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1940  1941  1942   1943  1944  1945  1946  1947  1948  1949

 

1940   

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            Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler

Book Description
Philip Marlowe deals with Los Angeles' gambling circuit, a murder he stumbles upon and three very beautiful but potentially deadly women.

                Farewell, My Lovely (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

                Raymond Chandler : Stories and Early Novels (Library of America)

                The Big Sleep & Farewell My Lovely (Modern Library)

Of all the Philip Marlowes, Robert Mitchum's in Farewell, My Lovely resonates most deeply. That's because this is Marlowe past his prime, and Mitchum imbues Raymond Chandler's legendary private detective with a sense of maturity as well as a melancholy spirit. And yet there's plenty of Mitchum's renowned self-deprecating humor and charismatic charm to remind us of his own iconic presence. As in the previous 1944 film version, Murder, My Sweet, Marlowe searches all over L.A. for the elusive girlfriend of ex-con Moose Malloy, a lovable giant who might as well be King Kong. In typical Chandler fashion, the weary Marlowe uncovers a hotbed of lust, corruption, and betrayal. Like Malloy, he's disillusioned by it all, despite his tough exterior, and possesses a tinge of sentimentality for the good old days. About the only current dream he can hold onto is Joe DiMaggio and his fabulous hitting streak. Made in 1975, a year after Chinatown (shot by the same cinematographer, John Alonzo), Farewell, My Lovely is more straightforward and nostalgic, but still possesses a requisite hard-boiled edge, and the best kind of angst the '70s had to offer. (By the way, you'll notice Sylvester Stallone in a rather violent cameo, a year before his Rocky breakthrough.) --Bill Desowitz

Description
Robert Mitchum stars as Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler's classic hard-boiled detective. Marlowe's case begins when he is hired by an ex-con to locate his missing sweetheart, Velma. No sooner has Marlowe's search begun than he's beaten unconscious and wakes up next to a corpse. Marlowe's being framed for the murder and he has to clear his name. But what does this have to do with the missing Velma? Marlowe soon finds himself caught between a beauty and a beast as he doggedly follows every clue looking for answers. His quest takes him from the swankiest of nightclubs to the darkest of back alleys. This is Los Angeles in all its 1940's film-noir glory. This is Raymond Chandler at his best and Robert Mitchum in the role of a lifetime. Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling

                Farewell, My Lovely (1975 Film DVD)

                Farewell, My Lovely (1975 Film VHS)

            The Bride Wore Black by Cornell Woolrich

Book Description

AMERICA'S MASTER OF SUSPENSE...FIRST IN THE DEFINITIVE SERIES OF THIS AMERICAN GENIUS

No one knew who she was, where she came from, or why she had entered their lives. All they really knew about her was that she possessed a terrifying beauty-and that each time she appeared, a man died horribly. .

                The Bride Wore Black (Ibooks)

                The Bride Wore Black (Aeonian Press)

            The Embezzler by James M. Cain

            High Sierra by W.R. Burnett

                High Sierra (1941 Film VHS)

This 1941 melodrama is memorable for both its strong central performances and their intimations of how the previous decade's crime dramas would evolve into film noir--no accident, given the solid direction of veteran Raoul Walsh and the hand of screenwriter John Huston, who teamed with the author of its novelistic source, W.R. Burnett (Little Caesar). In the central character of Roy "Mad Dog" Earle, a fictional peer to John Dillinger, Humphrey Bogart finds a defining role that anticipates the underlying fatalism and moral ambiguity visible in the career-making roles soon to follow, including Sam Spade in Huston's directorial debut, The Maltese Falcon.

Earle suggests a prescient variation on the enraged sociopaths that were fixtures of the gangster melodramas that shaped Bogart's early screen image. Pardoned from a long prison stretch, the weary robber is clearly more eager to savor his new freedom than immediately swing back into action. But his early release has been engineered by a mobster who wants Earle to pull off a high-stakes burglary, setting in motion a plot that is a prototype for doomed-heist capers--a small, yet potent subgenre that would later include Huston's The Asphalt Jungle and Stanley Kubrick's The Killing.

