the absence of a complex analysis of audience sympathies and the philosophical relation of legal codes to moral behavior--I think most people relate the term to the characters' status: "moral ambiguity" means it's very difficult to identify the characters as essentially good or bad. Before the 1950s, and movies like Night and the City and Touch of Evil, I think this kind of basic moral ambiguity is less than common in noir. Out of the Past might be a good test case. I don't see it as particularly ambiguous. Mitchum's character is sexually motivated to do a lot of bad things. But he's framed, represented both at beginning and end, as an essentially good person. Thoughts?
The rhetorical punch of the existing sentence serves a purpose, but if there is a real possibility of it being misread, it can certainly be changed. Maybe starting this way: Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those focused on sexual motivations and X, or Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those in which sexual motivations and X are central.
DCGeist 22:36, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Good points. I guess my point wasn't that there's any realistic possibility of the word "sex" being misunderstood by anyone, but rather that it just looks wrong. You're right that "moral ambiguity" is about equally as broad and vague as "sex". But thanks to that vagueness, it does apply to all of your examples, because it applies to the audience's reaction to a movie as well as the characters in a movie: If a (presumably non-evil) audience is rooting for an evil anti-hero, that's a form of moral ambiguity. Likewise if a (presumably law-abiding) audience agrees that a character is doing the right thing when he breaks the law. I think most people include that interpretation in their understanding of what "moral ambiguity" means. And with that inclusion, it fits film noir a lot better than "sex" or "sexual motivation" do. In addition to the unavoidable "titter factor" of dropping the word "sex" onto people's laps, there's also the fact that "sexual motivation" is "central" to maybe 90% of all movies/stories/novels/plays/actual events/epic poems/knock-knock jokes/etc. (okay, maybe only 60% of knock-knock jokes). So in that sense it's just plain incorrect to use it as an identifier of noir. "The protagonist is motivated by sexual obsession" would be a lot more specific to noir, but of course that would exclude too many noirs. I still think "moral ambiguity" coupled with "crime" does the best job (in a single sentence) of separating noirs from other movies. KarlBunker 01:48, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Excellent observations. It's the good point colloquy! Bulleting it:
  • Americans need to be cured of their (yes, our) goddamn "titter factor" when it comes to sex, which produces all sorts of social inanities and perversions. Can only be done by normalizing straightforward, non-tittery discussions of the topic and usage of the word.
  • You're absolutely right about the ubiquitous "centrality" of sexual motivation. I'd say that noir is distinguished in most (never all) cases by an emphasis on it. Relative to noir (and taking into account transformations of both the genre and the broader culture over time), almost all other narrative forms prevalent in U.S. mass media either romanticize or more coyly skirt around the sexual motivations at their core.
  • Point taken about "moral ambiguity." I resist it because I think it would be much more interesting for people to recognize that what they're doing when they fall for noir is not really "aesthetically appreciating the moral ambiguity of the characters" but "being attracted to the immoral behavior of the characters (thus bringing into question one's own moral position)," but you're probably right about the way most people articulate this to themselves and others.
  • Sacrificing rhetorical strength for conceptual precision, how about: Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize sexual motivations and moral ambiguity. I'd even go for moral ambiguity and sexual motivations, which reverses the true priorities as I see it, but is a stronger-sounding sentence.
DCGeist 02:22, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll buy that as a good compromise (in either order). KarlBunker 11:49, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Maybe I'll rotate them like a good gyro.—DCGeist 20:03, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

When did the term "film noir" come into popular usage in the US?

In the commentary track on the DVD of Out of the Past, James Ursini says that the term "film noir" was largely unknown in the United States until the late 1970s. Is that correct? It seems late. --Mathew5000 00:50, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

It probably just meant that popular culture didn't pick up the term until the late 70's. Maybe it was only used by the film school and film-making community? --PhantomS 01:59, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
French critic Nino Frank is generally thought to have been the first to use it and apply it to Hollywood movies. He first used it in an article in 1946 [1]. As the main article says, it wasn't generally known as a term, even by the people making the "noir" films, until quite a bit later. -- SteveCrook 02:13, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
I knew that, but I had assumed that the term was reasonably well known among US film buffs and critics by the mid-60s, at the latest. For example, the Wikipedia article Chinatown (film) says in the first sentence that the 1974 film featured elements of film noir. Would that have been mentioned in any American newspaper reviews of Chinatown when it was released? --Mathew5000 08:26, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
I did some "research" on Google and I think I've answered my own question. Petra Désirée Nolan’s PhD thesis (chapter 2, notes 31 and 32) says that the term ‘film noir’ was “appropriated into an Anglo-American discourse in the late 1960s”, citing the 1968 book Hollywood in the Forties (ISBN 0498069281) by Charles Higham and Joel Greenberg. Also an article by James Naremore [2] tends to confirm the importance of the 1968 Higham and Greenberg book in introducing the term, although both Nolan and Naremore mention that Webster’s Dictionary gives 1958 as the first time the phrase ‘film noir’ appeared in English. However, this article by Philip French from the TLS mentions that Julian Maclaren-Ross had written an attack on the genre in 1947. --Mathew5000 10:11, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Neo-Film Noir

I think this term should be clearly defined in the article.~Anon —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:11, 21 April 2007 (UTC).

35 Notable... Notes

This is not appropriate material for a main article (opinionated, unsourceable, subjective, verbose) so I'm putting it here.

^1 There is no completely objective way of establishing the most appropriate length for a list of notable films in a particular field or for deciding on the criteria for inclusion. A list of 20 films from the 1940s and 15 from the 1950s (reflecting the relative number of noirs detected by latter-day critics in each decade) provides comfortingly round numbers and a scope large enough to include (almost) all the classic film noirs claimed to be essential yet small enough not to overwhelm the reader intent on a self-education in noir from the ground up.

The methodology employed to identify "notability"—restated later in the text of the article as "enduring fame"—relies on's Power Search function. With the "first" (Stranger on the Third Floor) and "last" (Touch of Evil) classic noirs guaranteed inclusion into the rosters of 20 and 15, the list of notables is based on the IMDb-identified film noirs most highly rated by that site's users, with a minimum vote count of 2,000 for the 1940s and (reflecting the lower awareness of later noir) 1,000 for the 1950s, and a minimum average "rating" of 7.1 (out of a possible 10).

This procedure led to a "perfect" 19 films for the 1940s and a "perfect" 15 films (including Touch of Evil) for the 1950s. One substitution was made in each case. Though identified by IMDb as a film noir, there is not presently a critical consensus that Suspicion (1941), directed by Alfred Hitchcock, qualifies for inclusion in the category. In addition, Hitchcock is already represented four times on the notables list. The highest rated film with at least 1,000 votes was substituted: The Set-Up, which pleasingly introduces both a significant noir director and star to the list. If the replacement bar had been set at 1,500 votes, the substitute would have been one of two lower-rated films: The Letter (1940)—another borderline case, like Suspicion—or, failing that, Murder, My Sweet (1944; covered in the article).

In the case of the 1950s exchange, the imperative was not exclusion, but inclusion: Night and the City, for reasons described in the article, is treated by almost all film historians as an American film noir; furthermore, it is regarded by almost all critics who have published extensively in the field as one of the finest movies of the type. Though fewer than a thousand IMDb viewers have entered an opinion on it, those that have rate it very highly, and it is fair to say that any critic would be shocked to see it excluded from a list of notable examples of classic noir. The movie dropped in its favor was The Desperate Hours (1955): (a) it was the lowest-rated film with fewer than 1,500 votes; (b) star Humphrey Bogart is already represented six times on the list; (c) no published critics regard it as a prime example of the form; and (d) the leading encyclopedia in the field, Silver and Ward's, does not conclusively state that it is a noir. In terms of historical notability, based on the critical literature, the most important film missing from the list is probably Murder, My Sweet and the most important missing director is certainly Anthony Mann (covered in the article). Of those films on the present list professional critics would be most likely to sacrifice in favor of Murder, My Sweet, some would forego High Sierra (insufficiently noir in style), others The Lost Weekend (insufficiently noir in plot), still others The Stranger (insufficiently noir in provocation).

Actors are listed as "significant noir performers" according to different criteria for stars and supporting players: The former are listed as significant if they were star-billed in at least three film noirs total or in two films on the notables list (stars of listed films who do not qualify as significant noir performers are named in parentheses). The latter are identified as significant (and thus named) if they appeared in at least five film noirs total—the name of one nonqualifying supporting player is included: Lee Marvin appeared in only two movies now regarded as film noirs of the classic period, but his performance as Vince Stone in The Big Heat is one of the most renowned villainous turns in the chronicles of noir. An accounting of the most important missing star or featured actors would include at least Veronica Lake, Richard Conte, Dan Duryea, Alan Ladd, Dick Powell, and heavies William Bendix and Raymond Burr. Character actor Whit Bissell appeared in no fewer than a dozen classic noirs.

^2 A fifth fundamental question on which there is little agreement—What is the preferable English plural of "film noir"?—becomes a matter of controversy in a collaborative project such as Wikipedia. There are valid arguments to be made for and against "films noirs" (the spelling in the original French), "films noir" (arguably the most grammatical English), and "film noirs" (the most prevalent usage). Individual writers and publishing concerns are free to select any one of the three styles according to their own preferences. In Wikipedia, however, a group of writer-editors with different and often strongly held opinions on the matter must agree to use a common style. As the matter of controversy comes down to the spelling of a word and the topic of discussion is primarily American, the standard reference authority is the leading dictionary of American English, Merriam-Webster's. The latest edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary—acknowledging all three aforementioned styles as acceptable—gives as the preferred spelling "film noirs." That is the style used in this article.

