The Fatal Woman: Sources of Male Anxiety in American Film Noir, 1941-1991

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9780838636626: The Fatal Woman: Sources of Male Anxiety in American Film Noir, 1941-1991

The Fatal Woman is a study primarily of the psychological threat posed by attractive female characters to the male protagonists of American detective and crime films over a fifty-year period.

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This series of essays popularizes the concepts behind 20 years of important feminist criticism from Laura Mulvey, Mary Ann Doane, and others. Maxfield (English, Whitman Coll., Washington) focuses on the obsession with dominance and resulting emotional vulnerability and self-destructiveness of the male characters in The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Murder My Sweet, The Big Sleep, Out of the Past, White Heat, Vertigo, Point Blank, Mean Streets, Chinatown, Prizzis' Honor, Blue Velvet, The Grifters, and Thelma and Louise. While the treatment of classic film noir offers nothing new, the other films, with which readers will be more familiar, benefit from the extended character analysis. The essay on Thelma and Louise, for instance, effectively explicates the changing and complex interactions of both the female and male characters and their relation to traditional family roles. An excellent acquisition for general and special libraries.?Jane E. Sloan, Rutgers Univ. Lib., New Brunswick, N.J.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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James F. Maxfiefld
Published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (1996)
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James F. Maxfiefld
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