The unique “look” of so
many classic films noir during the 1940s and early 1950s was the interesting combination of, and the
interplay between, light and shadow by directors like Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Edgar G. Ulmer, Anthony
Mann, and John Huston. For this assignment, pick one of the movies we have watched – either Detour
(1945), Raw Deal (1948), or Night and the City (1950) — choose one specific scene that displays an
interesting combination of light and shadow, and develop a brief discussion (2-3pp. double-spaced.
Thoughtful titles, font size no larger than #12, uniform 1” margins around all four sides of the page
please) of it with specific regard to how light and shadow function in your chosen scene. To help get you
started, consider the following: How might a director’s or cinematographer’s use of both light and
shadow help tell a particular story? What might light and shadow suggest about particular characters or
situations onscreen? What kinds of feelings might these visual devices invoke in viewers? Discuss!
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