There’s a perverse irony in how a definition of “film noir” was doomed from the beginning. What began as a disparaging remark for a group of films in Paris in the 1930s slowly morphed into an incoherent and inaccurate definition for another group of films in post-war Hollywood. It took decades for the transformation and required slipshod scholarship, inaccurate research and the misreading of simple film reviews in 1946 for the corruption to begin. Academic posturing added to the confusion and created a theory that now seems to include every film made in post-war Hollywood with a fedora, a shadow and a dame in it. It's a twisted story worthy of a pulp novel.