What gives High Sierra its power, however, isn't the crime itself but Earle's collision with the younger, brasher confederates picked to help him, and the hard-edged but vulnerable taxi dancer they're competing for, played forcefully by Ida Lupino, who actually received top billing. Her attraction to the reluctant Earle is complicated by a convoluted subplot designed to showcase then starlet Joan Leslie, but the movie finally moves into its most gripping moments when the wounded Earle, pursued by police, flees ever higher toward the mountains. His final, suicidal showdown would become a cliché of sorts in lesser films, but here it provides a wrenching climax sealed by Lupino's vivid final scene. --Sam Sutherland

            Dark Memory by Jonathan Latimer

 

1941   

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            Dagger of the Mind by Kenneth Fearing

            Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain

Book Description
A classic novel of acute social observation and devastating emotional violence. --This text refers to the
Paperback edition.

                Mildred Pierce (University of Wisconsin)

                Mildred Pierce (Vintage Crime)

For a full dose of pure, unfiltered Joan Crawford, look no further than this slab of scorching film noir. Crawford is in her element as the heroine of James M. Cain's pulp-fiction classic, a ditched wife and mother who is forced to become a waitress. On the strength of Crawford's steely willpower (and maybe those intimidating wide-wing shoulder pads), she constructs an empire of eateries, only to be disappointed by her rotten daughter (Ann Blyth) and a ferret-faced new husband (Zachary Scott). Director Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) whips up a storm of atmosphere, and the script is a series of tartly written exchanges. The best lines go to perennial wisecracker Eve Arden, as Crawford's acid-tongued pal--she earned her only Oscar nomination for the role. Commenting on the ungrateful daughter, Arden says, "Alligators have the right idea. They eat their young." Crawford herself took home the best actress Oscar, and the film was a triumphant personal comeback: her longtime studio MGM had released her from her contract before Mildred Pierce came along. Is this great acting? (Pauline Kael called it "heavy breathing.") Whatever Joan Crawford is doing in this movie, it's movie presence at its most formidable. --Robert Horton --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition

                Mildred Pierce (1945 Film VHS)

            The Black Curtain by Cornell Woolrich

            The Fifth Grave, also released as Solomon's Vineyard by Jonathan Latimer

            What Makes Sammy Run? by Budd Schulberg

                What Makes Sammy Run? (Vintage)

            Trial by Fury by Craig Rice

            I Wake Up Screaming by Steve Fisher

 

 1942  

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            The High Window by Raymond Chandler

Book Description
Set in the California underworld where Philip Marlowe searches for a priceless gold coin and finds himself deep in the tangled affairs of a dead coin dealer.

                The High Window (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

                Raymond Chandler : Stories and Early Novels (Library of America)

            Phantom Lady and Black Alibi by Cornell Woolrich

                Phantom Lady (Otto Penzler Facsimile Edition)

Penzler Pick, January 2000: It all started with Cornell Woolrich, whether using his own name or the pseudonym William Irish, if you're talking about creating suspense.

Take Phantom Lady, the first book under that pseudonym. Now, the idea is commonplace. You've read a dozen books and seen a hundred movies with the same plot idea, but this is where it began.

A condemned man, due to be executed for a crime he didn't commit, watches and feels the weeks and days and hours slip away as the moment of his execution approaches.

In case anyone reading the book doesn't quite get it, doesn't quite understand what it means to be able to count the hours before certain death, Irish begins each chapter with a time check. The first chapter is headed: "The Hundred and Fiftieth Day Before the Execution." Chapters 16, 17, and 18 state "The Eighth Day Before the Execution," "The Seventh," and "The Sixth." There are no other words in those chapters because nothing happens. But Scott Henderson is in jail and, so help me, the reader by now feels nearly the same tension that the poor guy must have been feeling. He didn't kill his wife, and he knows he didn't, and we know he didn't, but no one else knows. Oh, yes, one other person knows. The killer knows.

If you can't stand the suspense, don't read this book. If not knowing what is going to happen next, or in the end, makes you too tense, don't read this book. You won't be able to stand it. --Otto Penzler

Book Description

 

Phantom lady, I was with you for six hours last night, but I can't remember what you look like, or what you wore -- except for that large orange hat.

We sat shoulder to shoulder at a little bar in the east Fifties. We ate dinner together, saw a Broadway show together, shared a cab together.

The bartender, the waiter, the usher, the cab driver -- none of them remembers you. The police say I was home strangling my wife at the moment I met you.

