James Ellroy: Here’s what Film Noir is to me. It’s a righteously generically American film movement that went from 1945 to 1958 and exposited one great theme and that theme is you’re fucked.
Sydney Pollack: I can tell you I know it when I see it but I don’t know how to define it. Almost every element you name as the definition of a Noir film would apply to Casablanca but you would not call Casablanca a Noir film.
Frank Miller: Raymond Chandler defined it best. He described the Film Noir hero as a knight in dirty armor. He is a knight, he just doesn’t look like one. And he’s never rewarded for what he does. He’s this lonely character who’s out there and he’s just bugged by stuff.