Nino Frank (born 27 June 1904 in Barletta, Italy − Paris, 17 August 1988) was an Italian-born French film critic and writer who was most active in the 1930s and 1940s. Frank is best known for being the first film critic to use the term "film noir" to refer to 1940s US crime drama films such as The Maltese Falcon.
Nino Frank was born in Barletta, in the southern region of Apulia, a busy port town on Italy's Adriatic coast.
In the late 1920s, Frank was a supporter of the Irish writer James Joyce, along with a circle that also included Moune Gilbert, Stuart Gilbert (who helped to make the French translation of Ulysses in 1929), Paul and Lucie Léon, Louis Gillet, and Samuel Beckett. In 1937, Frank conferred a great deal with Joyce about the Italian translation of Joyce's Anna Livia Plurabelle. 
During the Second World War and the Nazi occupation of France, Frank wrote for the collaborationist weekly Les Nouveaux Temps, but he was known as a critic of the collaborationist Vichy government's censorship policies. He also wrote for the French film magazine L'Écran français, a socialist-leaning magazine founded by the Resistance during the war, which continued after it. The magazine had the backing of French film directors such as Jacques Becker, Marcel Carné, Jean Grémillon, and Jean Painlevé; writer/scenarists Pierre Bost and Jacques Prévert; critics Georges Sadoul and Léon Moussinac; as well as Albert Camus, Henri Langlois, André Malraux, Pablo Picasso and Jean-Paul Sartre. L'Écran français was a "serious publication"; in contrast to other film magazines with their "cheesecake" photos and star gossip, L'Écran français was printed on yellow paper and carried articles on a range of film criticism issues written by critics and notable figures from French cinema.  Frank eventually rose to the position of editor-in-chief of L'Écran français.
According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Frank had several writing credits for film and television production. In 1944, he penned the dialogue for Service de nuit and adapted the novel for the screen. In 1945, he was responsible for a film adaption of La Vie de bohème. In 1947, he is credited for La Taverne du poisson couronné ("Confessions of a Rogue"), and in 1952, he is credited with Red Shirts (Les chemises rouges in France or Camicie rosse in Italy). In 1974, Frank is credited with adapting the novel Stefano for a TV production. Frank also did other writing and translation work, such as translating Leonardo Sciascia's 1979 book Nero su nero ("Black on Black") from its original Italian, in collaboration with Corinne Lucas.
Frank is often given credit for coining the term "film noir" to describe a group of American drama films that were shown in French theaters in the summer of 1946: John Huston's The Maltese Falcon, Otto Preminger’s Laura, Edward Dmytryk’s Murder, My Sweet , Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity , and Fritz Lang's The Woman in the Window . During the Nazi occupation of France, US films were not allowed in France, and so the summer of 1946 was the first opportunity for French audiences to see these US World War II-era movies.
In 1946, Frank and fellow critic Jean-Pierre Chartier wrote two film articles that described Hollywood crime dramas from the 1940s as "film noir". Frank’s article, "Un nouveau genre 'policier': L'aventure criminelle" ("A new police genre: the criminal adventure") was published in the socialist-leaning film magazine L'écran français in August 1946. Frank's article listed "… rejection of sentimental humanism, the social fantastic, and the dynamism of violent death" as being obsessive French noir themes and called attention to the American proclivity for "criminal psychology and misogyny".  Frank's article stated that "these 'dark' films, these films noirs, no longer have anything in common with the ordinary run of detective movies", and the article "reflects the difficulty of finding a suitable label for these dark films." 
Frank's article states that the noir films "belong to what used to be called the detective film genre, but which would now be better termed the crime, or, even better yet, the "crime psychology film". Jean-Pierre Chartier's essay, from November 1946, appeared in the conservative-leaning Revue du cinema, titled "Les Américains aussi font des films 'noirs'" ("the Americans also make 'black' films"), and criticized what he deemed the common thread of film noir, the "pessimism and disgust for humanity".  Frank and Chartier's use of the term "film noir" may have been inspired by Gallimard's series of "hard-boiled" detective and crime fiction books called the Série Noire, which included both translated works by American writers and books authored by French writers that were modeled on the US crime novel style. French writers Thomas Narcejac and Pierre Boileau, who wrote several novels that were adapted into films, may also deserve some credit for developing the term "film noir". Narcejac and Boileau's novel D'entre les morts was adapted into Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo , and their novel Celle qui n'était plus was adapted into the Henri-Georges Clouzot's Diabolique .
Charles O'Brien's research indicates that the term "film noir" was used in French film reviews and newspaper articles in 1938 and 1939, to refer to French films such as Le Quai des brumes (1937) by Marcel Carné and La Bête humaine (1938) by Jean Renoir.  O'Brien states that he found a "dozen explicit invocations of film noir" in the late 1930s, such as the paper L'Intransigeant , which called Quai des brumes a "film noir" and the newspaper Action française , in which a January 1938 film review by Francois Vinneuil called Le Puritain "un sujet classique: le film noir, plongeant dans la débauche et le crime" ("a classic subject: the film noir plunging in debauchery and crime").  O'Brien points out that the term "film noir" seems to have been first coined by the political right-wing and that may be because many – but not all – of the film noirs were from the poetic realist movement that was closely associated with the leftist Popular Front. 
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, playwright, novelist, designer, filmmaker, visual artist and critic. He was one of the foremost creatives of the surrealist, avant-garde, and Dadaist movements; and one of the most influential figures in early 20th-century art as a whole. The National Observer suggested that, “of the artistic generation whose daring gave birth to Twentieth Century Art, Cocteau came closest to being a Renaissance man.”