You are the only one who can prove my story -- but I don't know your name, or where you live. And I can't search for you from a jail cell.... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Ingram
A facsimile edition of a 1942 novel by the author who first developed noir traces a man's search for the woman who can prove him innocent of his wife's murder. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

            Love's Lovely Counterfeit by James M. Cain

            The Fallen Sparrow by Dorothy B. Hughes

            Now and On Earth by Jim Thompson

Book Description
An underaged bellboy thrust into an awful intimacy with grown-up vice. An alcoholic writer trying to postpone a crack-up just long enough to finish his next book. A wildly dysfunctional Okie family floundering on the edge of mutual destruction amid the deceptive plenty of wartime California.

These are the ingredients of Jim Thompson's devastating and eerily autobiographical first novel. In Now and On Earth, America's hard-boiled Dante ushers readers into his own personal hell and limns its suffering inhabitants with bleak humor and compassion.

With an introduction by Stephen King.

                Now and on Earth (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

 

1943   

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             The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler

Book Description
Philip Marlowe goes out of his usual city habitat into the mountains outside of Los Angeles in his strange search for a missing woman.

Ingram
A beautiful, historically accurate edition of the modern classic first published in 1943 reproduces the original and offers an alternative for those who love great old books and want to relive Philip Marlowe's strange and puzzling search for the missing woman. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover
"Chandler [writes] lke a slumming angel and invest[s] the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence." --Ross MacDonald

 

                The Lady in the Lake (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

                Raymond Chandler : Later Novels and Writings (Library of America)

                Lady in the Lake (1946 Film VHS)

            The Black Angel by Cornell Woolrich

            Laura by Vera Caspary

            The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene

                Ministry of Fear (Viking)

                Ministry of Fear (1944 Film VHS)

 

1944   

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            The Black Path of Fear and Deadline at Dawn by Cornell Woolrich

            The Dark Tunnel by Ross Macdonald

            Nobody Lives Forever by W.R. Burnett

 

1945        

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            Night Has a Thousand Eyes by Cornell Woolrich

            Guilty Bystander by Wade Miller

 

1946   

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            The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing

            Dark Passage by David Goodis

Literature and film buffs will be delighted by this collection of pulp novels, most of which were made into important films. James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice is a literary masterpiece with its spare prose invoking a savage, sexy, desperate world. It inspired no less than three great movies: Luchino Visconti's classic Ossessione, in 1942; the 1946 remake, starring John Garfield and Lana Turner and directed by the extraordinary Tay Garnett; and Bob Rafelson's underrated 1981 version with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. When you read the magnificent source for these movies, you'll be astonished at how three different incarnations could all, in their own ways, be faithful to the novel.

Cornell Woolrich's I Married a Dead Man also became three movies: No Man of Her Own, with Barbara Stanwyk; the French I Married a Shadow; and the American comedy, Mrs. Winterborne, which starred Shirley MacLaine and Ricki Lake. Edward Anderson's vivid Thieves Like Us was transformed into They Live by Night, Nicholas Ray's first important movie and one of the seminal noir films of the 1940s. It was brilliantly remade in 1974 by the great revisionist director Robert Altman. Kenneth Fearing's The Big Clock was transformed into a marvelous film starring Charles Laughton; 40 years later, the same source, retitled No Way Out, brought Kevin Costner to stardom. William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley was the source for Tyrone Power's best movie; Horace McCoy's experimental They Shoot Horses, Don't They? became one of the seminal films of the 1960s.

These dark, evocative novels, when taken together, are a fascinating study of how words can inspire a magnificent variety of cinematic images and styles.

Ingram
The first collection in a two-volume set celebrating American crime fiction contains classic novels of the 1930s and 1940s, including The Postman Always Rings Twice, Thieves Like Us, Nightmare Alley, The Big Clock, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, and I Married a Dead Man. "

                Crime Novels : American Noir of the 1930s and 40s (Library of America)

            Ride the Pink Horse by Dorothy B. Hughes

            Seven Slayers by Paul Cain

            Halo in Blood by John Evans

            Trouble Follows Me by Ross Macdonald

            Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham

Literature and film buffs will be delighted by this collection of pulp novels, most of which were made into important films. James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice is a literary masterpiece with its spare prose invoking a savage, sexy, desperate world. It inspired no less than three great movies: Luchino Visconti's classic Ossessione, in 1942; the 1946 remake, starring John Garfield and Lana Turner and directed by the extraordinary Tay Garnett; and Bob Rafelson's underrated 1981 version with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. When you read the magnificent source for these movies, you'll be astonished at how three different incarnations could all, in their own ways, be faithful to the novel.

