Synopses & Reviews
Since The Dark Side of the Screen first appeared two decades ago, when film noir was still a little-known group of dark, brooding postwar B-movies, it has become the essential take on what has become one of todays most pervasive screen influences and popular genres. Covering over a hundred outstanding films and offering nearly two hundred carefully chosen stills, this is by far the most thorough and entertaining study available of noir themes, visual motifs, character types, actors, and directors. Hirsch examines the features that make Burt Lancaster, Joan Crawford, Robert Mitchum, and Humphrey Bogart into noir icons; as well as the camera angles, lighting effects, and story lines that characterize the work of such major noir directors as Fritz Lag, Billy Wilder, and Orson Welles. With a complete list of credits to 112 films and a new introduction, Hirschs work remains the classic analysis of the most original genre of American cinema.
'Martin Jackson, Cineaste
“Wonderfully readable: Hirsch is clear, knowledgeable, and concise….[The Dark Side of the Screen] is a visual as well as literary pleasure.”
Philip French, The Observer (London)
“There has been no extended work as good as Foster Hirsch’s The Dark Side of the Screen, a well-written, imaginatively illustrated book that sees the brief, true heyday as between Wilder’s Double Indemnity (1944) and his Sunset Boulevard (1950), but looks at the prelude and the aftermath, and sets the genre in its larger social and cultural context.”
Skyscraper, Spring 2009
“An important examination of what film noir is…The 264-page treatise is not a review source; rather, Hirsch’s academic work delves deeply with a scholarly but not dry approach.”'
A backlist best seller and the definitive take on one of today's reigning screen influences, film noir, this is an essential guide to the extraordinary genre that launched the careers of such luminaries as Burt Lancaster, Billy Wilder, Joan Crawford, Orson Welles, and Stanley Kubrick.
The classic study of the most menacing and original genre of American cinema
About the Author
Foster Hirsch, a professor of Film at Brooklyn College, is the author of sixteen books on film and theater, including Detours and Lost Highways: A Map of Neo-Noir; Love, Sex, Death, and the Meaning of Life: The Films of Woody Allen; and Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King. He lives in New York.