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Film Noir, The Directors Paperback – March 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alain Silver and James Ursini are the authors of Film Noir: The Encyclopedia. Alain Silver is also the author of The Samurai Film, and co-author of Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles (all available from Overlook).

<div><b>Alain Silver</b> is the author of <i>The Samurai Film</i> and the coauthor of fifteen other books, including<i> Raymond Chandler&#8217;s Los Angeles</i>, and two screenplays. He has written numerous articles for the <i>Los Angeles Times</i>, <i>DGA Magazine</i>, <i>Film Comment</i>, and <i>Photon</i>. He has also produced nine independent features and over fifty soundtrack albums, and is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. <b>James Ursini</b> has contributed to various publications including <i>Cinema</i>, <i>Femme Fatales</i>, <i>Mediascene</i>, and <i>Photon</i>. Together, they are the coauthors of eleven books, among them the Film Noir Reader series, <i>Film Noir: An Encyclopedia Reference to the American Style</i>, and <i>The Noir Style</i>. They both live in Santa Monica.<br></div>
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Limelight; Original edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879103949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879103941
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,199,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard J. Oravitz on April 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anything on Film Noir coming from Alain Silver & James Ursini is a must have! You just can't go wrong if you're looking for well-written, scholarly essays on America's Holy Genre. The authors' FILM NOIR READER series (in print) offers the best essays (various contributors) yet collected on the subject. And this new book is a continuation of that standard of excellence.

Some 20+ directors are profiled & discussed with many examples of their works and overall style. This book is well-produced, slick looking with generous illustrations and lots of informative film analysis. A gold mine for fans of bleak character driven tales of fatalistic heroes hopelessly lost in a dark world of never-ending shadows. Film Noir heaven (can one possibly exist?) doesn't get any better than this. Absolutely essential.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because I was interviewed for it for a section on my step-father, Felix E. Feist. I found that section well done. A few of the other directors were known to me, some personally, most by reputation, and a few were unknown. While I'm not a serious aficionado of noir, I appreciate it and count a few of those films, Orson Well's Touch of Evil, my father's Devil Thumbs a Ride, and others, as well as calling attention to directors who are better known for other genres, like Sam Fuller and Billy Wilder. For any student of film in general, and noir in particular, this is a valuable volume. I limited it to four stars only because as another reviewer pointed out, there are any number of fine directors who were left out of this volume who were also worthy of note.
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Format: Paperback
Admittedly, this collection of essays on Film Noir directors is an important work and contains much information about the 28 famous directors cited by Silver in a beautiful paperback volume that also contains an enormous amount of behind-the-scenes stills and articles by some 24 different noir scholars which makes for a certain kind of uneveness in the writing and perception although the writers kept mostly strictly to the parameters of each chapter.
But being a film noir enthusiast myself, I find there are some important directors from minor studios that were overlooked, perhaps intentionally unless another volume is planned called FILM DIRECTORS-PART TWO. There are another dozen or so directors from smaller or independent studios that would complete the "directors total outlook of film noir style." They are (in no particular order) Gordon Wiles (The Gangster, 1947), Charles Vidor (Gilda, 1946),Steve Sekely (The Scar aka. Hollow Triumph, 1948), William Nigh (I Wouldn't Want to Be In Your Shoes, 1947), Byron Haskin (Too Late for Tears, 1949), Curtis Bernhardt (Possessed, 1947), Michael Curtiz (Mildred Pierce 1945), Abraham Polonsky (Force of Evil, 1948),John Cromwell (Dead Reckoning 1948)and other directors like Tay Garnett, Alfred Werker, and Alexander Mackendrick. Although I bought my book at Barnes & Noble, I still believe it is an excellent volume but with major exclusions of the directors listed previously. Their stories and films would have indeed, made this a more comprehensive volume.
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Format: Paperback
For anyone who cares about noir films, this is necessary reading, with in-depth examinations of some of the genres most important directors, and information about their collaborators, from writers to DOPs. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some good information, however, difficult to navigate without an index.
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