Many black and white films were made in the 1950s and there was a whole genre of film known as "noir." These films were often made from crime novels, also known as "noir." Noir is French for black, and in terms of fiction and film, is described as "crime fiction featuring hard-boiled cynical characters and bleak sleazy settings."
This photograph of Manhattan was taken by Gottscho-Schleisner, Inc., in 1950.
To get a sampling of the era of black and white "noir" culture of the 1950s, look for one of these:
The Big Sleep. [DVD BIG]
Boston Noir. [F BOS]
Classic Crime Short Stories. [eBook]
Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950s. [SC NOI]
Double Indemnity. [DVD DOU]
Spillane, Mickey. Complex 90. [F SPI]
Spillane, Mickey. Lady, Go Die!. [AB/CD SPI]
USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series. [eBook]
Women Crime writers: Four Suspense Novels of the 1950s. [eBook]