We’re having our own personal San Francisco Noir film festival in our house as a warm up to the real noir festival coming soon, and found Portrait in Black on Youtube. We thought we had found the wrong movie because it was in color. Film noir in color (and with Sandra Dee in it)? Some people consider Vertigo to be film noir and that’s a great movie, so we gave Portrait in Black a try.
It was a stinker in many ways. The story was muddled, the actors were stiff, and the cinematography was unsatisfying because there were no lovingly slow tracking scenes of the beautiful city. Just tight shots, focusing on a door here and a street corner there and hardly any pedestrians. For an SF lover like me, the most exciting scene was in the long gone I. Magnin department store. This movie felt more like an episode of Streets of San Francisco. Not to knock the great series, but TV and film are two different categories. I won’t say any more.
If anyone has any recommendations for noir in color, please comment. I would love to see it done well.
Thanks for reading,