Both of the issues discussed in these notes--what belongs in "a list of notable films" and what is the correct/best plural of "film noir"--come up often in editing discussions. Having a clearly laid out rationale for the article's current position on these issues therefor makes perfect sense. Furthermore, no valid reason has been given for removing this material. In the case of the "film noirs" discussion, the note is neither opinionated, nor unsourceable, nor unsourced, nor subjective, nor verbose. In the case of the notable films note, it is inevitably based somewhat on opinion, since it's impossible to have such a list without drawing on opinion. Likewise, since the issue is complex, discussing it at some length is necessary. The discussion is deeply researched and about as well-sourced and non-subjective as it was practical to make it. RedSpruce 10:24, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you in all respects regarding it not being "opinionated, unsourceable, subjective, verbose" however I believe it is still too "meta" to be in the main article. It is a discussion of the process of the article and that after all is the entire point of the talk pages. Charles (Kznf) 13:47, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Thumbnail size

Hello there! I noticed that this article makes use of forced thumbnail size on, well, every image. As forced thumbnail sizes hinder the user preferences from working, I've removed them. However, DCGeist reverted my edit.

Let me cite the Manual of Style (WP:MOS#Images):

  • Specifying the size of a thumb image is not recommended: without specifying a size the width will be what the reader has specified in their user preferences, with a default of 180px (which applies for most readers). However, the image subject or image properties may call for a specific image width in order to enhance the readability and/or layout of an article. Cases where specific image width are considered appropriate include:
  • On images with extreme aspect ratios
  • When using detailed maps, diagrams or charts
  • When a small region of an image is considered relevant, but the image would lose its coherence when cropped to that region

If there are no objections, I'll remove the forced thumbnail sizing again tomorrow. Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 19:43, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Objection. First, 99% of users never visit "preferences;" second, 90% of the remaining 1% never notice the "thumbnail size" setting; third, that preference setting only allows for a single size, which, for both design considerations and readability, isn't appropriate for all images; fourth, MOS, especially WRT trivia like this, is not God; fifth, I don't see any intrinsic benefit to that preference setting--are there users out there who just really like their images to be 250 pixels wide, no more and no less? RedSpruce 19:58, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Using the default size looks fine to me, I don't see that the article is helped by inconsistent image sizes. Also, those notes are pretty wordy, aren't they? --Dystopos 20:07, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Open any paper book or magazine and see if all the images that are mixed in with text (as opposed to full-page images) are the same size. It's a li'l ol' thing called "design." RedSpruce 20:53, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I've heard of it. Thanks for your sarcasm. In my opinion, as a full-time professional designer, enforcing a consistent size for the images in this article was an improvement. --Dystopos 21:45, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
But seriously, have it your way. The article's abundant editorializing and original research are a much bigger issue than the image layout. --Dystopos 21:47, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
The point is not that users use preferences, the point is that they CAN use the preferences - if you didn't stop them. In magazines (not that magazines are relevant, but the same goes for encyclopaedias anyways) all the images are indeed mixed in with the text. What's the point of that statement? I'm not attempting to make them "full-page images", I'm attempting to give them a consistent size guided by the user preferences. The Wikipedia:Manual of Style lays out the style that is to be used in Wikipedia articles in order to have a consistent look, and it says they are to be guided by user preferences except in special cases (outlined above). The MoS represents the consensus decision made by the Wikipedia community - if you have issues with the MoS, bring them to the talk page of MoS.
Now, what images do you think don't do well in 180 pixels' width (the default setting)? I've browsed them through over and over and I don't see your point. And I think we can all agree that a consistent image width looks good in an article, no? Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 10:07, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
?!? You "think we can all agree that a consistent image width looks good in an article"? If you think that, why do you think I said the exact opposite of that? Why do you think your edit was reverted by another editor? Why do you think this discussion is even taking place? This, plus the major misunderstandings of my earlier comment that you display in your first paragraph, suggest to me that you aren't paying much attention here. RedSpruce 10:23, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
(de-indent) I am definitely paying attention. Instead of accusing me of not paying attention, could you instead clarify your earlier statement so I understand what you mean?
I did understand that you didn't agree that a consistent image width looks good, as you quite clearly stated "that preference setting only allows for a single size, which, for both design considerations and readability". However, I was hoping you would have re-considered. In any case, design considerations are individual (taste is individual), but I do think we can at least agree that some sort of design consistency should be followed throughout the encyclopedia? There seems to be a quite general consensus that most images in an article should have the same width, see for example the featured articles Platypus (which has two exceptions: a picture of a skeleton that has an extreme aspect ratio, and a picture of a coin which is 40px wider than the standard size and might as well be shrunk), University of Michigan (where none of the images have any width specification), Yosemite National Park, etcetera.
I don't see any reason as to why any of the picture in Film noir should have a width specification: there are no images with extreme aspect ratios; no images where a small region of an image is relevant, but the image would lose its coherence when cropped to that region; and there are no detailed maps, diagrams or charts.
Letting user preferences guide the image size is the most natural solution, there's simply no reason as to why not. "Design considerations" are hardly an issue, not only because they are quite individual, but especially considering statements such as In my opinion, as a full-time professional designer, enforcing a consistent size for the images in this article was an improvement. (Dystopos). Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 11:18, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
I'd love to continue to discuss this burning issue of global importance, and I was especially looking forward to trying to teach you how to read, but unfortunately I just died of boredom. RedSpruce 13:45, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to consider that your withdrawal from this discussion and as thus a "surrender". The other participants - myself and Dystopos - seems to agree that user preferences should be in force even in this article, and as thus quite a consensus has a emerged. With this as basis, I will now remove the fixed widths. Suggesting specific exceptions is the next step. Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 17:49, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
It appears that good design is a subjective matter. Since WP:OWN prohibits an individual user from controlling an article, we are required to share that responsibility. Perhaps a more constructive way to participate would be to suggest specific exeptions to the MOS guidelines that would improve this article. --Dystopos 13:54, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
I concur. However, I have already browsed through the article several times in order to find images that could do better with a fixed width, and I've found none. Any suggestions from your part? Or from RedSpruce? Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 17:49, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

The "fixed-width" faction are ignoring the realities of Internet design: you have no control over the settings of your readers' computers, their browsers, or their display parameters. Thus the Wikipedia Manual of Style says that you should not try to over-control the readers' browsing experience. Your design choices seem to be based on the print world, where these things can be set. How do you think they look when your audience may vary by a factor of two or more in the pixel width of their displays? Please stop setting fixed widths. --Orange Mike 17:59, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