Cornell Woolrich's I Married a Dead Man also became three movies: No Man of Her Own, with Barbara Stanwyk; the French I Married a Shadow; and the American comedy, Mrs. Winterborne, which starred Shirley MacLaine and Ricki Lake. Edward Anderson's vivid Thieves Like Us was transformed into They Live by Night, Nicholas Ray's first important movie and one of the seminal noir films of the 1940s. It was brilliantly remade in 1974 by the great revisionist director Robert Altman. Kenneth Fearing's The Big Clock was transformed into a marvelous film starring Charles Laughton; 40 years later, the same source, retitled No Way Out, brought Kevin Costner to stardom. William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley was the source for Tyrone Power's best movie; Horace McCoy's experimental They Shoot Horses, Don't They? became one of the seminal films of the 1960s.

These dark, evocative novels, when taken together, are a fascinating study of how words can inspire a magnificent variety of cinematic images and styles.


Ingram
The first collection in a two-volume set celebrating American crime fiction contains classic novels of the 1930s and 1940s, including The Postman Always Rings Twice, Thieves Like Us, Nightmare Alley, The Big Clock, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, and I Married a Dead Man. "

                Crime Novels : American Noir of the 1930s and 40s (Library of America)

            Past All Dishonor by James M. Cain

            If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester Himes

In the decades just prior to the eruption of the American civil rights movement in the late '50s, Chester Himes was one of the most significant African American authors--although today he is less well known than several of his contemporaries. He wrote numerous novels, short stories, essays, and a powerful, searing autobiography, and he did so with an economy of language, a graceful eloquence, and a painful yet unflinching directness.

If He Hollers Let Him Go places Himes in the pantheon of 20th-century novelists. It is an intense and muscular story, with an assembly of characters drawn from virtually every social and economic class present in Southern California in the '40s. The novel takes place over four days in the life of Bob Jones, the only black foreman in a shipyard during World War II. Jones lives in a society literally drenched in race consciousness--every conversation in a bar, every personal relationship, every instruction given on a job site, every casual glance on a sidewalk, every interaction of any kind, no matter how trivial, is imbued with a painful and dangerous meaning. A slight mistake, an unwitting rebellion, an unintentional expression of rage or desire can spell disaster for a black man--a beating over a game of craps, or an arrest, or termination from a job, or an accusation of rape. Jones awakes each day in fear, and lives steeped in fear:

It came along with consciousness. It came into my head first, somewhere back of my closed eyes, moved slowly underneath my skull to the base of my brain, cold and hollow. It seeped down my spine, into my arms, spread through my groin with an almost sexual torture, settled in my stomach like butterfly wings. For a moment I felt torn all loose inside, shriveled, paralyzed, as if after awhile I'd have to get up and die.
For Jones, there is no escape from the constant drumbeat of race and racism. It invades his dreams, his tiniest aspirations, and his deepest passions. Every attempt to retaliate or defend himself leads only to further trouble, loss, or humiliation. He can never forget who he is or what he is prevented from being. At the same time, he comes across as an actor, a subject, a doer, and not as a hapless, helpless victim. For all that he is confronted with, he never stops planning and acting and moving, and in the end, he survives, though his escape is incomplete and bittersweet.

