Videodrone's MOD Movies: The Dark Side of Jean Negulesco
The studio director best known for glossy musicals began in the world of film noir
"The Conspirators" (Warner Archive)
"Three Strangers" (Warner Archive)
"Nobody Lives Forever" (Warner Archive)
Jean Negulesco is not the first name that comes up when discussing the great directors of film noir. In fact, it rarely comes up at all. The studio photographer turned director is still best remembered for glossy studio films like "How To Marry a Millionaire" (1953), "Three Coins in the Fountain" (1954), and "Daddy Long Legs" (1955). Even the recently released book "Film Noir: The Directors" from editors Alain Silver and James Ursini skips him completely. And I confess, his absence only registered with me recently, in light of three recent releases from the Warner Archive. "The Conspirators" (1944), "Three Strangers" (1946), and "Nobody Lives Forever" (1946), three of the four features that elevated Jean Negulesco from studio contract man cranking out theatrical shorts to A-list Warner director, are the first films from the Warner Archive to carry the brand "Film Noir." And they earn the brand.