A lot of misleading rhetoric has been used by those supporting a change of the article's long-standing visual style. The Wikipedia Manual of Style does not constitute "rules"; it is not policy, but a guideline. It is also--this is going to shock you--a wiki; changes are made in the manual all the time that do not reflect a consensus of the community, even those participating in the manual's Talk page. At any rate, matters of readability and layout clearly encompass much broader issues than the specific problematic image types the manual discusses. The images have been selected and sized in this case with an eye toward the overall readability and layout of the article--as demonstrated not least by their stability over the past six months. In cases of articles where no design sensibility has been established, resorting to user-preference sizing may well be the best solution. Please go police those.—DCGeist 19:08, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
<sarcasm>Yay, revert war!</sarcasm> DCGeist, are you entirely certain that the have been selected and sized in this case with an eye toward the overall readability and layout of the article? To me, it seems that an editor added a lot of new images and changing the size of at least one of the older ones, and noone bothering to fix it. Before your edit, all images were of the same width (250px) except three, where there was no higher resolution available. Of course you have every right to defend your actions, but remember WP:OWN.
Regarding their "stability over the past six months" - that's not only an overstatement, but practically a lie. Since you added all those new images (in the diff linked above), someone - I won't bother to check whom - has added many more images, and even changed the width of existing ones. This all over a timespan of, dundundun, less than five months.
Now that we've done dealing with misleading rhetoric, I still wonder - why do you insist on fixing their widths? Not only is the Manual of Style against you, examples of Wikipedia's featured content are against you, and also a majority of the participants in this discussion. I agree with Dystopos that "a more constructive way to participate would be to suggest specific exeptions to the MOS guidelines that would improve this article". Can we agree on that? Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 22:28, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Please say you're joking when you accuse me of "practically a lie." Yes, you're correct that I could and should have said "four-and-a-half months" rather than six months; if you truly believe my estimation practically constitutes a lie, we can end the discussion right now.
Second, you have misrepresented the issue. At the edit point you refer to, all of the images were of the same width except four (not three, as you stated--would you like to be accused of lying for that? Your miscalculation is of a factor very similar to mine). Much more to the point, (a) all of the images had designated sizes then and (b) the four that were set at sizes different from the norm were set larger for evident design reasons--in particular, emphasis at the beginning and the end of the article text, as well as the two cases of "blowing up" smaller images.
Lastly, you seem very impressed by qualifications. I've managed to participate productively on Wikipedia for over a year and a half (I'm sure you can get it down to the precise day to make sure I'm not lying) without once trying to bowl anyone over with my professional qualifications. I don't care whether Dystopos designs houses, model trains, or even Vogue magazine for a living—just as magazine design is barely relevant to Wikipedia, as you said, so are editors' claims of extracurricular expertise. However, here's some immediately relevant credentialization since you seem to admire this sort of thing—I am the primary contributor and designer of five Wikipedia articles that our peers have promoted to Featured Article status in the past 5 months and 16 days (no lie!): sound film, Kinetoscope, B movie, Mutual Broadcasting System, and Leo Ornstein. In all of those cases, I designated image sizes before the articles were nominated for Featured Article status. In the entire history of the vetting of those articles in the Featured Article Candidacy process (and, in the case of B movie, the Featured Article Review process as well), not a single reader has ever objected to the designated image sizing. I suggest that the evidence demonstrates that my experience in Wikipedia Featured Article design is much more relevant than editors' brandishing of professional qualifications. And I reiterate that the guidelines you are attempting to impose, though they may be helpful in general, especially for editors without an interest in visual design, will reduce the overall readability and layout of this article.—DCGeist 23:51, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I mentioned my extra-Wikipedia qualifications because you implied that design was a concept foreign to me. I should not have taken that bait. I do not mean to argue that my profession gives me authority in this dispute. Likewise the status of other articles in which you have formatted images is not quite the issue at hand. The issue at hand is that there is a disagreement between equally-qualified and approved editors on how best to present an array of illustrations within this long survey article. In my opinion a consistent format does not detract from the visual appearance of the article and supports the idea that these frame captures are part of a series of elements which serve the same purpose. Ideally they might be aligned in a sidebar, but using the tools at hand, the thumbnail markup seems well-suited. May I suggest that we try to keep the argument within the context of the article and back off from using the dispute as a pissing contest between personal approaches to design. It may be that common ground is more easily discovered. --Dystopos 04:50, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. Do let us keep the dramatis personae straight, however: please remedy your misrecollection—you raised your profession not in response to me, but in response to editor RedSpruce. The fact that he happens to agree with me does not mean he is me, just as you are not editor Jobjörn, despite the fact that you agree with each other.
That said, the best I can do for the moment is agree to disagree. RedSpruce and I, both long-term contributors to the article, believe one approach to the article's design best serves its readers and thus the primary mission of the encyclopedia, which is informing readers about topics in which they are interested. You, Jobjörn, and (briefly) OrangeMike, all new to the article, believe another approach best serves this article's readers and/or the cause of transarticle visual consistency, a cause of arguable merit and even more arguable practicality. The design approach of the article is well-established and continues to be supported by two long-term contributors; a consensus to change that well-established design approach has clearly not formed to date. I agree with all of the points that RedSpruce raised in his first comment in this thread; I anticipate continuing to agree with all of them, especially as not one of you has seriously challenged them. In sum, I believe that mindful sizing of thoughtfully selected and arranged images, as is the case here, maximizes the experience of more readers than does automated sizing and thus much better serves Wikipedia's mission. I will, however, go to the trouble of conducting an empirical test: I will create a sandbox version of the page with automated image sizing, approach a few Wikipedia readers with computer/browser setups different from my 12" iBook/Safari arrangement, ask them to compare the two versions, and see which they find more inviting and readable. If the results of this test support your position, I will readily admit it and revise mine, as the bottom-line job here is to serve our readers.—DCGeist 10:12, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
That said, I don't believe there are any way we can reach a consensus in this discussion - all points that can be raised have repeatedly been raised by both sides. While I still think the article looks nicer when the images all have the same width (except under circumstances outlined above), this discussion hardly leads anywhere and is as thus quite pointless. I'll be following the discussion though - perhaps I'll drop a line later.
Oh, and one more thing: I am not very impressed by qualifications, I am impressed by constructive suggestions, such as "a more constructive way to participate would be to suggest specific exeptions to the MOS guidelines that would improve this article" (which happened to have been suggested by a user that had qualifications).
Best wishes to y'all and long live the 'pedia! Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 12:03, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
I apologize for misattributing RedSpruce's comment. Frankly, I wouldn't care about the size of the images except that I happened upon the dispute and shared my opinion and I believe that the resolution should be made through seeking consensus - not only between the parties directly represented here, but between the design demands of this article and the guidelines cited from the manual of style. The apparent claims of ownership of the article based on long-time contributions are without merit. The assessment of one point of view as more "thoughtful and practical" is plainly subjective. What is missing here is any reasoning behind the design approach which you continue to claim "best serves" Wikipedia's readership. On the other hand, the reasoning behind adopting consistent image sizes has been presented, and the guideline contains reasoning for allowing users to specify how pages will be displayed. Perhaps if we can move the discussion away from personal conflict, claims of expertise, and unstated "approaches" to design, then we can understand, through your approach, what factors might lead us to reach consensus on exceptions to the auto-size guideline. --Dystopos 14:18, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
The only people who have raised "claims of ownership" in relation to the article are you and editor Jobjörn. Reference to the amount of time and energy certain editors have spent on an article has nothing to do with ownership, but with familiarity with the article's history and structure. I know that when I come upon an article that interests me and I want to make a substantial change of the sort you advocate here, I look to see if there are any editors intimately involved with the article, consult with them, and weigh their opinions more heavily than I do those of editors with only passing interest. Your practice may fairly be different, but that's no excuse for raising "claims of ownership" where there have been none.
As for reasoning: The reasoning behind adopting automated image sizing has been challenged on multiple points by RedSpruce at the beginning of this thread, without effective refutation. The reasoning behind nonautomated image sizing in this case is, once again, that a mindful approach to image selection, arrangement (vis-a-vis both the relevant text and the other images), and sizing maximizes the experience of more readers than does automated image sizing. I can not prove this assertion, but I can provide strong evidence for it: the five articles I am primarily repsonsible for designing, all with nonautomated image sizing, that have been promoted by Wikipedia editors and registered readers to Featured Article status in the past five months--I note again that not a single one of those readers, and more than thirty different ones were involved, expressed a preference for automated sizing.
In sum, the evidence I have tells me that when it comes to image sizing, good design better serves the community than automation, which, I am sure, is better than bad design. As I indicated above, I am willing to gather more evidence. I imagine you might like to raise the hobgoblin of "subjectivity" again now. The issue is moot: virtually every observable element of Wikipedia, whether text or image, is the result of "subjective" choices. We judge things on Wikipedia on subjective bases constantly--this writing is factually correct, but awkward: edit it; this writing is good, but not good enough for a Featured Article: vote object; this image is attractive, but this one is more instructive: substitute it. These are all subjective assessments and procedures. Wikipedia is the result of all our subjective inputs. For instance, a choice to concentrate one's efforts on bringing automated image sizing to this article rather than to any of thousands of other ones that might arguably benefit from it is a subjective choice. Just as choosing to rely on a specific passage in the Manual of Style, which is a guideline, rather than, say, Wikipedia:Ignore all rules, which is policy, is a subjective choice.—DCGeist 21:03, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Detour (1945 film)

I placed Detour (1945 film) in the list of the most notable 35 film-noir films (Changed to 36), however it was removed as POV. However using the IMDb Power Search function noted above (Country:USA, genre:film noir, period 1940-1949, minimum 2000 votes) it reaches the criteria where Stranger on the Third Floor and The Set-Up (1949 film) fail to meet that criteria (though I appreciate 'Stranger's..' historical importance). It seems that despite it being dismissed as an unjustified addition to stable, it's more justified than some of the 'Perfect 19' on the list. Yorkshiresky 08:33, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for following up. As you might surmise from the vote count (2,076 as I write this), Detour just passed the 2,000 bar. No question it meets the criteria, making an "imperfect" 20 on top of Stranger on the Third Floor. Suspicion (one of my favorite films) stays out, and now...deep breath...out goes The Set-Up (also one of my favorite films). I'll make all the necessary changes to the note, etc. Thanks again. Best, Dan—DCGeist 09:02, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that, keep up the good work. You'll need to corral a few people into voting on The Set-Up :-) Yorkshiresky 09:36, 9 May 2007 (UTC)


I'm considering using from now on instead since because it is the same as Wikipedia except with out the vandalism and bias. THIS PAGE has been copied from the Reference article on film noir. See here.

Um, takes its material from Wikipedia, not the other way around. Quoting from [3]: is produced by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC, a leading provider of language reference products and services on the Internet. It features reference material from Crystal Reference, The Columbia Encyclopedia, and Wikipedia plus Lexico's On This Day.

