Edited by Solomon on 8/16/2015, 12:31 pm
Noir has many, many examples of personality disorders, a category that includes both sociopaths and psychopaths. Lizabeth Scott is a psychopath in "Too Late for Tears". A good many femmes fatales are sociopaths. Dennis O'Keefe is psychopathic in "Woman on the Run", isn't he? Raymond Burr is psychopathic in "Raw Deal". Bogart is psychopathic in "The Two Mrs. Carrolls". What about Robert Taylor in "Undercurrent"? Jean Simmons in "Angel Face"? Jane Greer in "Out of the Past"?
We have a continuum of possible personality disorders in these films, and these are not well-defined by any known science.
Noir almost specializes in abnormal psychology.
Corruption is a huge theme in neo-noirs and the circle of it goes way beyond standard criminals into every area of society and every institution: family, church, business, government, military, police, NGOs, academics, journalists, entertainment, media, professions...
This is indeed a major source of story material for neo-noirs, I fully agree.
We almost don't really need abnormal psychology any more to drive a film noir, because the transgressive behavior now has recognized social roots in which the personal behaviors and sociopathic personalities are embedded.