Film Noir Reader

The first in the series edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini. As noted, this best-selling anthology volume was originally published by Limelight Editions in May, 1996 and reproduces in one volume seven seminal essays on film noir and fourteen other articles, either long out of print or original to that anthology, which focus on the key films, directors, and themes of film noir accompanied by over 200 illustrations.

The Contents page of this first volume is reproduced below with Links to the Introduction and three complete essays which may be read on-line. Part 2 of the Introduction details the content of the Seminal Essays. Ordering information is at the bottom of this page. [Please Note: the updated essay on Kiss Me Deadly is in three parts and includes over 50 frame enlargements from the film, which may cause long load times with slower connections.]

There are also E-mail links  to various of the contributors.


Alain Silver

Part One: Seminal Essays

Towards a Definition of Film Noir [from Panorama du Film Noir Américain]
Raymond Borde and Étienne Chaumeton (1955)

Noir Cinema [from Hollywood in the Forties]
Charles Higham and Joel Greenberg (1968)

Paint It Black: the Family Tree of the Film Noir [from Cinema (UK)]
Raymond Durgnat (1970)

Notes on Film Noir [from Film Comment]
Paul Schrader (1972)

Some Visual Motifs of Film Noir [from Film Comment]
Janey Place and Lowell Peterson (1974)

No Way Out: Existential Motifs in the Film Noir [from Sight and Sound]
Robert Porfirio  (1976)

Film Noir: A Modest Proposal [from Film Reader]
James Damico (1978)

Out of What Past? Notes on the B film noir [from Screen]
Paul Kerr (1979)

Part Two: Case Studies

Phantom Lady, Cornell Woolrich, and the Masochistic Aesthetic
Tony Williams

John Farrow: Anonymous Noir
Alain Silver  and James Ursini

At the Margins of Film Noir: Preminger's Angel Face
Richard Lippe

The Killers: Expressiveness of Sound and Image in Film Noir
Robert Porfirio  

Mann in the Dark: the Films Noir of Anthony Mann
Robert E. Smith

Expressionist Doom in Night and the City
Glenn Erickson

Kiss Me Deadly: Evidence of a Style
Alain Silver

The Post-Noir P.I.: The Long Goodbye and Hickey and Boggs
Elizabeth Ward

Part Three: Noir Then and Now

Film Noir, Voice-over, and the Femme Fatale
Karen Hollinger

What is This Thing Called Noir?
Alain Silver and Linda Brookover

Angst at Sixty Fields per Second
James Ursini  

Miami Vice, The Legacy of Film Noir
Jeremy G. Butler

Kill Me Again: Movement becomes Genre
Todd Erickson

Son of Noir: Neo-Film Noir and the Neo-B Picture
Alain Silver

For an on-line article on the ending of Kiss Me Deadly in Images click on the animated GIF below

Kiss Me Deadly Ending

FNR Mini

To order any of the Film Noir Readers you can contact Limelight Editions via FAX at (973) 835-6504, E-mail at " " , or snail mail at 512 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444. For On-line orders try Amazon Books at Amazon. [This link takes you directly to the first book. For links to the others use THIS PAGE or Amazon's general information.]

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