(Emphasis mine.) So, no plagiarism here, I think. alanyst /talk/ 23:08, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

My condolences, It just seemed unusual to me. Thanks for the update.Celtic Emperor 00:27, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Um, yeah. As the person responsible for writing most of the current content of this article, let me assure you that it's that's doing the copying--as they properly credit Wikipedia, there is no issue of plagirism here.—DCGeist 05:02, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

"Aziz, Jamaluddin Bin" from sources?

nothing much really, but that name is usually an Arabic naming which usually is used by Malay Muslims. The "Bin" or "bin" is not part of the name, but means "the son of". Thus Jamaluddin bin Aziz will mean "Jamaluddin the son of Aziz". I propose dropping the "bin" from the name and just use "Aziz, Jamaluddin". Linkinstreet 11:25, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

His work is published under the name Jamaluddin Bin Aziz, so it's hardly appropriate for us to alter that in any way.—DCGeist 16:26, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

"Thirty-five notable American film noirs of the classic period"

A couple of editors have argued for the removal of this list from the article, with the following reasons given in edit summary comments:

  1. "subjective (what is notable? why 35?)"
  2. "redundant with List of film noir"
  3. "this article is too long"

Re. #1: A number of objective criteria are carefully described in the footnote attached to the list. Some subjectivity remains, but so what? That doesn't prevent the list from being a useful, interesting and valuable addition to the article.
Re. #2: There is no comparable list in the List of film noir article; that article seeks to list all film noirs, without singling out the most notable ones.
Re. #3 Whether an article is "too long" is entirely subjective. Since a list like this one can easily be skipped over, it adds absolutely nothing to the "burden" of a reader who would prefer a shorter article.
In short, no valid reason has been presented for removing this list. Personally, I want it kept in, so please don't delete it again without discussing the issue here. RedSpruce 23:27, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Re number 1: 35 is a completely pointless and made up number. 35 is not recognized anywhere as having any significance as a number in a list. Top ten? Top 20? Top 50? Top 100? These traditionally are recognized for these sorts of lists. 35? No. This is nothing but 35 movies that someone happens to like. They keep getting put back in by one editor who initially repeatedly refused to offer anything other than gibberish as a reason. This list of 35 is not a list of "the most notable ones." It's a list compiled by original research by synthesis and it has no place here. Find a reliable source that says these are the 35 most notable film noirs and then we'll talk. In the meantime, this is nothing more than what amounts to somebody's pick of favorite films, which has no place in an encyclopedia article.
  • Re number 2: If you want to arrange List of film noir in some way other than it is then take it up on that page. A list of films stuck in the middle of an article is out of place. And again, this is a list of films taken from an article with no indication that they are considered by any reliable source to be "the most notable" of the genre.
  • Re number 3: the article with the list is 88 KB long. That is a long article. The list adds nothing to an understanding of the topic that List of film noir doesn't cover. Otto4711 03:08, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
  1. The fact that you consider 35 to be a less-magical a number than 10, 50 or 100 doesn't strike me as relevant. The statement "This is nothing but 35 movies that someone happens to like" is obviously incorrect if you read the footnote. The list does not fit the definition of WP:OR#Synthesis of published material serving to advance a position, as there is no "A and B, therefore C" synthesis.
  2. After arguing that this list "has no place in an encyclopedia article," you then argue that it can be moved to another article.
  3. The list obviously does add to an understanding of the topic. For anyone wishing to learn about film noir, one of the first steps will be to view those films that are widely considered to be the "most notable" examples of the style.
  4. You don't respond to DCGeist's edit summary comment noting that there are numerous internal references in the article to the list, and therefor to simply remove the list leaves the article in a vandalized state.
RedSpruce 12:19, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
What "numerous internal references"? I only see one, the footnote trying to explain the list of 35 titles -- SteveCrook 14:42, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
I found three other direct references to the list in a quick search; I expect there are more. More important than that, there are dozens of references to the "classic style" or a film being "one of the classics" or "classic noirs", etc. Without the list, a reader would rightfully wonder just which films the article is referring to as "classic," and what criteria it used to apply that label to those films. RedSpruce 17:16, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Sorry, I should have said "this is nothing but a list of movies that a bunch of people like," since it was devised by using IMDB listings. It is original research because it takes data from multiple sources (IMDB and various critics) and synthesizes it to present the list. The data was tinkered with by whoever put the list together, removing and substituting films. I did not suggest moving the list to another article. I suggested making complaints about how List of film noir is organized to that page. And while I agree that viewing films is a good way to learn about films, your repeated contention that this list constitutes "the most notable" is not supported within the article by reliable sources as required for inclusion on WIkipedia. Any unsourced material is subject to removal at any time. Otto4711 17:37, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
All good articles in WP are an amalgamation of multiple sources. And all WP articles inevitably contain some degree of creative synthesis by the people who wrote them.
At no point have you described or mentioned any way in which this list is a detriment to the article. Instead you're claiming that--by your interpretation--it breaks the letter of a WP rule. And that's an argument that would carry more weight if it came from someone who had at least enough experience to indent his comments correctly. Until and unless you can make a more compelling argument, I'm not sure this discussion is worth continuing. RedSpruce 19:51, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Leaving aside the pointless personal attack, WP:OR is not simply "the letter of a WP rule." It is a non-negotiable policy. Original research has no place here at all. Your repsonse to that is basically "no it isn't" and name-calling. Otto4711 18:51, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Otto4711 is right. The list should be removed from this article. It is not in keeping with the tone and policies of Wikipedia for an article to include a list like this derived from editors' searches on IMDb (or some other online database) using criteria selected by Wikipedia editors. What's especially telling is the lengthy footnote explaining the methodology for compiling the list. The list and how it was compiled are interesting (in my opinion) and would be suitable for publication in a blog or some other online publication, but not an encyclopedia. --Mathew5000 06:23, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm also in agreement that this list is inappropriate for an encyclopedia article under Wikipedia policy. VanTucky (talk) 18:54, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Redspruce, consensus is clearly against you on this one. A verified list of the notable film noir productions might be in order, but not the arbitrary, WP:OR version you have tried to insist upon. Reverting to this version against consensus repeatedly is not the way to convince your peers of its merit. VanTucky (talk) 19:30, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

  • I am in agreement that any listing that introduces a claim (these films are the most notable) needs to come from an independent, verifiable authority. The footnote explaining the author's methodology is a description of Wikipedia:Original research par excellence. --Dystopos 19:48, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, ain't this turning into a party. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me in what way the article is better without this list. I can name plenty of reasons why it's better with it:
  • The list is useful for students of noir who want to see the classic examples of the style
  • For those who have already seen a few of the films on the list, it helps them come to an understanding of the unifying concepts of noir
  • The list is interesting
Many of the precepts of Wikipedia make it clear that the project is opposed to the notion of "rules for rules' sake." See for example WP:NOT#BUREAUCRACY, WP:Use common sense and WP:Ignore all rules. The quality of an article is supposed to come first. But rules for rules' sake is what is all that is being preached here. No one is talking about the quality of the article.
Furthermore, it's not clear that any rule is being broken. In a biography article, it might be said that "most biographers state that this person was XX, though a minority have said he was YY." Is that "synthesis" from multiple sources to be considered "original research"? Of course not; and neither is this list.
RedSpruce 19:49, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia has three policies on content: Neutrality, verifiability and no original research. Your list violates all three to some degree. Wikipedia has one fundamental model for editorial decision-making, and that is consensus, which is clearly mounting against the inclusion of this list. --Dystopos 20:01, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Your arguments for keeping are incredibly weak Red. Just becuase something is possibly useful or interesting doesn't mean it meets the threshold for inclusion. trivia about all kinds of things is extremely interesting, and can often not be found elsewhere, but it still fails Wikipedia's test for inclusion. VanTucky (talk) 20:03, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
...And I'm still waiting for some argument for removal that goes beyond "rules is rules." But I guess I can stop waiting, 'cause it's not going to happen. The list is not my work BTW; I was just trying to protect what I consider to be a good part of a fine article. I can see I made a mistake in opening the issue to discussion, since, for some reason, that only served to attract the attention of a "concensus" of intellectually constipated parrots. Oh, well. RedSpruce 10:51, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
  • The "rules is rules" argument is pretty strong here, since the list is a shining example of what does NOT belong in Wikipedia. If you want to familiarize yourself with the arguments for why original research should be removed, then just read WP:OR. Also, you shouldn't call me names (but that's a separate issue.) --Dystopos 12:33, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Seriously, this "note 1" is a detailed account of how original research has been performed for this article. It's blatantly inappropriate to include a list derived in this manner. --Dystopos 12:46, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

List (new discussion)

As RedSpruce has rightly pointed out, the inclusion of a listing of notable film noirs would be helpful to the article. Let's use our energy to collaborate on a way to do that without violating Wikipedia's policies on content, shall we? --Dystopos 20:06, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Here is IMDB's list of the most popular film noirs in a vote by their users. While this is not a reliable source, it might a good starting place for a search. I can also provide a list (I own the collection) of the film noirs included in Janus Films recently released collection. The film noir foundation might also be a great starting point. VanTucky (talk) 20:10, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm honestly unclear as to why there needs to be a separate list within the article. There are dozens of films linked through the text of the article already and any list is likely to simply attract additional entries as people add their own personal favorites. Why not just include a link to List of film noir and leave it at that? Otto4711 23:21, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think honestly right now it's in the interest of appeasing Red. But I would prefer a prose section, and information on what are considered the most well-known, if not the best, film noir is encyclopedic. VanTucky (talk) 00:01, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
There's no call for appeasement. If a more or less canonical list exists, then it should be discussed (or at least linked). And if there's not, surely much of the research done by RedSpruce could be re-cast in a more suitable form (forgoing the claims of which are most important and focussing on what each film brought to the genre, with proper citations). --Dystopos 00:13, 14 August 2007 (UTC)


