It’s that time of year when flurries of cards in Pepto-Bismol hues invade our lives with syrupy messages of eternal devotion. I see gestures of love like that and I think, “What would Raymond Chandler do?”
Well, he’d probably have a drink and say something funny and bitterly insightful, I guess. But I’m no Raymond Chandler. So I did the next best thing and spent some time communing with Photoshop to make shoddily satirical valentines.
When you think about it, though, film noir is first and foremost about relationships—romances that actually reveal the dark side of human interactions and the shallow pretense of bourgeois affection… oh, who am I kidding? I just wanted to make some damn noir valentines. As for the analysis, today, baby, I don’t care.
Please note that these valentines are ironic and are not meant as an endorsement of: homicide, codependency, passive aggression, guns, necrophiliac crushes, l’amour fou, watered-down penicillin, or bad romance of any kind. Make sure you talk to your doctor about whether hardboiled dialogue is right for you.
And, without further ado, the valentines…
Martha Vickers says what we’d all like to say to Bogie in The Big Sleep (1947):
Rita Hayworth tells us how she really feels in Gilda (1946):
Gloria Grahame is not charmed by Glenn Ford’s hang-ups in The Big Heat (1954):
Grimy drifter Ann Savage just can’t quit Tom Neal in Detour (1945):
Noir’s rottenest couple, Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity (1944):
You thought your girl- or boyfriend was clingy? Get a load of Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven (1946):
It was surprisingly hard to come up with something romantic for Harry Lime (Orson Welles) of The Third Man (1949) to say. But I think this is pretty heartwarming.
Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth are fools in love in The Lady from Shanghai (1947):
Maybe Bogie loves Mary Astor in The Maltese Falcon (1941), but he won’t play the sap for her!
Ava Gardner explains to Burt Lancaster that she has some emotional baggage in The Killers (1946):
Outlaw lovebirds Peggy Cummins and John Dall in Gun Crazy (1950):
The ultimate in noir tragic coolness, Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past (1947):
I couldn’t help but get a little mushy over my favorite noir screen team, Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd in This Gun for Hire (1942):
Gloria Grahame recites some melodramatic script lines to express her despair over losing Bogie at the end of In a Lonely Place (1950):
Dana Andrews seems a tad too fixated on a portrait of a dead dame in Laura (1944):
Happy Valentine’s Day to all you femmes and hommes fatals!