Cover image for L.A. noir : nine dark visions of the City of Angels
L.A. noir : nine dark visions of the City of Angels
Hare, William, 1942-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [2004]

Physical Description:
v, 241 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1995.9.F54 H39 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Los Angeles is an ideal city for film noir for both economic and aesthetic reasons. The largest metropolitan area in the country, home to an ever-changing population of the disillusioned and in close proximity to city, mountains, ocean, and desert, the City of Angels became a center of American film noir. This work discusses nine films, each analyzed in detail, with explanations of why certain settings are appropriate for film noir, why L.A. has been a favorite of authors such as Raymond Chandler, and relevant political developments in the area. The films are also examined in terms of story content as well as how they developed in the project stage. Utilizing a number of quotes from interviews, the work examines actors, directors, and others involved with the films, touching on their careers and details of their time in L.A. The major films covered are The Big Sleep, Criss Cross, D.O.A., In A Lonely Place, The Blue Gardenia, Kiss Me Deadly, The Killing, Chinatown, and L.A. Confidential.

Author Notes

Movie historian and writer William Hare is a contributor to Films of the Golden Age. He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Hare's entertaining work teeters awkwardly between originality in craft and rehash of known facts. His readings of the films include thumbnail biographies of stars and contributors interlaced with descriptive, as opposed to analytical, presentations. The resulting package encapsulates the history of the making of some of the great noir films set in Los Angeles--from The Big Sleep to L.A. Confidential and The Usual Suspects. Sounding like a mature gossip columnist, Hare discusses the likes of Howard Hawks, Bogart, and Bacall; accordingly, his achievement is nostalgia for eras in which Hollywood had a controlling interest in the American psyche. The author has the annoying habit of interrupting his narrative with secondary filmographies. Still, the discussion is competent, especially of Kiss Me Deadly (1955), which, except for its cult status, has been overlooked. The bibliography ranges from James Ellroy's novels to actors' autobiographies. But readers desiring astute insight into the depths of the noir genre will be better off with Robert Sklar's Movie-Made America (CH, May'76) and especially Michael Wood's America in the Movies (CH, Dec'75). ^BSumming Up: Optional. Most appropriate for public libraries. A. Hirsh emeritus, Central Connecticut State University

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
1 Hawks, Bogart and Bacallp. 5
2 Lancaster Noirp. 19
3 Solving Your Own Murderp. 49
4 The Laureates of Nightp. 71
5 McCarthyism and Cold War Paranoiap. 103
6 Armageddon Allegorical Noirp. 129
7 Kubrick's Ticket to the Big Timep. 146
8 All About Water and Powerp. 168
9 In Search of Rollo Tomasip. 209
Synopsis of the Filmsp. 229
Bibliographyp. 233
Indexp. 235