“FILM NOIR FAQ” by David J.Hogan (2013)

51QvJpKdEsL  I thoroughly enjoyed this new book on Noir films by David J.Hogan. Its 400 pages covers 200 titles, with a detailed synopsis of each film and notes on the film makers. And there are 75 illustrations.

Divided into sections like ‘The War Between Men and Women’ ; ‘The Private Dick; ‘A Cop’s Life’ and’ Victims of Circumstance’, the author’s top notch research and his ability to analyse each film is first rate.

For instance, this is how he describes Marie Windsor in The Narrow Margin:

Tall,broad-shouldered – a dame who looks as if she could eat half of the men on the planet before breakfast – she makes an enormously strong impression….she matches Charles McGraw gesture for gesture,retort for retort.”

Charles McGraw..,Marie Windsor

Charles McGraw..,Marie Windsor

Or his description of The Big Sleep:  “A wildly eventful film that’s not really about story at all but about character,attitude and style”.


On Kiss Me Deadly“With Kiss Me  Deadly, Robert Aldrich created not just a great film noir,nor just a great American movie of the 50’s,but one of the most vigorous and electrifying films ever.”


That’s Glenn Ford in Gilda on the cover. I spotted one tiny typo – It’s Robert Hutton,not Brian Hutton in The Racket.

I’d rate this book second on my list of best Noir books – Eddie Muller’s Dark City:The Lost World of Film Noir’ is still the best.

12 responses »

  1. Hello, Vienna,

    Thanks so much for the good words about my new book, FILM NOIR FAQ. Noir is a genre I enjoy and admire very strongly; I wanted to represent its history and themes well. I’m pleased you enjoy it.

    I hadn’t been familiar with your blog, but I’ll keep an eye on it from now on. What a pleasing variety of topics!

  2. I bought Mr. Hogan’s book on the recommendation of a friend and all I have to say is that I’m glad the binding is strong and tight because I’ve been flipping through it endlessly. It’s getting a real workout as I glean insights from it and pick up suggestions on films that I want to see. If you like film noir or even if you want to know more about the genre, this is your bible. – Dean Hoffman, Columbus OH

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