  • The following was included on the main article as a note. Since it refers to a convention on style adopted for the Wikipedia article itself, I am reproducing it here in the form it took before I rewrote it:
"A fifth fundamental question also prompts little agreement: What is the preferred English plural of "film noir"? There are valid arguments to be made for and against "films noirs" (the spelling in the original French), "films noir" (arguably the most grammatical English), and "film noirs" (the most prevalent usage). Individual writers and publishing concerns are free to select any one of the three styles according to their own preferences. In Wikipedia, however, a group of writer-editors with different and often strongly held opinions on the matter must agree to use a common style. As the matter of controversy comes down to the spelling of a word and the topic of discussion is primarily American, the standard reference authority is the leading dictionary of American English, Merriam-Webster's. The latest edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary—acknowledging all three aforementioned styles as acceptable—gives as the preferred spelling "film noirs." That is the style used in this article." --Dystopos 20:06, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Follow-up. Since my changes have been reverted, I will explain myself further. Notes about style guidelines adopted by consensus for a particular article belong on the Talk Page, not in the article itself. See Wikipedia:Avoid self-references. In the event that editors ignore consensus and make ill-advised "corrections", it will be just as easy to revert their changes and refer in the edit summary to discussion on the talk page, or to relevant guidelines from the Wikipedia:Manual of Style. --Dystopos 15:12, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
And rules is rules, regardless of what makes sense or works or is rational. Yawn. Can't you go be a pain in the ass on some other article? RedSpruce 15:14, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The context in which original research and self-referential notes make sense is in an authored publication. Though the rules are not unbreakable, neither are they arbitrary. --Dystopos 12:51, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Request for Comment:Thirty-five notable American film noirs of the classic period

  • I'm responding to the RFC which I saw today. It appears that the issue has already been resolved by discussing notable examples of the genre at relevant points in the article, and adding a list from a respected source. Can the RFC be removed at this point? VisitorTalk 15:38, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • There is disagreement about whether the section indicated, and its accompanying note, represent original research and, if so, whether the benefits of having the list outweigh the negatives. --Dystopos 12:57, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • As an independent voice who came here through a posting at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Films, I completely agree with the editors who are contesting the list of 35 notable American film noirs of the classic period. To compile such a specific list that is not pre-established by any independent, secondary source is a clear violation of Wikipedia's no original research policy. Adding a footnote describing the synthesis of the information does not make this list OK for inclusion; the criteria to determine "comfortingly round numbers and a scope large enough to include (almost) all the classic film noirs" is completely subjective and inappropriate for Wikipedia. An editor does not get to decide what is "useful for students of noir"; film noir ought to be steeped in plenty of reliable sources that these can be used instead of one editor's subjective judgment to write about the most notable film noirs of a specific time period. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 16:04, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Retain for the time being: Indeed, the list does not represent preferred Wikipedia style. It was generated as a replacement for a purely subjective list consisting of multiple editors' favorite noirs that had existed for some months if not years. While some editors and readers have clearly found the present list useful and informative, ideally it can be removed, after the significant information is fully integrated into the article's main text and, especially, more coverage is given to leading noir stars and character actors. At present, to simply delete the list does more harm than good.—DCGeist 18:54, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Could the list be retained if there was a change of wording to remove the OR portion of it. e.g based on the votes of IMDb, the following films are the most acclaimed of the genre. Yorkshiresky 19:00, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • It's unclear how you're suggesting OR elements could be removed from the list. Simply rewording the description of how the list was arrived at doesn't change its essential nature.—DCGeist 19:09, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I believe he is suggesting that by removing the claim that the 35 films listed are of particular note, that the factual information contained within the list is neutral and verifiable. I am inclined to believe that the suggestion shows progress toward a satisfactory compromise. --Dystopos 19:47, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Delete - of course it violates OR. But more importantly for the quality of the article as a whole: if there are particularly notable noirs, discuss their impact and innovation in the text. Girolamo Savonarola 22:14, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Get rid of it. This is not informative, it's just a fanboy list. It calls the films "notable" but doesn't explain why they're notable. If they're notable, write about their significance within the main body of the article. If you can't think why they're significant, then why are they there? Cop 663 14:29, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I have deleted the list for several reasons. First of all, the above discussions seems to indicate the consensus is not to include it. Second, it probably violates WP:NOR. Third, according to the footnote, it relied fairly heavily on IMDb, which is a contentious enough source when used for objective information, much less subjective opinions. Fourth, the fact that the list requires a footnote many paragraphs long (practically a whole section unto itself!) in order to justify itself is probably a good indicator that the section cannot stand on its own - a section's existence should not have to be propped up by its own footnotes. Fifth, there is already a list of film noirs which seems to be doing the job decently at the moment, and this list is linked to in the See Also section of this article. Finally, as I have already mentioned, inclusion of notable noirs should be done through to text of the article, in order to create context for their importance, rather than as a subjective list. Please feel free to comment if you disagree on all these points. Thanks, Girolamo Savonarola 21:33, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

List based on National Film Registry

The NFR list is a much better, reliable, and respected way to accomplish this goal. I'm still not certain that it could hold up to a FAC - it probably would be better included within the larger film noir list article, but I'm not bothered enough to delete it. I'll merely re-nag: better that these films be discussed in the article in the context of the subject. I would also strongly recommend dropping everything from the list aside from the titles and years - otherwise it leaves the list open for endless re-editing and crufting when others add more actors and other positions such as producers and cinematographers (both of which can easily be argued to be just as important in the continuity of the noir tradition). Best leave the filmmaker info for the films' individual articles. Thanks, Girolamo Savonarola 05:19, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to restore the supplementary info on several bases:
  • Providing directors names is a standard means of identifying films in all sorts of reference contexts.
  • Adding the names of the distributing studios and of cinematographers wouldn't be a bad idea at all. I'm not convinced that producers' names would constitute a helpful additon; I'm also not convinced anyone would ever feel compelled to add them.
  • The "rules" for identifying actors are reasonably objective; the decision-making process behind them is not much more "arbitrary" than the decision-making process behind the exclusion or inclusion of any other sort of article content. The transparency of that process--instituted, in fact to ward off cruft--is not ideal, but I believe that's outweighed by the information value of listing the names, especially the supporting players (and some of the now half-forgotten stars) who feature repeatedly in noir. Naming them here should be very helpful to readers seeking to identify some of the leading stock players of classic noir (which they can do in many cases by cross-referencing with the images in the actors' articles). These character types and the actors who regularly played them are essential elements of the cycle.
  • I don't believe the list as presently constituted will, in fact, attract cruft. So...let's put it to the test. If it actually does, I'm happy to change my opinion on how, or even if, it should appear.
DCGeist 23:25, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
But how does it add to an article on a film genre? I'm certain that there are directors and actors who have worked extensively in the genre, but since the list itself is constrained by the need to be reliably and neutrally sourced, the listed films don't necessarily point towards that. Again - I'm worried that the list is taking away energies that could be spent on the films discussed in the article. And extensive information only invites cruft not only here, but as a precedent for other pages. If the film titles were followed by information specifically pertinent to noir, that would be more acceptable. For an example, see the details provided for the films listed in the Cinerama, in which the details discuss the release formats - clearly relevant to the article topic. Supplying the directors and stars is thoughtful, but does little to the noir article, and offers nothing that shouldn't already exist in the films' own articles. Girolamo Savonarola 23:49, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm not particularly worried about attracting cruft. Enough folks are actively reversing unjustified minor changes to this page anyway. I am a bit concerned that we're still ignoring the purpose of the list within the article. As many have commented, it would be better to incorporate references to films within the text so that their importance to the genre is explained. ("List of film noirs" should be improved or restructured to serve the related, but different purpose of providing a listing of notable examples). Since these all have their own Wikipedia entries, the listing of cast, crew and production details is unnecessary as reference. -- However, I wonder if a smaller-format listing could still be useful as a template within the "Classic era" section of the article.. something like this:
Classic-era film noirs in the National Film Registry

The Maltese Falcon | Shadow of a Doubt | Laura | Double Indemnity | Mildred Pierce | Detour |
The Big Sleep | Notorious | Out of the Past | Force of Evil | Gun Crazy | White Heat


D.O.A. | Sunset Boulevard | The Hitch-Hiker | Kiss Me Deadly |
The Night of the Hunter | Sweet Smell of Success | Touch of Evil

That's superb. I'll immediately replace the text-based list with it. One point: while I too personally prefer to italicize "film noirs," the established form here as well as per Webster's as an assimilated loanword is to keep it roman.—DCGeist 00:44, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Glad you liked it. The title would look better spanning across both columns, but I couldn't figure out the borrowed code well enough to make that happen. --Dystopos 01:20, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I do think the template would be most effective at the end of The classic period section, just above Film noir outside the United States. Thoughts?—DCGeist 01:42, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree. --Dystopos 05:23, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Done.—DCGeist 05:40, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I have a thought... actually it's more of an observation, White Heat isn't a film noir, it's a straight up gangster film. I like the NFR list but the White Heat inclusion annoys me. -- Buster 06:07, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
It's undoubtedly a very important entry in the lineage of the gangster film, but its inclusion here is beyond specific debate, even as it demonstrates the essentially nebulous definition of film noir in general. The fact is White Heat has been included in every reputable canon of noir published in the last forty years, from Durgnat to Schrader to Silver and Ward to Ottoson to Tuska. Indeed, most overviews of the genre/cycle/classic period treat it as a standout example of film noir.—DCGeist 06:16, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
How could all dem mugs be so wrong? -- Buster 12:11, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Can we please have someone reformat this so that the heading is above the other columns rather than in a third column of its own? I'd do it myself but I can't for the life of me figure how tables work in Wikipedia format. Octan (talk) 21:40, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Have fixed the header positioning, hope it's acceptable now. Yorkshiresky (talk) 21:58, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

B-movie "in spirit"

