Carlos Clarens Crime Movies

ISBN 13: 9780306807688

Crime Movies

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Crime movies are as old as filmmaking itself. They embody the American nightmare, functioning both as a mirror of society and a tool for educating the public about its enemies. In this history of the genre Carlos Clarens gives us a mini-history of crime American-style. From D. W. Griffith and New York's Biograph Studios, where raw violence was introduced to celluloid immortality, to today's multimillion-dollar celebrations of blood and power, Crime Movies shows us the whole picture: the unchanging cast of characters (the gangster hero, swaggering, charming, suspicious; the stoolpigeon or strikebreaker; the moll); the stars (James Cagney, Spencer Tracy, George Raft, Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Richard Widmark); the censorship battles, political pressure, and public outcry. This book illuminates movies such as Intolerance, Underworld, Little Caesar, Public Enemy, Kiss of Death, On the Waterfront, Bonnie and Clyde, The Godfather, Goodfellas, Reservoir Dogs, and hundreds of others, while detailing the film-making strategies Hollywood has adopted to deal with the controversial yet profitable and enduring subject of American criminality.

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Review:

This intelligent study of the crime film, generously illustrated with black-and-white photographs, sets the genre within its social and political context. Writer Carlos Clarens shows the relationship between the politics of Roosevelt's New Deal and the gangster films of James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson, between the idealism of the 1960s and '70s and films such as Bonnie and Clyde and The Godfather. Foster Hirsch has updated Carlos Clarens's groundbreaking text with a chapter that begins in the early 1980s, where Clarens's original discourse leaves off, and covers recent works such as The Untouchables, Married to the Mob, Miller's Crossing, and Pulp Fiction. This updated edition of Crime Movies now covers this thrilling and violent genre from the silent era until today. --Raphael Shargel

About the Author:

Carlos Clarens wrote An Illustrated History of the Horror Film, George Cukor, and many articles in Sight and Sound and Film Comment. His books include The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir (also available from Da Capo Press/ Perseus Books Group).

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