The very idea that Jones can escape, however, marks a revolution in American literature. Thwarted at nearly every turn, he is nonetheless a powerful, intelligent, complicated agent of his own destiny. This 1945 novel is a compelling read, and Chester Himes deserves to be remembered for far more than Cotton Comes to Harlem and the raft of hard-bitten detective novels with which he made his living. --Andrew Himes

From Independent Publisher
Chester Himes, who died in 1984, is best known as the author of the hard-boiled Harlem detective novels Cotton Comes to Harlem and The Crazy Kill. First published in 1947 in London, If He Hollers is a more austere and concentrated study of black experience, set not in New York but in southern California in the early forties. Himes' prose remains tough and no-nonsense, but it occasionally edges into a tender lyricism, almost despite its general tone of unsentimental realism. This is just one aspect of the contradictions that grip every page.The narrator is Bobjones, a young black crew-leader in a shipyard near Los Angeles. World War 11 is underway and the factories are humming with war-time production. Blacks such asJones are experiencing a new-found authority -roles as supervisors, in order to facilitate the cooperation of black workers in the war-time effort, and decent wages as a result of union efforts. But things are also grim: resentment from whites on the floor at working on the same jobs with "negro boys;" and the vicious baiting of the black men by white females who have the power of a hanging judge by merely alluding to a pass from a black. Himes' main achievement, however, is the psychological profile he paints ofJones in this milieu -strong and proud, the stereotypical "young buck," but nonetheless deeply troubled by notions such as patriotism in a world obsessed by race. Jones' charge toward self-identity -as a worker, as a lover, as a citizen-is confused and at times halted by his welling anger. The white world consistently rebuffs him, reminds him of his "blackness," his vulnerability in a system that excludes him from real participation. His urges to strike out at the establishment on the one hand, and to struggle to understand and control it, on the other, become confused with prospects of sexual triumph over white women, a symbol forJones of What white men view as their most precious, and exclusive, commodity. Jones' girl-friend Alice, from an upper-class black family, ridicules Jones for his reluctance to "assimilate" and become a "good negro. "Jones can only win Alice, she makes it clear, if he lets go of his deep hate of society. The knot which holds Jones pulls even tighter in his unconscious. In a powerful dream sequence he chases after the wildly screaming Alice who is trying to elude attacking animals. When Jones finds her she is "shrunken" and inanimate, no bigger than a doll. When he looks up he sees "millions of white women leaning on a fence ... giving me the most sympathetic smiles I ever saw." Unfortunately, Himes loses his mastery of the tightly wired ambivalence that makes most of his novel so powerful. The book's concluding incident has a simple equation -white evil and black victimization. Such broad strokes, no matter how useful and apt in the abstract, seem an abandonment of an otherwise taut and complex psychological study. Still, the book is a welcome new edition of an important work of American literature. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
First novel by Chester Himes, published in 1945, often considered to be his most powerful work. Bob Jones, a sensitive black man, is driven to the brink by the humiliation he endures from the racism he encounters while working in a defense plant during World War II. Dishonesty and violence mark his relationship with his demanding fiancee; a greater threat is a white female coworker who insults, then entices him. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

                If He Hollers Let Him Go : A Novel (Thunder's Mouth)

            Heed the Thunder by Jim Thompson

Book Description
Old Lincoln Fargo has spent his life engaging in almost every vice imaginable--and his only regret is that he once stole a horse. His son Grant, a shiftless dandy with a resemblance to Edgar Allan Poe, is conducting an affair with his voluptuous and volatile cousin. And behind everyone's back, Grandmother Pearl has just signed the family property over to the Almighty.

In the literature of the American prairie, few families are as brawling, as benighted, or as outrageously vital as the Fargos of Verdon, Nebraska. And when Jim Thompson chronicles their life and times, the result suggest Willa Cather steeped in rotguut--and armed with a .45.


                Heed the Thunder (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

            Deadly Weapon by Wade Miller

            The Deadly Percheron by John Franklin Bardin

The publisher, Robert Rosenwald (robert@poisonedpenpress,com) , June 9, 1999
"The Deadly Percheron, a "Missing Mystery" is now available.
"Doctor," says Jacob Blunt, "I think I'm losing my mind." Is he going mad, as he fears, or is there some reasonable explanation for the terrible things happening to him?"

We think, along with psychiatrist George Matthews, that Blunt is spinning a fantasy. After all, he arrives at the doctor's office wearing a scarlet hibiscus in his hair, announcing Joe told him to wear it. But who is Joe?

"Oh, he's one of my little men. The one in the purple suit. He gives me ten dollars a day for wearing a flower in my hair."

Okay, but who's Harry, the guy in the green suit who pays Jacob to have him whistle at Carnegie Hall? And what of Eustace, another little man who pays to have quarters given away?