  • The article makes liberal use of the idea that many of the classic noir films released as headline projects are more like B-movies in spirit. Discussing this as part of an overarching critical history is one thing, but applying the term "B in spirit" to individual films without citation is another. --Dystopos 22:10, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Not sure quite what you have in mind here. The pivotal sentence appears to be this: "Most of the film noirs of the classic period were low- and modestly budgeted features without major stars (B-movies either literally or in spirit), in which writers, directors, cinematographers, and other craftsmen found themselves relatively free from the typical big-picture constraints." That clearly does not refer to "films released as headline projects"--it covers true B movies as well as the many noir "intermediates" (aka "programmers," "A/B pictures"), with minor stars such as Lawrence Tierney.—DCGeist 22:20, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I have in mind these statments:
  • "Sweet Smell of Success [...] was clearly not made on the cheap, though, like many other cherished A-budget noirs it might be said to have a B-movie soul."
  • "Criss Cross [...] exemplifies how Siodmak brought the virtues of the B-movie to the A noir.
  • "Perhaps no contemporary films better reflect the classic noir A-movie-with-a-B-movie-soul than those of director-writer Quentin Tarantino."
These demonstrate to me that the authors of this article are putting forth a critical argument regarding the "soul" of the films discussed. In my opinion, such an argument should be attributed to a verifiable source, or omitted. The use of weasel words ("clearly", "might be said", "perhaps") only masks the originality of the argument. --Dystopos 22:42, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more with this assessment. The weasel words in the article annoy me and help prevent it from moving out of the "B" class rating. -- Buster 23:31, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

"Stranger on the Third Floor" - weasel worded...

"The movie now most commonly cited as the first "true" film noir is Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)" This needs to be cited. The weasel word "commonly" needs to go. To keep "commonly" and the like in there I need to know which critics say this, how many critics say this etc. -- Buster 23:41, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

  • This particular claim has citations, but in general I agree. Your help in reducing these original claims will be appreciated. --Dystopos 01:59, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Say, how did that "claim" become "original"?—DCGeist 02:03, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
  • strike "these" from my above comment. --Dystopos 04:52, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

The Salton Sea

Would The Salton Sea count as film (neo-) noir? 16:13, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Blue velvet scene isabella rossellini.jpg

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Image:Blue velvet scene isabella rossellini.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 02:10, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Tone issues

There are some subjective tone issues I'm noticing in a quick read through of this. For example referring to "memento" as "fantastically twisted" or the caption under the blade runner picture including the phrase "It may be 2019, but this is the world of noir, so it's still raining in Los Angeles.". These reek of editorial bias or almost advert like text. Unless these phrases are coming from a reliable source they, and any like them need to be cleaned up. Even if they are coming from a reliable source they need to be written in a more appropriate manner.--Crossmr (talk) 16:43, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

You may have a point with the first item, but the second is not a value judgment placed upon a film, but rather a matter of stylish and clever writing--something that should not be considered out of place or inappropriate in Wikipedia. And a total of 2 items (1 possibly valid) isn't sufficient grounds to flag the whole article. RedSpruce (talk) 23:15, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
You claimed in your edit summary that you disagreed, and yet agreed here with my first issue and removed the tag without actually cleaning up the text. I don't see the second as a matter of stylish and clever writing. It comes across as flippant and the type of comment reserved for some kind of popcorn review.--Crossmr (talk) 03:20, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I said you may have a point with the first issue, and I said that a single possibly-valid issue isn't sufficient grounds to flag the whole article. I can understand how you might dislike the tone of the image-captions; it's a matter of taste. Based on the history of the article and past discussion around that point, yours is a minority opinion. RedSpruce (talk) 15:13, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I humbly AGREE with Wikepedian RedSpruce. ♦ Luigibob ♦ "Talk to Luigi!" 23:45, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
The playful tone of this article is unusual, different from almost any other Wikipedia article. I kind of like it in the abstract; the wordplay, clever phraseology and so forth make for fun reading and an interesting perspective on the subject. However, it does not comply with the guideline WP:TONE. Stylish and clever writing is inappropriate for an encyclopedia. --Mathew5000 (talk) 12:01, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
You're correct that such sins as style, cleverness and creativity are contrary to the guideline WP:TONE. Happily, however, WP is sensible enough to also have guidelines such as WP:NOT#BUREAUCRACY and WP:Ignore all rules. RedSpruce (talk) 14:50, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Redspruce, I am curious what your argument is as to why WP:NOT#BUREAUCRACY and WP:Ignore all rules apply here. --Mathew5000 (talk) 04:29, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that WP:Ignore all rules applies everywhere, at all times. If a general rule—like WP:TONE—whose specific application would get in the way of a higher-quality encyclopedia, ignore the rule. That's a basic cornerstone of the Wikipedia ethic.—DCGeist (talk) 05:32, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
IAR applies only "if a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia". I am asking for the argument as to why that is the case here. --Mathew5000 (talk) 08:14, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Mathew5000, I kind of thought you answered that question yourself when you noted that the passages under discussion are "stylish and clever" and "make for fun reading and an interesting perspective on the subject." Perhaps more to the point is that there is no reason to object to these passages other than to comply with a rigid, bureaucratic interpretation of WP:TONE. The objectionable (i.e. stylish and clever) writing is confined to the captions of a few images. Thus there's no grounds for arguing that they do any damage to the article. RedSpruce (talk) 12:50, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I am puzzled by your reference to "a rigid, bureaucratic interpretation of WP:TONE". In my view, WP:TONE is plain and succinct, not open to widely varying interpretations. -- (talk) 20:29, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, let's turn to that "plain and succinct" language then: "Standards for formal tone vary depending upon the subject matter, but should follow the style used by reliable sources." Are you familiar with the major reliable sources in the field of film noir and their style? Have you read Borde and Chaumeton's Panorama of American Film Noir in the original French or in translation? How about Silver and Ursini's Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style? Perhaps Christopher's Somewhere in the Night: Film Noir and the American City? Have you ever read a single page of a single one of those? If you had, you might well be arguing that the main text of the article is written in too "formal" a style. Remember, if you're going to venerate the rules, you'd better be able to follow them.—DCGeist (talk) 21:18, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
In general, Mathew5000, pretending not to understand things that you understand perfectly well isn't a very effective debating technique. You've done it twice now, and it just looks like what it is: a weak attempt to divert attention from the fact that you have no substantive response to the points that have been raised. RedSpruce (talk) 01:47, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I am interested less in debating techniques than in improving the encyclopedia. Are you really criticizing me for asking you to elaborate on your argument as I did here? If not, then what are you referring to? In any event, DCGeist did provide a relevant (though rather impolite) argument here in defence of the clever style of writing in the article at hand. I am still of the view that playful phraseology is inappropriate for Wikipedia, but I can see that consensus is unlikely, and the issue is not important enough (to me) to keep fighting over. --Mathew5000 (talk) 07:27, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

I went ahead and edited most of the image captions. I like stylish and clever writing as much as the next guy, but inappropriate and downright pedestrian things such as consistently referring to Humphrey Bogart as 'Bogey' and adding completely irrelevant trivia about who thought what cost too much money are incontrovertibly out of line. The captions read more like those glib, sarcastic little captions in TY Guide articles, and had a complete and utter lack of neutrality.Android 93 (talk) 12:06, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

