Cinematography by John Alton - more screenshots of his noir work here.
“To realize the power of light and what it can do to the mind of the audience, visualize the following little scene: The room is dark. A strong streak of light sneaks in from the hall under the door. The sound of steps is heard. The shadows of two feet divide the light streak. A brief silence follows. There is suspense in the air.
Who is it? What is going to happen? Is he going to ring the bell? Or just insert a key and try to come in? Another heavier shadow appears and blocks the light entirely. A dim hissing sound is heard, and as the shadow leaves, we see in the dim light a paper slip onto the carpet. The steps are heard again. This time they leave. A strong light appears once more and illuminates the note on the floor. We read it as the steps fadeout in the distance. ‘It is ten o’clock. Please turn off your radio. The Manager.’”
-excerpted from Alton’s Painting With Light