Lawrence Bassoff Collection Presents Crime Scenes: Movie Poster Art of the Film Noir- The Classic Period, 1941-1959

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9781886310117: Lawrence Bassoff Collection Presents Crime Scenes: Movie Poster Art of the Film Noir- The Classic Period, 1941-1959

Crime novelists, movie stars and filmmakers have together created a shadowy celluloid underworld of desperate characters, violent passions and illicit schemes, dubbed by the French "film noir" ("black film"). This book traces the development and history of this movement, using original movie poster art from 100 vintage films. Covering the period from 1941 to 1959, the films include: "The Maltese Falcon", "This Gun for Hire", "Laura", and "The Postman Always Rings Twice". Originally displayed in movie theatres, the posters also illustrate the signature in-house movie poster styles and printing processes used by the major studios of the day.

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One film genre that only seems to get more popular over the years is film noir--the hard-bitten, cynical, murder-and-a-two-timing-dame yarns that Hollywood embraced in the 1940s and '50s. But even the biggest noir fans may not be aware of the incredible artwork involved in the films' original posters. L.A.-based film art buff Lawrence Bassoff has amassed a stunning collection, which has been lovingly compiled into this splendid coffee-table paperback. Included are posters and lobby cards--some extremely rare editions--for films like The Maltese Falcon, Out of the Past, and Double Indemnity. Interestingly, though nearly all the films were shot in severe black and white, many of the best posters--like one for Kiss of Death--are drenched in vivid, oversaturated, high-contrast color. Bassoff has also included price ranges for aspiring collectors; posters for the Dick Powell-Claire Trevor film of Raymond Chandler's Murder, My Sweet, for example, have fetched up to $1,800. Once you've sampled this outstanding collection, you may also want to check out Bassoff's other poster compilation, Errol Flynn: The Movie Posters. --Anne Hurley

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