L.A. Noir

Nine Dark Visions of the City of Angels

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About the Book

Los Angeles is an ideal city for film noir for both economic and aesthetic reasons. The largest metropolitan area in the country, home to an ever-changing population of the disillusioned and in close proximity to city, mountains, ocean, and desert, the City of Angels became a center of American film noir.
This detailed discussion of nine films explores such topics as why certain settings are appropriate for film noir, why L.A. has been a favorite of authors such as Raymond Chandler, and relevant political developments in the area. The films are also examined in terms of story content as well as how they developed in the project stage. Utilizing a number of quotes from interviews, the work examines actors, directors, and others involved with the films, touching on their careers and details of their time in L.A. The major films covered are The Big Sleep, Criss Cross, D.O.A., In A Lonely Place, The Blue Gardenia, Kiss Me Deadly, The Killing, Chinatown, and L.A. Confidential.

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 Miami, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

William Hare
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 247
Bibliographic Info: 18 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008 [2004]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3740-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

1. Hawks, Bogart and Bacall      5

2. Lancaster Noir      19

3. Solving Your Own Murder      49

4. The Laureates of Night      71

5. McCarthyism and Cold War Paranoia      103

6. Armageddon Allegorical Noir      129

7. Kubrick’s Ticket to the Big Time      146

8. All About Water and Power      168

9. In Search of Rollo Tomasi      209

Synopsis of the Films      229

Bibliography      233

Index      235

Book Reviews & Awards

“entertaining”—Choice; “offers a detailed analysis”—C&RL News; “Los Angeles is an ideal city for film noir…this detailed discussion of nine films explores such topics as why certain settings are appropriate for film noir, why L.A. has been a favorite of authors such as Raymond Chandler, and relevant political developments in the area…the work examines actors, directors, and others involved with the films, touching on their careers and details of their time in L.A…great cover shot of Yvonne DeCarlo and Burt Lancaster”—Classic Images.