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Film Noir

See also: On Individual Films and Media > Film Criticism

Film Noir: The EncyclopediaFilm Noir: The Encyclopedia
Alain Silver, Elizabeth Ward, James Ursini & Robert Porfirio
This wonderfully exhaustive text -- tallying more than three hundred thousand words with hundreds of film stills and photos new to the work -- distills everything about this genre into one volume from movies to stars to themes and motifs, and brings us up to date with contemporary contributions to the genre. Essentially a new work, this completely revised, expanded, and redesigned classic is a pioneering work and the final word on a dark and mysterious subject. Hardcover, 511 pp. $56.00.

Hardboiled Hollywood: The True Crime Stories Behind the Classic Noir FilmsHardboiled Hollywood: The True Crime Stories Behind the Classic Noir Films

Max Decharne
Real-life bank robbers, twisted serial killers, and pulp novels have all helped shape the world of crime cinema. From Kiss Me Deadly, Bonnie & Clyde, and Psycho to The Godfather and LA Confindential, Max Decharne uncovers the little-known stories behind each of these classic films and more. Softcover, 240 pp. $18.50.

100 Film Noirs100 Film Noirs

Jim Hillier & Alastair Phillips
This compact guide provides an international overview of film noir past and present by examining the core films, themes and critical debates. The book goes beyond the classical canon to examine the ways in which noir continues to have a diverse influence on American cinema. It demonstrates the way that noir has intervened in more established Hollywood genres and also considers numerous lesser known examples of the field. Softcover, 282 pp. $21.95.

Film Noir and the Cinema of ParanoiaFilm Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia
Wheeler Winston Dixon
Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia is comprehensive in scope and engages readers in an overview of noir and fatalist film from the mid-twentieth century to the present, ending with a discussion of television, the internet, and dominant commercial cinema. Softcover, 198 pp. $34.95.

Film Noir: The Dark Side of the ScreenFilm Noir: The Dark Side of the Screen

Foster Hirsch
This landmark work covers Film Noir in full, from the iconic performances of actors such as Burt Lancaster, Joan Crawford, and Humphrey Bogart to the camera angles, lighting effects, and story lines that characterize the work of such seminal directors as Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, and Orson Welles. Softcover, 264 pp. $26.95.

More Than Night: Film Noir in its ContextsMore Than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts

James Naremore
More Than Night is the first study of film noir that achieves the sort of intellectual seriousness, depth of research, degree of critical insight, and level of writing that this group of films deserves. Softcover, 384 pp. $29.95.

Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir

Sheri Chinen Biesen
After Pearl Harbor, America and Hollywood experienced a sharp cultural transformation that made horror, shock and violence not only palatable but preferable. Sheri Chinen Biesen brings archivel research, accesible prose and imaginative insights to both well-known film noirs of the wartime period - The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, and Double Indemnity - and others overlooked or underrated - Scarlet Street, Ministry of Fear, Phantom Lady, and Stranger on the Third Floor. Softcover, 243 pp. $26.95.

The Pocket Essential Film NoirThe Pocket Essential Film Noir

Paul Duncan
Noir explores the dark side of post-war society--gangsters, hoodlums, prostitutes and killers--and shows how it corrupted the good and the beautiful. Many of these films are now touchstones of what we regard as classic Hollywood -- The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Big Sleep (1946), Double Indemnity (1944) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). Softcover, 159 pp. $9.95.

Noir Movies: Facts, Figures & FunNoir Movies: Facts, Figures & Fun

John Grant
A lightning survey of the best -- and the worst -- of the world of noir movies. Perfect material for a movie based quiz or just a quiet read in the smallest room in the house. Hardcover, 96 pp. $7.95.


The Philosophy of Film NoirThe Philosophy of Film Noir
Mark T. Conrad
This is the first volume to focus exclusively on the philosophical underpinnings of these iconic films. Drawing on the work of diverse thinkers, from the French existentialist Albert Camus to the Frankurt school theorists Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, the volume connects film noir to the philosophical questions of a modern, often nihilistic world. Hardcover, 248 pp. $50.50.

L.A. Noir: The City as CharacterL.A. Noir: The City as Character
Alain Silver & James Ursini
Los Angeles has always been as much a star in film noir as any actor, be it Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner or Jack Nicholson. In L.A. Noir renowned film historians Alain Silver and James Ursini explore the world of noir cinema in the context of Los Angeles, and consider how several key films have used the city's diverse geography and architecture to convey a unique vision of urban corruption and existential fatalism while chronicling the ever-changing cityscape of this noir character -- Los Angeles. Softcover, 176 pp. $26.95.

Crime Wave: The Filmgoers' Guide to the Great Crime Movies Crime Wave: The Filmgoers' Guide to the Great Crime Movies

Howard Hughes
Crime Wave investigates gangster and heist movies, blaxploitation and noir, murder mysteries, vehicles for vigilante or buddy cops, even a gangster love story. It features biographies and filmographies detailing the key participants and background details of the films' making, locations and sets. It also explores each film's sources and influences, its impact on the crime genre and current fashion, including spin-offs, copies and sequels. It examines the films' themes, style and box office fortunes. Softcover, 236 pp. $30.50.

It's a Bitter Little WorldIt's a Bitter Little World

Charles Pappas
If you want to know the meaning of life, don't study Shakespeare, don't peruse Plato. Everything that you need to know in life you can learn from film noir. And everything you can learn from film noir, you can find in It's a Bitter Little World -- the smartest, toughest, and nastiest quotes from the canon of film noir. Softcover, 230 pp. $14.50.