You're certainly entitled to your preference on matters of style, but at the moment yours doesn't seem to be the consensus opinion among involved editors. Other issues, such as whether the changes you made correct a matter of NPOV (as you stated in your edit summary), or whether some points are "completely irrelevant trivia", are not simply matters of taste. If you want to press those issues, you're going to have to back them up with some rational arguments. RedSpruce (talk) 14:22, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually it would appear that is not the case, as there are now at least 3 editors who don't feel this type of language is appropriate to the article. Claiming overwhelming consensus where it doesn't exist isn't a very effective debating technique. Consensus also isn't a vote and there is a disagreement over the text and those who want it removed are supported by guidelines while your position is not. There is a greater consensus on wikipedia which doesn't support your position.--Crossmr (talk) 04:29, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
And from further looking it seems a user rewrote these as well back in October, User_talk:RedSpruce#Film_noir would clearly demonstrate that several editors have an issue with the tone used in these captions and that you don't have any kind of clear consensus for these captions to read the way they do.--Crossmr (talk) 04:40, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I never "claimed overwhelming consensus," or even non-overwhelming consensus. Making up stuff and attributing it to those you're debating isn't a very effective debating technique. There is no obvious consensus either way at the moment, nor is your position clearly supported by WP guidelines. Among editors who consistently watch and care about this article, the majority appears to support the current content of the image captions. Until that is no longer true, or until someone presents a rational argument for changing them, I will resist any efforts to do so. RedSpruce (talk) 11:15, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
You may wish to read WP:OWN, just because you regularly edit the article doesn't mean you get to veto any changes to it you don't like. In fact threatening to edit war (or "resistance") over it is the very definition of that. There are very clearly at least 4 editors who feel the tone is inappropriate and a style guide for wikipedia which says the same thing as it was raised above. And in fact you even admitted that type of writing went against the guideline. So really I see no rationale argument to keep it the way it is. And majority does not. 3 editors have posted here saying they support while 4 have done the opposite. That is hardly a majorit in favour of keeping it, as well as the editors who were involved in designing that guideline.--Crossmr (talk) 14:18, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
You may wish to read anyone can edit, or better still, WP:Don't be a tiresome, priggish, tendentious little snot. RedSpruce (talk) 15:10, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
You may wish to read WP:NPA. Anyone can edit, and 3 different editors have edited the tone in this article in the past because they didn't agree with it and an additional editor has taken the time to argue against it. You have neither consensus nor guideline on your side for keeping the article in the state that it is. If you can't make your point without resorting to personal attacks I suggest you take a step back from the article--Crossmr (talk) 17:31, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
And you have neither consensus nor guideline nor rational argument on your side for changing the article. So this discussion is pointless. RedSpruce (talk) 18:03, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmm let's see, a guideline..oh yes.. WP:TONE, pretty clear, you even admitted it above and tried to invoke IAR to ignore it, so not only do you acknowledge that its there, you acknowledge that it applies. Which is it? As for a rational argument, the text is flippant and unprofessional, a majority of editors who have commented agree with that, and a guideline supports changing it. Seems pretty rational to me.--Crossmr (talk) 18:28, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
DCGeist pointed out the flexibility allowed for in WP:Tone above, correcting my initial interpretation of the guideline. "Flippant and unprofessional" is your personal opinion. I don't happen to share that opinion, and until it has been reliably determined that you are God, your opinion gets no special weight. And while it's true that a few drive-through editors have commented negatively about the tone, it's entirely likely that a vastly larger number have liked the article as it is, and therefor made no comment. In any case, you may wish to read WP:NOT#DEMOCRACY. Bottom line: still 'pointless'. RedSpruce (talk) 19:20, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but it also states "it means that the English language should be used in a businesslike manner." to which those kinds of tones are not a businesslike manner. I am not god and neither are you, so your opinion has no special weight either. Don't make assumptions about what other editors may or may not think, unless they come here and comment on this issue, you're putting words in their collective mouth. I could just as easily say that I think they all had issues with it but didn't feel it was worth the argument or they didn't have additional time when they noticed it to get involved. Wikipedia not being a democracy has nothing to do with it. You've made no compelling case as to this interpretation of WP:TONE in the face of multiple editors who felt strongly enough to change the text and come here and state their opinions about it. Bottom line: You won't get your way attacking other editors and dismissing their arguments without actually making a case.--Crossmr (talk) 19:41, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
P O I N T L E S S. There is no consensus here. Period. You can either: 1) Wait for a consensus to develop, 2) Go ahead and make your pro-priggishness edit and see how the resultant edit-conflict goes, 3) Try to take this to some higher level of conflict resolution, 4) Go find some other article to be priggish at.
RedSpruce (talk) 20:36, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm just wondering if there is some part of WP:NPA you don't understand that your fellow editors could explain to you that you didn't get in the several previous times you've been pointed to it? Consensus is formed through debate, and it seems you can't seem to debate the topic and instead want to defend your position by hurling insults and dismissing the point. That's fine if that is what you want to do, but it doesn't help your case, and casts doubt on the strength of any argument you want to make. You've as much as admitted that the text doesn't jive with the guidelines but feel it should still be that way. If you'd like to make an actual case as to why, feel free.--Crossmr (talk) 22:25, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I have no personal views one way or the other regarding the captions, and I see what both sides are arguing for, but it must be acknowledged that several editors have stepped forward to comment on the caption tone, and this may be a sign that some sort of revision needs to be made in order to reach a compromise sufficient for consensus. What I would recommend is that instead of continuing to arguing the policies and guidelines, which both sides have already exhausted in advocacy of each position, the editors actually sit down with the text together and start working here on the talk page to hammer out some suggested rewrites. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 05:59, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree. There clearly needs to be some sort of negotiation on this topic. I rewrote the captions back in October, and those edits were quickly reverted, along with my caption changes in the B-Movie article. I sort of accepted the view that latitude was allowed in writing captions, but looking back on them now, I must say they don't fit into the style of Wikipedia. They read like witty entries fit for a film book, not an encyclopedia, which is what Wikipedia is. I say at the very least we should have some kind of vote on the issue. PBP (talk) 06:31, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to go through and justify my changing of the captions for each image on this site. Starting from the top:

Image from The Big Combo-Fine as is. Movie Poster from Pulp-Fine as is. Image of Marlene Dietrich-All fine except for the term 'noir-regulation cigarette'. I, and every editor here knows that there's no real regulation regarding noir and cigarettes, but working at a high-school, I certainly know a lot of people who might believe that. I changed it to say that the cigarette has become a staple of of Noir, which has the same point. Black Mask image-Fine as is. Out Of The Past image-Fine as is. In A Lonely Place Image-Fine as is. Detour Image-The term "cheap at twice the price" contributes in no way to the text that follows it. I'd contend that the whole anecdote is irrelevant, but I don't want to have to fight Redspruce about it. Jeanne Moreau imae-Fine as is. Stray dog image-fine as is. Belmondo Image-Once again, the 'Neo-Noir/Take X' titles in this and the following captions do not in any way contribute to the text that follows them. Because each image appears under the neo-noir section, the audience can assume that they all pertain to neo-noir. Also, the use of the term 'Bogey' is wildly out of place. Remember that articles are written so that someone who's never heard of the subject before can still understand it. To know what a 'Bogey' is, the reader would have had to have seen some film noir, and thus probably wouldn't be at the article to start with. Basic Instinct Image-Once more, the 'preparing to open up' part is inappropriate, as one would have had to have seen the film to understand what that means. Brick-I have no idea who Hammett and Chandler are, which makes it extremely unlikely that someone who knows nothing about noir will. You didn't even bother to link to their wikipedia articles, but just assumed that everyone reading knew who you were referring to. Blue Belvet Image-The 'Now it's dark' title doesn't contribute to anything or anyone's understanding of film noir. Simply redundant. Blade Runner-Why would the year affect whether or not it is raining? You make it sound like if it were a comedy or a drama set in 2019, it would be impossible for there to be rain. Is it that in the year 2019, only noir movies are allowed to have rain? Taxi Driver-Fine as is. Vertigo-Once more,t he title, while witty, does not contribute at all to the image or text. Chinatown-I can't even begin to comprehend what the 'Forget it jake...It's the blinds' bit is all about. Is it a quote, or is that your own colour commentary? The former should be attributed, the latter is inappropriate. Also, you don't explain what shadowcasting is, and old-school is too slang for wikipedia's tone. Pursued-Simply changed to sentence. The Big Sleep-This one really takes the cake. Not only do you use Bogey again, but you don't link to the articles for either Bogart or Bacall. Once more, pretend you know nothing about film noir. What are these strange words? You don;t know because they're not even linked. At least, these should be the full names and hyperlinked.

There, I've justified this way more than I need to. Redspice, you are the only one who thinks the tone wasn't problematic. If you revert these changes once more, without adequate justification, I will request arbitration or protection of this article. I was conservative in my edits, not even changing everything I thought was wrong. At some stage you will have to compromise and realise that your article is not perfect, and that every single change to it is not the work of satan. Android 93 (talk) 17:07, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Android 93, in my opinion your changes are a dis-improvement. That's my justification for RVing them, and that's the only justification that's needed. And I am certainly not the only one who thinks that the old captions are good, nor am I the only one who has resisted changing them. This is entirely a matter of taste and opinion, so you could have saved yourself a lot of typing by saying "I like my captions better", since that's all your longer opinions add up to. If it turns out that a majority of involved editors prefer your captions, then they'll "stick"; if not, they won't. (And this is not "my article" BTW.) RedSpruce (talk) 17:36, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Android 93, your edits to the captions (a) are poorly written ("As car thief Michel Poiccard, also known as Laszlo Kovacs, Jean-Paul Belmondo in..."; "near-perpetual rain"; "was seen as emblematic of many conventions..."), (b) riddled with typographic errors and stylistic inconsistencies ("Noir"; "a ark and dirty city"), and (c) introduce several anachronisms, mischaracterizations, and outright errors of fact ("in a style reminiscent of the classic Noir era"; "The visual motif of the shadows cast by blinds is prevalent throughout film noir"; "Critics were unsure..."). I'll be helping RedSpruce maintain the quality of this article.—DCGeist (talk) 17:52, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
I'll cede that I probably shouldn't edit at 3 in the morning. However, that is not proper justification for reverting it so consistently to YOUR captions and YOURS alone. The very fact that you have to keep reverting edits so frequently proves that many, many people agree that you are completely in the wrong here. But you know, I'm not going to try to use logic against you two. I'm sick of trying to change the captions so frequently; I'm sick of you two acting like the king and queen of this article, only here to do away with us peasants. If this tiresome debate that's been raging hasn't proved to you that maybe a little, tiny change is needed at least, then it's time for arbitration. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Android 93 (talkcontribs) 04:08, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
While I won't change anything with the captions, I'd just like to say that I'm also in favor of changing them. The way they are now is just completly unprofessional. --Robotriot (talk) 20:45, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
The rationales as provided by Android93 are in line with my own feelings on the cited image captions. They are twee, precious, and while they may be appropriate for a book dedicated to the subject of film noir, they are completely out of place in an encyclopedic article. They need to be changed. Glib though it may be to state it, encyclopedias are not supposed to have personalities, and the editors need to be willing to part ways with their wry, winking commentaries. Leave us with just the facts. Poechalkdust (talk) 21:34, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Follow-Up - It also appears that back in February, similar tone issues were brought up regarding subject headers. In those situations, it appears a happy medium was settled upon. Why, therefore, cannot similar accommodations be made for the image captions? It would probably be a good idea to get some established copy-editors who haven't had much (or any) involvement with this article give it a few passes. Poechalkdust (talk) 23:36, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your comment. Following your advice, I am requesting a neutral copy-editor to take a look at the captions. Android 93 (talk) 00:10, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

First Subheading?

