The Private Eye: Detectives in the Movies (Locations)

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9781780231020: The Private Eye: Detectives in the Movies (Locations)

From Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade to Jake Gittes, private eyes have made for some of the most memorable characters in cinema. We often view these detectives as lone wolves who confront and try to make sense of a violent and chaotic modern world. Bran Nicol challenges this stereotype in The Private Eye and offers a fresh take on this iconic character and the film noir genre.   Nicol traces the history of private eye movies from the influential film noirs of the 1940s to 1970s neonoir cinema, whose slow and brilliant decline gave way to the fading of detectives into movie mythology today. Analyzing a number of classic films—including The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Chinatown, and The Long Goodbye—he reveals that while these movies are ostensibly thrillers, they are actually occupied by issues of work and love. The private eye is not a romantic hero, Nicol argues, but a figure who investigates the concealments of others at the expense of his own private life. Combining a lucid introduction to an underexplored tradition in movie history with a new approach to the detective in film, this book casts new light on the private worlds of the private eye.

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About the Author:

Bran Nicol is professor of English literature at the University of Surrey, UK. He is the author of several books, including Stalking, published by Reaktion Books.

Review:

“With a keen touch for cinematic detail, Bran Nicol focuses on the private in classic Hollywood’s conception of the private eye. Not the male heroism usually associated with this stock figure of film noir but rather his partial vision is exposed to our view; his subjective engagement in a world that has rendered him homeless. After reading this compelling chronicle our conception of the solitary detective, sacrificing his life for an idiosyncratic sense of moral right, has changed forever.”

(Elisabeth Bronfen, University of Zurich)

“With his fedora and old overcoat, wisecracks, hard drinking, womanising and dislike of authority the private eye is an instantly recognisable figure in 20th-century cinema. Bran Nicol investigates the history of the private eye in film noir and more recent private eye movies, such as Robert Altman's 1973 ‘masterful’ movie The Long Goodbye, and argues his role is to unveil ‘private spaces, private lives, hidden selves.’ . . . An insightful survey of an iconic hero of the silver screen.” (The Guardian)

“Nicol’s work is well-researched and does an excellent job of intersecting various theories. By focusing on the character of the private eye, Nicol gives clarity to this one dimension in the ongoing discussion of film noir.”
(Literature Film Quarterly)

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Book Description 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 119mm x 15mm x 196mm. Paperback. Since its earliest days the private detective has been a constant presence in cinema. This book traces the history of the private-eye movie, from its emergence in a handful of influential .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 224 pages. 0.318. Bookseller Inventory # 9781780231020

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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 120 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Since its earliest days the private detective has been a constant presence in cinema. This book traces the history of the private-eye movie, from its emergence in a handful of influential film noirs in the 1940s, through its slow and brilliant decline in 1970s neo-noir cinema, to the passing of its central figure into present-day movie mythology. The private eye is usually seen as a romantic hero, a lone wolf who confronts and makes sense of a violent and chaotic modern world on behalf of the viewer. In his discussion of classic films such as The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, and Out of the Past, acclaimed 1970s movies like Chinatown, The Long Goodbye and Klute, and many lesser-known examples, Bran Nicol challenges these stereotypes, arguing that the job of the private eye is not about solving crimes so much as uncovering private worlds, and private lives. Although ostensibly thrillers, such films are actually preoccupied by domestic issues such as work, home, and love. The private eye is revealed as a figure that investigates the concealments of others, at the expense of his own private life. The Private Eye combines a lucid introduction to an under-explored tradition in movie history with a new approach to the detective in fiction and film. Moving away from the detective as hero, it focuses instead on the dramas and places that feature in private-eye movies. For all detective and noir film buffs, it offers both a novel approach to the private eye in cinema, and a fresh reading of film noir itself. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781780231020

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Book Description 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 119mm x 15mm x 196mm. Paperback. Since its earliest days the private detective has been a constant presence in cinema. This book traces the history of the private-eye movie, from its emergence in a handful of.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 224 pages. 0.318. Bookseller Inventory # 9781780231020

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