Capítulo V _ Convidados

Melodrama noir: Beyond the Forest and Leave Her To Heaven

Petra Dominkova
FAMU, Czech Republic


While at first sight, there is not much in common between the genre of melodrama (or romance) and film noir, there are films that may fit into both categories. My presentation will focus on how is it even possible when, for instance, the requirements for the female characters are radically different between melodrama and nfilm noir. On one hand, we need a woman that – quite necessarily – suffers and is being manipulated by others (melodrama; as discussed, for instance by Sarah Kozloff in Overhearing Film Dialogue) while on the other we have a woman that is often a leading character and is the one that manipulates others (nfilm noir). Besides that, while melodrama is focused on romantic relationships and/or family life, it is something that is mostly missing from film noir. But still, we may argue that there are films that may be understood as “melodrama noir.” The following paper will focus mostly on two case studies: Beyond the Forest (King Vidor, 1949), and Leave Her for Heaven (John M. Stahl, 1945) that will prove different approaches to this unique mixture of two genres (provided we understand nfilm noir as a genre, that is problematic, and might be a presentation on its own).

Palavras-chave film noir, melodrama, hybrid genre, Leave Her to Heaven, Beyond the forest.
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