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Category: Gilda

Film Noir Names

film noir

The shadowy world of film noir, those stark black-and-white, often low-budget films with single-word titles—Possessed, Pursued, Trapped, Tension, Decoy, Detour, Breakdown, Blackmail—produced in Hollywood from roughly the early 1940s to the late 1950s, were populated with smoldering femmes fatale, hard-boiled detectives, corrupt cops, cynicism, intrigue and suspense

A lot of the female characters had a distinctive style of forgotten two-syllable names like Veda, Velma, Verna, Meta, Mida and Nita, while the tough guys who weren’t named Nick or Tony or Barney were occasionally given some wildly eccentric monikers.

Here, from both classics of the genre like The Maltese Falcon to barely remembered B-movies, some of the more interesting examples:

GIRLS

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Gregory-Peck-as-Atticus-F-006

We’ve looked at some of the trends in movie character names of Hollywood’s Golden Age – the widespread use of nickname names and boys’ names for girls and place names.  Now, here are some of the more unusual character names (and the sometimes surprising actors who portrayed them) thought up by the screenwriters—or novelists or playwrights who originally created them)  of that era , as well as some that haven’t been heard of for some time and might be worth reviving.

Get ready for a looooong list, even though we haven’t included the iconic Rhetts and Ricks:

GIRLS

AGATHA –  Joan Crawford

ALBANY –  Dorothy Lamour

ALBERTINE –  Gene Tierney

ALGERIA  –  Linda Darnell

ARIANE –  Audrey Hepburn

BIJOU –  Marlene Dietrich

CINZIA –  Sophia Loren

CLARA –  Marilyn Monroe

CORLISS –  Shirley Temple

CRICKET –  Judy Garland

DINAH –  Shirley Temple

DOMINI –  Marlene Dietrich

DRUE –  Barbara Stanwyck

ELIZA –  Audrey Hepburn

ESTHER –  Judy Garland (twice)

EUGENIA –  Barbara Stanwyck

EUGENIE –  Loretta Young

FAY –  Joan Crawford

FRANZI — Claudetter Colbert

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