Film Noir Compendium

Key Selections from the Film Noir Reader Series

Series: Limelight
Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books
Format: Softcover
Authors: James Ursini, Alain Silver

In this essential study of film noir, editors Alain Silver and James Ursini select the most significant and influential articles on the movement from their highly respected Film Noir Reader series and assemble them into a single, convenient, heavily illustrated volume. Still included, of course, are many rare early articles and such seminal essays as Borde and Chaumeton's “Towards a Definition of Film Noir” from Panorama du Film Noir Americain, Paul Schrader's “Notes on Film Noir,” and “Paint It Black: the Family Tree of the Film Noir” by Raymond Durgnat. With newer studies such as “Lounge Time” by Vivian Sobchack, “Manufacturing Heroines in Classic Noir Films” by Sheri Chinen Biesen, and “Voices from the Deep: Film Noir as Psychodrama” J. P. Telotte, this collection of over 30 articles probes this most influential American film movement from varying angles: formalist, feminist, structuralist, sociological, and stylistic; narrative-thematic historical, and even from the point of view of a pure aficionado. There is something in this volume for every student or devotee of film noir. Plus like the readers that have proven an invaluable tool for academics planning a syllabus, it can serve as the most complete core text for any of the myriad of film noir courses taught throughout the world.

$29.99 (US)
Inventory #HL 00156555
ISBN: 9781495058981
UPC: 888680606954
Width: 7.5"
Length: 9.25"
448 pages


“With Applause's paperback release of Film Noir Compendium: Key Selections from the Film Noir Reader Series, newcomers to the dynamic duo of cinematic historians Alain Silver and James Ursini can get a taste of the goods without having to wonder which prior volume to purchase or whether to buy them all. (You may find yourself doing the latter if you enjoy this lovingly oversized presentation, overflowing with hundreds of stills.)” –

“Like The Alfred Hitchcock Encyclopedia, the Film Noir Compendium edited by James Ursini and Alain Silver should be a required read for new film fans. But that's a rather limiting classification, since it fails to highlight the inherent joy in these articles. The newly updated compilation features legendary critics like Robin Wood as well as critics-turned-filmmakers like Paul Schrader and Claude Chabrol. Standouts include an analysis of Kiss Me Deadly with perfectly chosen stills and a stunning, deep dive into Out of the Past.” –

“With the 1980 now classic Film Noir, film noir historians Alain Silver & Elizabeth Ward spotlighted what has become one of Hollywood's most revered, influential genres – the dark 'black films' (literally the French translation of film noir) in mood, lighting and subject matter that emerged most fully after WWII and reflected the war's enduring consequences on America's psyche and attitudes. Now Silver & James Ursini present Film Noir Ccompendium which assembles 'all the key articles' from the Film Noir Reader series of critical writing about this genre. The authors include Taxi Driver screenwriter Paul Schrader and New Wave French filmmaker Claude Chabrol. With 375 stills, this anthology covers in depth studies of monumental noir classics like Otto Preminger's Angel Face, Barbara Stanwyck's The File on Thelma Jordan and Robert Siodmak's Phantom Lady.” – Boston Herald

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