1A style or genre of cinematographic film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. The term was originally applied (by a group of French critics) to American thriller or detective films made in the period 1944–54 and to the work of directors such as Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, and Billy Wilder.‘The primary moods of classic film noir were melancholy, alienation, bleakness, disillusionment, disenchantment, pessimism, ambiguity, moral corruption, evil, guilt, desperation and paranoia.’
- ‘Unlike other forms of cinema, the film noir has no paraphernalia that it can truly call its own.’
- 1.1count noun A film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace.‘Titles of many film noirs often reflect the nature or tone of the style and content itself.’
- ‘Here are my personal favorite film noirs in some sort of vague order.’
French, literally ‘black film’.