I don't think that "Noir - What is it?" is a very good title. It seems somewhat unprofessional. Perhaps something more like "Characteristics of Film Noir" would be better. Gklitt (talk) 11:22, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Your proposed title is actually an appropriate one for a section that focuses on the characteristics of film noir. And behold, there is such a section: Film noir#Characteristics of classic film noir. The title Noir—What is it?, far from being "unprofessional," in fact accurately describes the content of its respective section, which addresses the common question of basic definition.—DCGeist (talk) 16:25, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the title as is sounds unprofessional--hardly the the kind of title one would find in an encyclopedia. Why not just call it "Definition" or "Definition of Film noir"? Carl.bunderson (talk) 17:33, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Because, just as the section explains, there is no generally agreed upon definition, merely a nebulous set of characteristics. Which is why there is this repeatedly asked question about noir: What is it?—DCGeist (talk) 06:03, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Film Noir italics

What is the consenus (if there is any) of the use of italics when using the term "film noir" in articles? Is it film noir in italics, or NOT? Since it is a foreign word, I use italics. And, this is especially true of other terms like noir and neo-noir. I'd like some feedback please, especially from some of the seasoned wikepedians. I bet the issue has come up in the past. Thanks. ♦ Luigibob ♦ "Talk to Luigi!" 01:01, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I also posted this in the WP:MOS TALK page, where it may be more appropiate. Thx. Luigibob (talk) 21:19, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a lot to add on this, not knowing much about it. And the OED doesn't help much gives two examples, one italicized and one not, and the more recent example is not. Carl.bunderson (talk) 21:23, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
The general rule of thumb is that if the word/phrase is still considered to be in a foreign language, it's written in italics. However, if it's a word/phrase whose origin is foreign, but it has become a part of English, then it's not italicized. Thus "kindergarten", for example, isn't italicized. Likewise, since "film noir" has been incorporated into English (i.e., you can find it in most any English-language dictionary), it shouldn't be italicized. That's my take, anyway. RedSpruce (talk) 21:59, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Changed to "start-class"

How can this article be A-class or even B-class when there are almost no citations or references? I changed it to Start-class. Another topic the article is entirely missing is anything on the critical/conceptual history of film noir, not even the story of how French critics coined the term after WWII. That's a major oversight. While I think this is a good article, it still need some work before it becomes "A-class". Peter G Werner (talk) 01:34, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Gee I did not realize that 22 sources, additional sources & references amounts to "almost no citations or references.:" What a slap in the face of all those who have worked on this fine article! Luigibob (talk) 01:41, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Since Peter G Werner doesn't appear to have read either this article (particularly the second paragraph of the introduction) or the definition of "Start" class articles, I've reverted his reclassification. RedSpruce (talk) 11:15, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Most sections of this article are entirely unreferenced. I'm sorry, but that does not begin to meet the criteria of an "A-class" article, and I suggest you go and read the definition of an "A-class article". "A-class" means only minor changes need to be made to make it a Feature article. Most notably, one of the criteria is: "It should have sufficient external literature references". Having citations here and there, and no citations for most of the statements given in the article, and in fact having most of the sections unreferenced, does not even begin to meet the criteria of an "A-class" article. If I'm not mistaken, that doesn't even qualify it as B-class. I'm sorry that you are going to take that so personally as to consider that "slap in the face". Peter G Werner (talk) 19:23, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Hey that "slap" was my comment, do not attribute it to anyone else. Luigibob (talk) 20:37, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not arguing in favor of an "A" classification; I'm just saying that you haven't justified your change of the classification. Personally, I don't consider this a slap in the face--I've done very little work on this article--I just feel that you've demonstrated that your opinion on this matter isn't supportable or valid. RedSpruce (talk) 19:32, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
There is the widely held but specious belief that Wikipedia best practices require that every section or subsection or paragraph or even sentence of an article requires an inline reference. There is no basis in policy for this belief. Here is our policy: "Material challenged or likely to be challenged, and all quotations, must be attributed to a reliable, published source." Likewise, the statement that sections without inline citations mean an article "does not begin to meet the criteria of an 'A-class' article" is simply false. The relevant quality scale does not set forth criteria that transcends our general, well-established attribution policy, quoted above.
Specifically, I believe every quotation in the article is properly attributed. Several claims in the article have been challenged in the past and they have also been attributed appropriately in response. In addition, one of the two pieces of specific financial data in the article is cited, as is proper; I see there is data in the caption to the Detour poster that should also be cited inline, and I'll take care of that. Finally, the article includes an extensive bibliography of reliable sources from which its contents have been synthesized. PGW, if there are specific statements in the article you find dubious or exceptional and wish to challenge, please do so—again, specifically—and I'm sure we can provide appropriate attribution.—DCGeist (talk) 20:23, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I find it very hard to believe that it is Wikipedia policy to not base every single fact stated in Wikipedia on some external citable source (even if just a general reference), unless this represents a recent change in Wikipedia policy. To me, if there's an entire section without at least a general reference to one or more sources, that tells me the editor basically "quoting from memory", and even if that editor is very knowledgeable (and I have no doubt the editors that wrote this article are very knowledgeable on the topic), that borders on original research. Its not something I would normally fret about, but when you are putting an article forward as "A-class", that to me means pretty strict adherence to Wikipedia best practices, just short of that required for a Feature article. Anyway, I will check on current Wikipedia policies elsewhere just to double check on this.
In another area, I really do think the lack of much in-depth discussion of the history of film noir in film criticism (brief mention of the origin of the term notwithstanding) is a weak spot in the article. Its actually the subject I was first reading this article to find out about. Peter G Werner (talk) 21:02, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
"I find it very hard to believe that it is Wikipedia policy to not base every single fact stated in Wikipedia on some external citable source" Since that's not what DCGeist said, whether or not you find it hard to believe isn't terribly relevant. RedSpruce (talk) 21:15, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

The good german

The Good German is described as Neo-Noir in it's wiki page. Shouldn't it be mentioned here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:46, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

It was neither a commercial nor a particular critical success. In terms of the history of noir aside from that, it doesn't seem to have any particular significance. Can you identify a compelling reason to include it? As you can see from List of film noir, there are literally hundreds of films identified as noir that are not discussed in this article, which must maintain a focus on the most significant films and filmmakers, as well as those pictures most useful in explicating central noir themes and characteristics. —DCGeist (talk) 06:42, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:VertigoHangSS.jpg

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:VertigoHangSS.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 02:40, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Titles of section headings

I changed some section headings but was reverted because the previous ones were "superior". They are not. Section headers should explain what the sections are about. The most obviously problematic one was the section on literary precursors to noir, which was entitled "The simple art of murder". How on earth is this useful to the user? It provides no sense of what the section is about. "Literary influences" is a far better title. Other problematic headers are "Noir - what is it?" and "Noir - so what is it?". Apart from being gratingly thuggish, these titles do not clearly indicate that these sections do different things: the first introduces the difficulty of defining noir, the second is a more detailed explanation of various methods of defining the genre. Changing thhe headers to "Problems of definition" and "Approches to defining noir" is more useful to the reader. Cop 663 (talk) 15:43, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

You are stating your personal taste as if it was a point of fact. A heading can serve several purposes, notably including encouraging the reader to read on. I'm not going to revert you on this one just yet, but I'm not convinced your edit is an improvement. I am going to remove the {{nofootnote}} header however, since an article with 22 in-text citations does not "lack in-text citations." RedSpruce (talk) 15:59, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you about the tag, sorry, I used the wrong one. And I agree that a section header can serve many purposes. However, I'm sure you would agree that describing the section's contents is a pretty major purpose, right? If I was interested in the literary influences on noir, a section headed "Literary influences" would encourage me to read on; a meaningless heading like "The simple art of murder" would not. Cop 663 (talk) 16:04, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
It's still a matter of personal taste, and of guessing other people's taste. Not only do I personally prefer the earlier headings, but I also believe that for most readers they made for a better, more lively and readable, article. RedSpruce (talk) 16:47, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Of course personal taste is an issue, but that's exactly why functionality has to be the most important thing. If we try to write headers that we personally think are lively and readable, we will always clash with other people's tastes. It would be lively to label the section "Wahey! Film noir is cool!! We likes it!!", but that might clash with some people's taste. That's why it's better to simply describe the section's contents. It may be slightly dull but it's (a) useful and (b) avoids the problem of taste. Cop 663 (talk) 17:01, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Cop 663, that's a good argument, and I tip my cap to you. RedSpruce (talk) 17:08, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

"Prehistory" in the section heading

I'm changing the section heading "The prehistory of noir" to "Noir's origins". Prehistory's main meaning is history derived from a time before written records (typically through archaeological research). Only in an informal sense does it mean early history, and most dictionaries don't include that definition at all. El T (talk) 07:11, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

You have got to be kidding me

Heat, a neo noir? Miami Vice??? You have got to be kidding me... let's include every single crime movie of the last three decades in here, if those two can be considered neo noirs... —Preceding unsigned comment added by HergeMoore (talkcontribs) 20:43, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

HergeMoore, "You have got to be kidding me" does not constitute a rational argument. A rational argument would be to point to a search like this one or this one. RedSpruce (talk) 00:52, 25 April 2008 (UTC)