10Noir Speak

Dialog and First-Person Narrative

“Look up ‘idiot’ in the dictionary. Know what you’ll find?”

“A picture of me?”

“No! The definition of the word ‘idiot’, which you f—ing are.”

(Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)


Throughout this book I’ve listed the screenwriters of each film. Screenwriting is an art in and of itself, even when the script is an adaptation. While the majority of noir movies had plots and characters taken directly from their source book or story, the screenwriters had to create screen dialog. As noted earlier, Raymond Chandler was proven right when he argued with Billy Wilder that the dialog in a novel doesn’t work for a screenplay. It’s meant to be read rather than spoken. So besides condensing the mystery story down from ...

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