Film Noir: From Berlin to Sin City Film Noir: From Berlin to Sin City
Mark Bould
This informative guide to film noir explores the murky world of a genre responsible for many of film's most enduring images. Mark Bould discusses problems of definition and the often ambiguous nature of film noir and looks at contemporary 'neo-noir' films. From Weimer cinema to Sin City, this book is an indispensible guide to this still popular genre. Softcover, 144 pp. $28.00.

Film NoirFilm Noir
Eddie Robson
Shrouded in suspicion, racked with cynicism and tortured by doomed love, the cinema dubbed "film noir" includes some of the finest, most innovative and interesting films that Hollywood has ever produced. This accessible and essential guide examines the defining movies made in this brooding and menacing tone. As well as discussing plot and structure in detail, the book profiles iconic actors such as Robert Mitchum, legendary directors like Billy Wilder, Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick, and writers such as Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and James M Cain. Softcover, $37.50.

San Francisco NoirSan Francisco Noir
Nathaniel Rich
All cities have their secrets, but none are so dark as San Francisco's. With its reputation as a shadowy land of easy vice and hard virtue, San Francisco provided the ideal setting for many of the greatest film noirs, from classics like The Maltese Falcon and Dark Passage to obscure treasures like Woman on the Run and D.O.A., and neo-noirs like Point Blank and The Conversation. In this fascinating guide, readers are guided through more than forty of the Bay area's most famous film locations. Softcover, 167 pp. $23.95.

Film Noir and the Spaces of ModernityFilm Noir and the Spaces of Modernity
Edward Dimendberg
Populated by double-crossing, unsavory characters, Film Noir explored a shadowy side of American life during a period of tremendous prosperity and optimism. By exploring key films of the genre, Edward Dimendberg compellingly demonstrates how film noir is preoccupied with modernity -- particularly the urban landscape. Softcover, 327 pp. $33.95.

Bullets Over HollywoodBullets Over Hollywood: The American Gangster Movie from the Silents to The Sopranos
John McCarty
In Bullets Over Hollywood, film scholar John McCarty traces the history of mob flicks and reveals why these films are so beloved by Americans. As McCarty demonstrates, the themes, the characters, landscapes, and stories of the gangster genre have proven resiliant enough to be updated, reshaped and expanded upon to connect even with today's young audiences. Packed with information, anecdotes, analysis and a solid historical perspective, Bullets over Hollywood will be the definitive book on the gangster movie for years to come. Softcover, 323 pp. $25.50.

A Panorama of American Film NoirA Panorama of American Film Noir
Raymond Borde & Etienne Chaumeton
When it appeared in France in 1955, this book was the only of its kind to focus solely on film noir. Now, for the first time, this seminal text is availible in an English translation by Paul Hammond. Focusing of the genre's dreamlike, unwonted, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel atmosphere, this book addresses the essential amorality of noir, as it situates the films within the context of mid-century America. Softcover, 242 pp. $31.95.

Street With No NameStreet With No Name: A History of the Classic American Film Noir
Andrew Dickos
Thoroughly researched and impeccably written, this book traces the film noir genre back to its roots in German Expressionist cinema and the French cinema between the two world wars. Dickos describes the development of the film noir in America, from 1941 through the 1970s, and examines how this development created modern cinema. Hardcover, $45.50.

The Art of NoirThe Art of Noir
Eddie Muller
As much as it was about crime, film noir was about style, mood and atmosphere. In this remarkable visual catalogue, the ultra-stylish posters and graphics from the classic era of film noir are beautifully reproduced in full-colour. With their tantalizing mix of sex and violence, and expressive graphic quality, these posters still pulse with the dynamism and allure of the mesmerizing films they were created to promote. Hardcover, 271 pp. $82.50. Softcover, 271pp. $51.00.


Death on the CheapDeath on the Cheap: : The Lost B Movies of Film Noir!
Arthur Lyons
Robert Mitchum once said about his movies of the 1940s and 1950s: "Hell, we didn't know what film noir was in those days. We were just making movies. Cary Grant and all the big stars at RKO got all the lights. We lit our sets with cigarette butts." In Death on the Cheap, Arthur Lyons looks at the history of the B movie and how it led to the genre that would come to be called noir, a genre that decades later would be transformed in such "neo-noir" films as Pulp Fiction, Fargo, and L.A. Confidential. The book, loaded with movie stills, also features a witty and informative filmography (including video sources) of B films that have largely been ignored or neglected -- lost to the general public but now restored to their rightful place in movie history thanks to Death on the Cheap. $25.95.

Black & White & NoirBlack & White & Noir: America's Pulp Modernism
Paula Rabinowitz
Black & White & Noir explores America's pulp moderism through penetrating readings of the noir sensibility lurking in an eclectic array of media: Office of War Information photography, women's experimental films, and African American novels, among others. Rabinowitz asks us to view film noir as an avenue of social and political expression. Softcover, $30.95.

Film Noir Reader 2
Film Noir Reader 2
Slain Silver & James Ursini, eds.
Even better than the first volume, Noir 2 continues where the first left off with essays on the evolution of noir into neo-noir by examining such films as Dark City and L.A. Confidential and re-examines classic noir from the 40s. The B&W photos alone are worth the price of admission. $32.95.

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Last modified February 28, 2011.
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