Where The Sidewalk Ends Analysis

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Film noir is a style of filmmaking that began after World War 2, and it focused on darker themes and settings. Most commonly, this style of film is set in a city with rampant crime and corruption, with the characters and protagonist being morally ambiguous. Where the sidewalk ends was created in this style with its stylistic choices and its focus on settings with police corruption, an anti-hero protagonist, and a femme fatale.

The film Where the Sidewalk Ends directed by Otto Preminger is a film noir that was praised for its even grittier take on this style of filmmaking. In this film the protagonist (Detective Dixon) kills Ken Paine in self defense while interrogating him due to his expected involvement in an earlier murder. Dixon drops Ken’s body into a river and is tasked by the police with finding Ken’s killer. Dixon tries to divert blame to an old enemy, but he accidently makes the police suspect Morgan Taylor-Paine’s father. Because Dixon fell in love with Morgan, he tries to clear the name of this person, but has difficulty due to the lies he has already told. Dixon continues to try to frame his old enemy, and eventually succeeds. Later, Dixon decides to confess to his crimes, and he is arrested.

Where the Sidewalk Ends is a film noir, as it uses many common themes and stylistic choices that define film noir. These aspects include an extremely flawed protagonist, a femme fatale, and typical lighting choices for this style.

The element of film noir that this film
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