The Ghost of One’s Self

Doppelgangers in Mystery, Horror and Science Fiction Films


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About the Book

For millennia people have held folk beliefs about the existence of the doppelganger—”double walker” in German—a look-alike second self that is often the antithesis of one’s identity and is usually considered an omen of misfortune or death. The theme of the double has inspired works by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Poe, de Maupassant, Dostoevsky and others, and has been the basis for many classic mystery, horror and science fiction movies. This critical survey examines the double in more than 100 films by such acclaimed directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Mario Bava, Roger Corman, David Cronenberg, George Romero, Fritz Lang, James Cameron, Robert Siodmak, Don Siegel, John Frankenheimer, Terry Gilliam, Brian De Palma and Roman Polanski.

About the Author(s)

Paul Meehan is the author of several books on science fiction, film noir and horror films, and a contributor to the Noir City Sentinel, the journal of the Film Noir Foundation and to The Palgrave Handbook of the Vampire. He lives in San Francisco.

Bibliographic Details

Paul Meehan

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: 57 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6566-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3025-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
One. The Ghost of One’s Self 3
Two. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble: Literature 11
Three. Double Jeopardy: Crime, Mystery and Film Noir 30
Four. Twins of Evil: Horror Films 84
Five. Human Duplicators: Science Fiction Films 135
Six. Conclusion: Double Impact 211
Filmography 215
Chapter Notes 223
Bibliography 224
Index 225