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- Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:54 pm
Although it's not an urban setting, there's a good argument to be made that DeMille's CARMEN (1915) is setting the seeds for film noir with its aggressive femme fatale luring the idiotic male protagonist into criminal activities, with a pervading feeling that nothing will end well. Some great night photography and chiaroscuro "DeMille lighting," as well, besides the day-for-night scenes. The famous Theda Bara film A FOOL THERE WAS (1915) is also loaded with elements associated with film noir but without the criminal underworld aspect.
THE RACKET (1928) is a great, slick gangster film that has something of a noirish feeling, though not quite as much as the 1951 remake which looks and feels more like a noir but in the long run isn't quite as compelling as the 1928 version.
There are probably others I can't think of off-hand.