Although first published in 1946, the colorful John Bardin has lost none of his extraordinary intensity of feeling nor his ability to shock the reader with a morbid psychology well ahead of his time -- although commonplace today. His link runs back to Poe, is contemporary with Highsmith, and hints at today's psychological masterpieces. The problems of the characters in Bardin's novels demand solutions that push the classic detective story well beyond the orthodox. The Deadly Percheron is as fresh and terrifying today as it was when written.

 

                The Deadly Percheron (Poisoned Pen Press)

            Build My Gallows High by Geoffrey Homes

THE GUARDIAN
"The quintessence of doom-laden romantic noir, intermingling obsessive love, crime, and betrayal."

Book Description
Many of the world's great films share an essential ingredient: a great book as their source. The "Film Ink" series presents the novels that inspire the work of some of the most celebrated directors of our time. And while each novel is first and foremost a classic in its own right, these books offer the dedicated cinephile a richer understanding of some of the most illustrious films of American and European cinema.

From the Publisher
Retired private eye Red Bailey is happier than he's been for a long time. Living in Nevada, bothered by nobody, he runs a little gas station, gets in a lot of fishing, and might even be falling for a local girl. Then, out of the blue, his past comes back to haunt him. Blackmailed into doing just one more job, he's forced to revisit the life he fled-- in particular, the seductive Mumsie McGonigle. It's not long before Bailey realizes that a trap has been set--for him. The novel, scripted by the author, went on in the hands of Jacques Tourneur to become the cinema's most celebrated work of "film noir," starring Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, and Jane Greer.

 

                Build My Gallows High (Film Ink Series)

                Out of the Past (1947 Film VHS)

 

1947   

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            Nightfall also released as The Dark Chase and Behold this Woman by David Goodis

            Blue City by Ross Macdonald

            The Butterfly and Sinful Woman by James M. Cain

            I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane

In a facsimile edition of the first mystery to feature hard-boiled private eye Mike Hammer, the tough detective investigates the brutal murder of his best friend

                I, The Jury (Otto Penzler Facsimile Edition)

            Waltz into Darkness by Cornell Woolrich

Book Description
Mystery aficionado Ellery Queen said of Cornell Woolrich that he can "distill more terror, more excitement, more downright nail-biting suspense out of even the most commonplace happenings than nearly all his competitors." Woolrich's work continues to fascinate readers all around the world, and this trilogy should become a staple in all noir collections. It contains two full length novels (I Married a Dead Man and Waltz into Darkness) and five short stories, including "Rear Window"-works in which one of the genre's consumate "poets of terror" explores all the classic noir themes of loneliness, despair, futility, and occasionally redemption.
* Film adaptations of Woolrich works include the Hitchcock classic Rear Window.
* Christopher Reeve will star in an upcoming television remake of Rear Window.

Ingram
Including the complete novels "I Married a Dead Man" and "Waltz into Darkness" plus "Rear Window" and four other short stories, "The Cornell Woolrich Omnibus" provides a thrilling collection of classic works from the quintessential master of noir fiction.

 

                The Cornell Woolrich Omnibus (Penguin).

            In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes

Book Description
Illustrated "I was born when she kissed me; lived a few short weeks while she loved me; I died when she left me." These bittersweet lines from In a Lonely Place are a fitting epitaph for the doomed romance at the center of this powerful Hollywood drama. Humphrey Bogart, in one of his most memorable performances, plays Dix, the hard-bitten and cynical screenwriter who falls for the glamorous Laurel (Gloria Grahame). But Dix has a violent streak in him, and though he's finally absolved of the murder he's accused of, the love affair cannot survive. Undeniably, as Dana Polan shows in his subtle and intelligent account, there are autobiographical undertones in the film-the marriage of Gloria Grahame to its director, Nicholas Ray, began to break up during production. Yet despite its bleak ending and its frequent noir style, argues Polan, the wise-cracking between Dix and Laurel gives the film the aspect of a screwball comedy. Critics were uncertain how to respond to this mix of genres when the film first appeared. Since then however, In a Lonely Place has rightfully been acknowledged as a classic and compelling story of blighted love.

                In a Lonely Place (Bfi Film Classics)

One of Humphrey Bogart's finest performances dominates this unusual 1950 film noir, which focuses less on the murder mystery at the center of its plot than on the investigation's devastating effect on a fragile romance. For Bogart, already a noir icon, the Andrew Solt script afforded an opportunity to explore a more complex and contradictory role--an antiheroic persona in line with the actor's most accomplished and absorbing triumphs throughout his career.

