RARA-AVIS: Dark City/Mildred Pierce?/Spillane

Victoria Esposito-Shea (vmes@sbt.infi.net)
Wed, 8 Jul 1998 11:38:46 -0500
> I just ran across a fun and informative, if not entirely scholarly, book
> film noir--it's called _Dark City_ : The Lost World of Film Noir, by
> Muller, and it came out last month. I'd like to see more backing up his
> assertion that noir began after WWII and ended with _Psycho_, and he's
> reproduced a couple highly questionable anecdotes (e.g. the Maltese
> Falcon-secretary-dialogue story), but it is, nonetheless, a fun book if
> can stand the whimsical structure. (It's got all kinds of stuff on the
> studio system and organized crime and HUAC and the sordid lives of the
> actors, as well as stuff on the films themselves.)
> Also, I finally got around to reading James Cain's _Mildred Pierce_,
> I've seen referred to in multiple places as a noir classic. I don't get
> it. Granted, I haven't seen the movie, but if it's in any way faithful
> the book plotwise, it seems to me to have a lot more in common with soap
> opera than anything else. Will I understand if I see the movie? Is it
> just misclassified? Am I guilty of narrow vision? (Well, probably. :)
> Anyone?
> And I still can't read Spillane. (The author of _Dark City_ refers to
> Hammer as "Philip Marlowe's evil twin" which seems about right to me.)
> Later,
> Vicky
> vmes@sbt.infi.net
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