The Essence of Film Noir

The Style and Themes of Cinema’s Dark Genre

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About the Book

Noir and neo-noir films from the Golden Age of Hollywood, beginning with 1941’s The Maltese Falcon and ending with 1950’s Sunset Boulevard, shared many artistic characteristics, thematic elements and cultural settings. Even when the films’ directors were German émigrés, their concern with politics, depiction of con artists and America’s puritanical religious foundations suggest these films are part of a uniquely American genre.
The films’ psychological depth is revealed stylistically through complex narratives, with select directors generating visual poetry as they deal with sex, violence and betrayal. Some films are based on popular novels inspired by true crime cases. A unique approach to film noir scholarship, this book discusses the genre’s thematic aspects, cultural contexts and stylistic qualities. For those films based upon novels, in-depth analysis of the fiction is provided alongside the film version, resulting in a fuller, more thorough understanding of the genre.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Diana Royer is a professor of English at Miami University, in Ohio, where she teaches composition, American and British literature and film studies.

Bibliographic Details

Diana Royer
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8419-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4590-2
Imprint: McFarland