Film Noir Reflects The Depression

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The Depression began in the early 1930's and brought about many social changes. A few changes that are very important include the different gender roles that women began taking on during World War II, the change in family values during and after the war, and the change in the mood of our country during that time period. These changes were greatly reflected in the sub-genre, or the mood of film noir, also known as black film. Film noir was seen not as a genre within itself, but as a sub-genre off the Crime/Gangster Genre of the 1930's. It was developed during and after World War II and took advantage of the post-war mood of anxiety, pessimism, and suspicion.

After World War II the men returned home and were shocked to see women independently working outside the home, and taking on other male roles that were needed by them during the war. The men were very threatened by this and felt as if women were challenging their dominance. In film noir women were generally independent and had their own agenda on mind. For example in the Maltese Falcon Miss Oshaughnessy asked for help from Sam the detective. In the beginning she appeared to be the Damsel in Distress but really ended up being against Sam from the start. Th

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