Re: RARA-AVIS: Gangsters

From: Etienne Borgers (
Date: 04 Jul 2001

--- Philip Benz <> wrote:
> It's quite a bit of fun catching up on some of the
> earliest talking
> gangster films -- such a startling departure from
> the post-code
> sanitized films we see much more often. The Tom
> Powers character in
> "The Public Enemy" is a striking example of
> everything the code was
> designed to prevent!
> Cheers, --- Phil
> Lyc饠Astier, Aubenas, France

Being in France, you probably know the small format book published by Gallimard-Decouvertes, titled:
"Le crime a l'ecran"-1992 (transl:Crime on the Screen)by Michel Ciment, which is IMO a very good introduction to crime films, with a big part of it devoted to American cinema. But not a real scholar book. In its well documented section about "articles and essays" a few ones are about the "gangster film" and could perhaps lead you to more extended references as well.

To prolong your remark about pre- and post- Hays films in the USA, an interesting study would be to compare the rather free of censorship (West-) European films enjoyed during the pre-30s to the same period in the USA, and see effects on ethics and "morale"(morality) pictured in films on both sides of the Atlantic. And then to compare the post-Hays code era productions to the European films of the same period, again for their morality contents. It could even be focused on "gangster films" for part of it, Europe having had rather early its own thing in films involving the underworld ("truands"), the
"mauvais garcons" (bad boys), the low-lives of big cities...etc- these are not gangster films per se of course, but they were depicting local "enemies of society".

'On French Crime Films' by Yuri German- an article available on: Hard-Boiled Mysteries

__________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 04 Jul 2001 EDT