Les Diaboliques is a 1955 French psychological horror thriller film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse and Charles Vanel. It is based on the novel She Who Was No More by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac.
Georges Joseph Christian Simenon was a Belgian writer. A prolific author who published nearly 500 novels and numerous short works, Simenon is best known as the creator of the fictional detective Jules Maigret.
French New Wave is a French art film movement that emerged in the late 1950s. The movement was characterized by its rejection of traditional filmmaking conventions in favor of experimentation and a spirit of iconoclasm. New Wave filmmakers explored new approaches to editing, visual style, and narrative, as well as engagement with the social and political upheavals of the era, often making use of irony or exploring existential themes. The New Wave is often considered one of the most influential movements in the history of cinema.
Arsène Lupin is a fictional gentleman thief and master of disguise created in 1905 by French writer Maurice Leblanc. The character was first introduced in a series of short stories serialized in the magazine Je sais tout. The first story, "The Arrest of Arsène Lupin", was published on 15 July 1905.
Neo-noir is a revival of film noir, a genre that had originally flourished during the post-World War II era in the United States—roughly from 1945 to 1960. The French term, film noir, translates literally to English as "black movie" or "dark movie", indicating sinister stories often presented in a shadowy cinematographic style. Neo-noir has a similar style but with updated themes, content, style, and visual elements.
Boileau-Narcejac is the nom de plume used by the prolific French crime-writing duo of Pierre Boileau and Pierre Ayraud, aka Thomas Narcejac. Their successful collaboration produced 43 novels, 100 short stories and 4 plays. They are credited with having helped to form an authentically French subgenre of crime fiction with the emphasis on local settings and mounting psychological suspense. They are noted for the ingenuity of their plots and the skillful evocation of the mood of disorientation and fear. Their works were adapted into numerous films, most notably, Les Diaboliques (1955), directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, and Vertigo (1958), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Rififi is a 1955 French crime film adaptation of Auguste Le Breton's novel of the same name. Directed by American blacklisted filmmaker Jules Dassin, the film stars Jean Servais as the aging gangster Tony "le Stéphanois", Carl Möhner as Jo "le Suédois", Robert Manuel as Mario Farrati, and Jules Dassin as César "le Milanais". The foursome band together to commit an almost impossible theft, the burglary of an exclusive jewelry shop in the Rue de la Paix. The centerpiece of the film is an intricate half-hour heist scene depicting the crime in detail, shot in near silence, without dialogue or music. The fictional burglary has been mimicked by criminals in actual crimes around the world.
Jean-Patrick Manchette was a French crime novelist credited with reinventing and reinvigorating the genre. He wrote ten short novels in the seventies and early eighties, and is widely recognized as the foremost French crime fiction author of that period. His stories are violent explorations of the human condition and French society. Manchette was politically to the left and his writing reflects this through his analysis of social positions and culture.
Port of Shadows is a 1938 French film directed by Marcel Carné. An example of poetic realism, it stars Jean Gabin, Michel Simon and Michèle Morgan. The screenplay was written by Jacques Prévert based on a novel by Pierre Mac Orlan. The music score was by Maurice Jaubert. The film was the 1939 winner of France's top cinematic prize, the Prix Louis-Delluc.
Quai des Orfèvres is a 1947 French police procedural drama film based on the book Légitime défense by Stanislas-Andre Steeman. Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot the film stars Suzy Delair as Jenny Lamour, Bernard Blier as Maurice Martineau, Louis Jouvet as Inspector Antoine and Simone Renant as Dora.
Bruges-la-Morte is a short novel by the Belgian author Georges Rodenbach, first published in 1892. The novel is notable for two reasons: it was the archetypal Symbolist novel, and was the first work of fiction illustrated with photographs.
Série noire is a French publishing imprint, founded in 1945 by Marcel Duhamel. It has released a collection of crime fiction of the hardboiled detective thrillers variety published by Gallimard.
Pierre Mac Orlan, sometimes written MacOrlan, was a French novelist and songwriter.
Jean Aurenche (1903–1992) was a French screenwriter. During his career, he wrote 80 films for directors such as René Clément, Bertrand Tavernier, Marcel Carné, Jean Delannoy and Claude Autant-Lara. He is often associated with the screenwriter Pierre Bost, with whom he had a fertile partnership from 1940 to 1975.
Pierre Lemaitre is a Prix Goncourt-winning French author and a screenwriter, internationally renowned for the crime novels featuring the fictional character Commandant Camille Verhœven.
The Prix du Quai des Orfèvres is an annual French literature award created in 1946 by Jacques Catineau. It goes to an unpublished manuscript for a French-language police novel. The selected novel is then published by a major French publishing house, since 1965 Fayard. The jury is led by the chief of the Prefecture of Police of Paris. The name of the award refers to the headquarters of the Paris police, located at 36, quai des Orfèvres.
Jean George Auriol was a French film critic and screenwriter. He was the founder of the film magazine La Revue du cinéma.
La Compagnie des glaces is a series of 97 post-apocalyptic science fiction novels by the French writer Georges-Jean Arnaud, published between 1980 and 2005.
The Wages of Sin is a 1956 French drama film directed by Denys de La Patellière and starring Danielle Darrieux, Jean-Claude Pascal and Jeanne Moreau. A film noir, it was adapted from the 1949 novel Emily Will Know by the American crime writer Nancy Rutledge It was shot at the Photosonor Studios in Paris. The film's sets were designed by the art director Paul-Louis Boutié.