Author(s): Geoff Mayer; Brian McDonnell
When viewers think of film noir, they often picture actors like Humphrey Bogart playing characters like Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, the film based on the book by Dashiell Hammett. Yet film noir is a genre much richer. The authors first examine the debate surrounding the parameters of the genre and the many different ways it is defined. They discuss the Noir City, its setting and backdrop, and also the cultural (WWII) and institutional (the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, and the Production Code Administration) influences on the subgenres. An analysis of the low budget and series film noirs provides information on those cult classics. With over 200 entries on films, directors, and actors, the Encyclopedia of Film Noir is the most complete resource for film fans, students, and scholars.