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Dreams and Dead Ends: The American Gangster Film 2nd Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195142914
ISBN-10: 0195142918
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Editorial Reviews

Review


Praise for the previous edition: "Dreams and Dead Ends is quite a remarkable book. One would expect a formal, academic theorist to discuss the great and near-great American gangster movies in terms much duller than the films themselves. Not here, for Mr. Shadoian's essays are aggressive, readable, and often profound. He has a fine, firm grasp of photography, composition, editing, direction, acting, and screenwriting. His cultural and sociological observations are brilliant. He traces the development of gangster films from Little Caesar to Point Blank with sure-footed finesse, and ends up by admitting that, as the latest cycle has only just begun, predictions regarding its course would be presumptuous and foolish. Recommended."--Media Review Digest


"Shadoian's expansive coverage of the sociopolitical and cultural background of the films and their interrelated styles and themes is extremely cogent. The chosen films are familiar to anyone interested in this popular genre, but the films have seldom been written about as incisively. Shadoian communicates a thorough understanding of film noir, that often quixotically misdefined entity so crucial to movies of the 1940s and 1950s, and for quality alone, his book is one of the best (if not the best) ever written on the subject." --Library Journal


"A provocative and probing analysis of the gangster-crime film as a visual literature with unique perceptions of American social and urban problems. Dreams and Dead Ends is a seminal work for the structuring of film criticism around genres.... The most analytical, current, and comprehensive work on the genre."--Choice


"The unusual depth and detail provided in the examination of each film provides rich material for reader thought and reaction. Arrangement of the study is logical and natural with justification provided for the author's selections. The volume is a model of genre study that helps to advance the art of film criticism. Highly recommended."--Cinema Booklist


--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jack Shadoian is at University of Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (January 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195142918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195142914
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.9 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,262,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
An incredibly intelligent book. Jack Shadoian knows his field with astonishing depth and bredth. Using his characteristically witty and well-turned style, Shadoian illuminates the historical and social milieu from which these famous films sprouted. I recommend Dreams and Dead Ends as de rigeur for any film scholar.
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Format: Paperback
This is the essential gangster movie, film noir text.
Scholars and enthusiasts of the film world have been waiting for
this reissue for ages, and finally, it's here.
Shadoian's comprehensive knowledge of film
history and his academic acumen are elegantly
showcased by his witty, well-turned writing,
making this text indispensable in the classroom,
in the personal library and on the coffee table. A
must for anyone with a even passing interest in
the femme fatale, the disenchanted ..., the
moody canted shadows and rain-slicked streets
steeped in shadows and blood. Keep this book handy by
the TV/VCR/DVD player.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author hits the mark on bridging the gap between Gangster-noir-neo-noir films. He knows the genre extremely well. Very informative,enjoyable, and educational. He has an excellent sense of perspective and conveys this in his chapters. My only fault that I would mention is that he has such an expansive knowledge of the english language that I frequently found myself looking up words from my dictionary. Now really, is that his fault or mine? Overall 5 stars!!!
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