Film Noir Movies and Domestic Violence

Take that, pal!

Take that, pal!

I recently posted Part Seven of Too Late for Tears in a film noir group on Facebook. The poster for the movie provoked a comment about how a billboard for a movie had to be taken down, ostensibly because it had an image of violence against women.

Well, this (and a few other comments the old poster has attracted from people who find it a mite excessive) got me to thinking about how many of the old films noir (and other classic films) include allusions to domestic violence (or, even, outright portray it — often for laughs).

Does the fact that these old movies have such allusions and portrayals demonstrate the way our society failed to take such things seriously at the time? And, if so, are we supposed to be offended to the point of not watching these films?

I hate to tell those of you who might be offended by the poster for Too Late for Tears or any other film that portrays outdated attitudes, but let’s not impose a double standard here, okay?

After all, could we really watch The Big Sleep in good conscience after hearing Lauren Bacall sing about a wife getting socked in the choppers? 🙂

Not to mention the many other examples of domestic abuse you’ll find in these scenes!

Will violence in society really be solved by not watching these movies? Please note, the slapping around is not limited to women only!

Frankly, it reminds me of how much my mother worried that if my siblings and I watched The Three Stooges, we’d go around poking people’s eyes out! Well, that didn’t happen.

Feel free to leave a comment! 🙂

This entry was posted in Analysis, Classic Movies, Film Noir and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Film Noir Movies and Domestic Violence

  1. And don’t forget that Kitty loves Johnny who smacks her multiple times in Scarlet Street and rejects nice guy Chris played by Edward G. Her best friend tells her to dump Johnny, but Kitty just loves that violent fella. The more he abuses her the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. geelw says:

    Oh, brother, sister! TCM would need to go off the air if those overly sensitive types had their way, I say chain them to a couch and make them watch a pre-code marathon, Detour, The Window, Kiss Me Deadly and a bunch of other trigger-y flicks until they go blue in the face or convert to more free-thinking folks who see these as enjoyable films and NOT lifestyle guides.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debbi says:

      Amen to that!!! The PC police need to lay off. Just witness the constant apologies celebrities must make today for the occasional off-hand remark. Enough, enough!


  3. Considering when the films were made, they had no idea that what we consider “correct” behavior today. The film poster didn’t mean anything but a mystery moment back then. Of course, seeing a woman slap a man if the roles were reversed would have been viewed as unbelievable 🙂 You can’t blame movies from those times for today’s culture, just let it go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debbi says:

      Absolutely! Like it or not … just deal with it. 🙂

      A movie and poster should be judged based on the context of the times. Not to mention the darkness or lightness of the content.


  4. I can see how these images might be a trigger for some folks who have had a troubled life but, sadly, a person cannot be shielded from everything no matter how hard society tries. I dislike seeing a woman being slapped, but such an action says more about the slapper than the slappee.

    This is a great subject for discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debbi says:

      I know how you feel. I just saw part of an old movie this morning, in which a woman was raped on the beach. I can’t remember the name, but Kirk Douglas did the raping. Frankly, I found it kind of disgusting. But then I have the same reaction to James Bond raping Pussy Galore and she just … gives in to him. Of course! Because he’s so very impossible to resist, right? 🙂

      And you’re right. This is a great discussion topic. Maybe I should do some research and write a book about that! Hmm … too many ideas, not enough time!

      FWIW, I know someone who’s doing an indie film about domestic violence. He’s crowdfunding the project here, if you’re interested:

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Clay Cross and #MeToo | Deviant Dolls

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