From Library Journal
In a lucid analysis that begins with "The History of Crime Films" by Drew Dodd, Rafter (law, policy, and society program, Northeastern Univ.) examines how crime films reflect and shape real life. She focuses on criminology in crime films, cop films, courtroom films, prison and execution films, crime film heroes, and the future. Predicting that demographic changes will dramatically modify content and style, she paints a rosy picture of how independent filmmakers and entrenched studio executives alike will create tighter, more meaningful crime films. The most significant crime movies are identified and/or discussed, with the exceptions of Point Blank (1967) and Impulse (1990). Some readers will argue that "cop" movies began not with Dirty Harry (1971) but rather with The Naked City (1948). Designating Crime a category, not a genre, and including such crossover films as The Wild Bunch, The Last Detail, and RoboCop, Rafter could also have investigated why criminality infests so many modern comedies. Useful notes are included. Recommended for film/performing arts collections in public and academic libraries.-Kim R. Holston, American Inst. for Charity Property Casualty Underwriters, Malvern, PA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The subject of crime and criminals has been a central part of the film industry since its inception. Today, after more than a century of cinema, scholars have begun to explore the complex relationship between crime and criminals and how those topics are portrayed on the screen. Rafter, a professor at Northeastern University Law School, has noted that no serious studies have been conducted of how on-screen crime influences our perception of real-world crime. It is an ambitious topic, and she handles it well in a very brief volume. First defining the broad category of films that focus on crime and its consequences, Rafter then compiles a thorough history of crime films and explores how the films and their heroes have changed over a century, much as society's conception of the causes of and solutions to crime have changed. She concludes with a very interesting exploration of future social problems and how they may be played out on screen. Although somewhat academic, this book provides food for thought on a very clever topic. Ted LeventhalCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.