The term Film Noir is French for "Black Film" and was highly popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Film Noir is a posh, cinematic term used for stylish Hollywood films which surrounded the crime genre. They often had sexual motivations and cynical attitudes which drew the audience into this film movement. The small black-and-white visual style which made films such as Double Indemnity (1944) successful because French critics admired the dark mise-en-scene, editing and sounds among them. The time of Film Noir was already a dark and sinister decade due to World War II which was then reflected among the films with loss of innocence, being under threat, fear, bleak outlooks and paranoia. These universal themes made the films popular because people could understand the characters and their emotions. There are rarely any optimistic endings in Film Noir because of the relations to reality.
Film Noir is not a genre, but a film movement which had been inspired by the most unusual and upsetting time of history, World War II. This classical period was often based around a hard-hearted and shallow male character such as Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942) who encounter beautiful, seductive women across his path. The female character usually used her alluring looks to manipulate the male into become the guy to take the fall, this usually follows with a murder. The plot then comes across a betrayal or double-cross which frequently results in the female characters death as well as her hero's. During World War II women became more independent and earned a living because they took over the male dominated job as they fought in the war. In result to this, women within films suffered which made reality seem much happier with freedom even in the certain circumstances.