Roots of Film Noir

Precursors from the Silent Era to the 1940s


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About the Book

Individual reviews of 90+ films created and released before 1941 are included here in the first title-by-title reference guide to the forerunners of film noir. Silent Hitchcock thrillers and German expressionist masterpieces, French poetic realist dramas and forgotten Hollywood B-movies, pseudo-Freudian gangster films and costume melodramas are among the works covered.

The collection spans subgenres and cultures of filmmaking, aiming to demonstrate that the roots of noir were sown far and wide, long before the lasting and mysterious genre flowered in America during the war years.

About the Author(s)

Kevin Grant is a film historian and periodical journalist living in London.

Bibliographic Details

Kevin Grant
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 84 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8748-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4581-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface  1
Introduction  5
The Films  23
Chronological List of Titles  229
Bibliography  233
Index  237

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Hollywood film noir reached its heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, but film historian Grant traces its roots through more than 90 films…[He] cross-references reviews that mention similar movies, making the book a useful resource for future viewing. Between his introductory essay and his reviews, Grant provides an extremely helpful commentary on a major film genre. Film buffs will adore this book.”—Library Journal
  • “Thanks to this book, noir enthusiasts will find much to ponder.”—Mystery Scene
  • “Fascinating, informative, detailed, and a genuine treat for Film Noir movie buffs”—Midwest Book Review