Early Film Noir

Greed, Lust and Murder Hollywood Style


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SKU: 9780786416295 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

The name is French and it has connections to German expressionist cinema, but film noir was inspired by the American Raymond Chandler, whose prose was marked by the gripping realism of seedy hotels, dimly lit bars, main streets, country clubs, mansions, cul-de-sac apartments, corporate boardrooms, and flop houses of America.
Chandler and the other writers and directors, including James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, Jane Greer, Ken Annakin, Rouben Mamoulian and Mike Mazurki, who were primarily responsible for the creation of the film noir genre and its common plots and themes, are the main focus of this work. It correlates the rise of film noir with the new appetites of the American public after World War II and explains how it was developed by smaller studios and filmmakers as a result of the emphasis on quality within a deliberately restricted element of cities at night. The author also discusses how RKO capitalized on films such as Murder, My Sweet and Out of the Past—two of film noir’s most famous titles—and film noir’s connection to British noir and the great international triumph of Sir Carol Reed in The Third Man.

About the Author(s)

Movie historian and writer William Hare is a contributor to Films of the Golden Age. He has also written for the Los Angeles Examiner and the Inglewood Daily News. He lives in Spain.

Bibliographic Details

William Hare
Foreword by Ken Annakin
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 221
Bibliographic Info: photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1629-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8364-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ken Annakin      ix
Introduction      1

1. Film Noir: Chandler and the American Institution with a French Name      7
2. A Blend of Three Great Talents: Double Indemnity (1944)      22
3. Women of Danger and RKO’s Noir Factory      46
4. Dmytryk and the RKO Team      63
5. Jane Greer: Hollywood’s Unforgettable Femme Fatale      80
6. Laura (1944)      106
7. An Obsession in White and a Final Reckoning: The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)      130
8. British Noir:The Third Man (1949) and Across the Bridge (1957)      144

Synopses of Major Films      201
Bibliography      205
Index      207

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Excellent points about noir…fascinating interview excerpts”—Classic Images
  • “As well as providing interesting insights into some of the greatest noir screen epics, [this book] also includes fascinating stills from each of the dramas”—Hispanic Times