A this late date, what we think about when we think about noir is often little more than a result of its commodification—a history that is itself a vast untold story. One of the hardiest myths, and the one most responsible for the category's deathless cool, pertains to the definition of noir as a B movie, the cheap programmer backing up the A on a double bill. With only a fraction of an A's studio control and budget, a B could afford to risk expressionism, nihilism, subtext, and other uncommercial indulgences. But noirs—never conceived of as such then, of course—were pervasive. Many of the longest-lasting classics were top-of-the-line A's, stuffed with expensive... More >>>