Early Film Noir
Greed, Lust and Murder Hollywood Style
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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)
Foreword by Ken Annakin
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
Table of Contents
Foreword by Ken Annakin ix
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
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.