The term film noir, French for "black film," first applied to Hollywood films by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, was unrecognized by most American film industry professionals of that era. Cinema historians and critics defined the category retrospectively. Before the notion was widely adopted in the 1970s, many of the classic films noirs were referred to as melodramas.[a] Whether film noir qualifies as a distinct genre is a matter of ongoing debate among scholars.
Film noir encompasses a range of plots: the central figure may be a private eye (The Big Sleep), a plainclothes policeman (The Big Heat), an aging boxer (The Set-Up), a hapless grifter (Night and the City), a law-abiding citizen lured into a life of crime (Gun Crazy), or simply a victim of circumstance (D.O.A.). Although film noir was originally associated with American productions, films now so described have been made around the world. Many pictures released from the 1960s onward share attributes with film noir of the classical period, and often treat its conventions self-referentially. Some refer to such latter-day works as neo-noir. The clichés of film noir have inspired parody since the mid-1940s.
Phyllis Nan Sortain Pechey (26 February 1909 – 27 December 1994), better known as Fanny Cradock, was an Englishrestaurant critic, television cook and writer frequently appearing on television, at cookery demonstrations and in print with Major Johnnie Cradock who played the part of a slightly bumbling husband.
Fanny Cradock came to the attention of the public in the dowdy post-war years of the 1950s, championing the aspiring housewife, and an exotic approach to cooking. She famously worked in various ball-gowns without the customary cook’s apron, averring that women should feel cooking was easy and enjoyable, rather than messy and intimidating.
In her early anonymous role as a food critic, working with Major Cradock under the name of ‘Bon Viveur’, Fanny introduced the public to unusual dishes from France and Italy, popularising the pizza in England. She is also credited as the originator of the Prawn Cocktail. She and Johnny worked together on a touring cookery show, sponsored by the Gas Council, to show how gas could be used easily in the kitchen, and as their fame increased, Fanny’s shows transferred to television, where she enjoyed 20 years of success.
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