Classic film noir developed during and after World War II, taking advantage of the post-war ambience of anxiety, pessimism, and suspicion. It was a style of black and white American films that first evolved in the 1940s, became prominent in the post-war era, and lasted in a classic "Golden Age" period until about 1960.
There is often a substantial difference of opinion regarding the designation of certain films as "noir." Notable films from noir's classic periodinclude Casablanca (1942), and the Alfred Hitchcock films: Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941) and Spellbound (1945).
While it is hard to draw a line between some of the noir films of the early 1960s such as Blast of Silence (1961) and Cape Fear (1962) and the noirs of the late 1950s, new trends emerged in the post-classic era. Most of the more modern films treat the theme of mental disposition with stylistic and tonal framework derived from classic noir.
Neo-noir is a style often seen in modern motion pictures and other forms that prominently utilize elements of film noir, but with updated themes, content and visual elements that were absent in the film noirs of the 1940s and 50s.