1900’s – 40’s• The first murder mystery films date back to when it was the silent era of the film industry• The most primitive films during this time possessed a degree of mystery e.g. Sherlock Holmes (Which is believed to be cited as the first murder mystery film ever)• Some films during this time would often be shown in separate parts.• Most films that were created in this genre have had books written before hand and then turned into a film e.g. Sherlock Holmes created by Arthur Conan Doyle.• The setting of these film would most likely be in a huge mansion with a certain amount of suspects and the murderer is likely to be wearing something dark.
1940’s – 50’s• During this time murder mystery films grew darker and became more violent.• The detectives in these films would be just as ruthless as the cold- hearted criminals they chased.• During World War II if you wanted to watch something you’d have to go to the nearby cinema in order to watch something or if you didn’t go then you’d have to stay at home and listen to it on the radio.• Sometimes in certain films a man gets poisoned and he only has limited amount of time to try and figure out who poisoned him.• The setting would roughly remain the same except there will be more suspects and as years went on it became increasingly harder to figure out who the murderer was.
1960’s -70’s• Films of this era were based on classic films/novels that had already been produced .• They fall into three categories: Modern updates of novels and old films, atmospheric period piece films which have been set in the 30’s and 40’s and new contemporary detective stories that pay homage to the past.• Contemporary films will films like Marlowe (*1969+based on Chandler’s The little Sister) and a remake of the big sleep set in contemporary London.• Example of Period piece films are Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Chinatown (also 1974)• The new wave may sometimes have the use of a detective in a futuristic, science-based theme.• Sometimes in film from this era amnesia would be and the detective, victim or suspect will be out to try and recover his memory.• The setting for some of the films in this era would be taken to different areas such as other houses and the murderer would have or possibly make his mark in everyone of these places.• The murder would be plain obvious to tell because he/she be doing there best to look innocent and frame someone else plus there will high angle and low angle shots pointing on specific people to make it feel as someone is being watched whilst a conversation is going on
1980’s-present• In the early 80’s neo noir genre was popular emerged with a moody, fatalistic style inspired by the 40’s.• Complex murder mysteries at this time would often have the military involved.• In the 1990’s Pyscho-noir movies emerged which was a blend of mystery, suspense and horror and it was mainly centred around sophisticated serial killers.• The murder will have quite a lot of henchmen which are used help track down the hero and take the villain to his next location.• There will be some fast action moments which will indicate something could happen out of the blue or someone could have been killed
1980’s-present continued• L.A. police detective stories returned after they were first shot in the 40’s/50’s, but they came with a more harder edge and contemporary sensibility that references current issues.• Some films that were made in this time would normally be set around about the 1930’s – 1950’s.• The locations will also start to go worldwide and it will sometimes include some high speed car chases because the villain will be after something the hero has.
Why did this genre change over the years?• The why the genre had to change is that it had to have a more complicated plots because the audience were limited to a certain amount of suspects and they had seen many different examples from this genre e.g. the butler did it, and that’s why it to change because it would become predictable.
How this information will help me?• This information will help because it will show what’s already been done in this genres history and this also tell me what storyline I should go along on how the dead person was murdered. It can also tell me what people would have expected from films in this genre and how they should be structured out.