For maverick director Nicholas Ray, the film posed the challenge of taking crime dramas beyond their usual formulas and into a more mature realm, as well as a chance to cast a jaundiced eye on the film industry itself. Its protagonist is Dixon Steele, a Hollywood screenwriter with an acerbic wit and a violent temper. Tasked with adapting a bestseller, he meets a hatcheck girl who's read the book, hoping to glean its highlights before writing the script. When she's found murdered, Steele becomes the prime suspect, and a tightening knot of suspicion forms around the writer.

Steele's only, inconclusive witness is a pretty new neighbor, Laurel (Gloria Grahame), and the couple fall in love even as the pressure mounts. At first the new relationship is a tonic to the hard-boiled writer, who plunges into his script with a renewed vigor and discipline. But as the police continue to shadow him, Steele's own penchant for violence erupts against friends, strangers, and even Laurel herself, whose feelings are increasingly eclipsed by suspicion that her lover is a murderer, and fear that he'll harm her.

Bogart conveys Steele's world-weariness and underlying vulnerability, and manages the delicate task of making both his romantic yearning and sudden, murderous rages equally convincing. Ultimately, that performance and Grahame's sympathetic work elevate In a Lonely Place into what has been called "an existential love story" more than a crime drama. --Sam Sutherland

                In a Lonely Place (1950 Film VHS)                

            The Amboy Dukes by Irving Schulman

                The Amboy Dukes (Buccaneer Books)

            The Neon Wilderness by Nelson Algren

                The Neon Wilderness (Seven Stories Press)

            The Last of Philip Banter by John Franklin Bardin

            The Fabulous Clipjoint by Fredric Brown

            A Halo for Nobody by Henry Kane

 

1948   

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            Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye by Horace McCoy

From Kirkus Reviews
This once-famous noir novel (by the author of They Shoot Horses, Don't They?) was originally published in 1948 and inspired an excellent (and long neglected) James Cagney film. In a grating and deliberately stiff style that reflects his arrogant egotism, college-educated ``Ralph Cotter'' (his alias) relates the story of his escape from a prison farm, involvement with willing and dangerous women, and complicity with a corrupt establishment dominated by crooked cops and lawyers that he thinks he can bend to his own invincible will. Cotter is a pugnacious, violently sensual Middle American Raskolnikov, and his remorseless amorality resonates as chillingly today as it must have 50 years ago. Aficionados of hard-boiled fiction who think that Hammett, Cain, and Jim Thompson set the standard ought to take a look at Horace McCoy. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

                Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (Serpents Tail)

            Rendezvous in Black and I Married a Dead Man by Cornell Woolrich

Book Description
Mystery aficionado Ellery Queen said of Cornell Woolrich that he can "distill more terror, more excitement, more downright nail-biting suspense out of even the most commonplace happenings than nearly all his competitors." Woolrich's work continues to fascinate readers all around the world, and this trilogy should become a staple in all noir collections. It contains two full length novels (I Married a Dead Man and Waltz into Darkness) and five short stories, including "Rear Window"-works in which one of the genre's consumate "poets of terror" explores all the classic noir themes of loneliness, despair, futility, and occasionally redemption.
* Film adaptations of Woolrich works include the Hitchcock classic Rear Window.
* Christopher Reeve will star in an upcoming television remake of Rear Window.

Ingram
Including the complete novels "I Married a Dead Man" and "Waltz into Darkness" plus "Rear Window" and four other short stories, "The Cornell Woolrich Omnibus" provides a thrilling collection of classic works from the quintessential master of noir fiction.

Literature and film buffs will be delighted by this collection of pulp novels, most of which were made into important films. James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice is a literary masterpiece with its spare prose invoking a savage, sexy, desperate world. It inspired no less than three great movies: Luchino Visconti's classic Ossessione, in 1942; the 1946 remake, starring John Garfield and Lana Turner and directed by the extraordinary Tay Garnett; and Bob Rafelson's underrated 1981 version with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. When you read the magnificent source for these movies, you'll be astonished at how three different incarnations could all, in their own ways, be faithful to the novel.

Cornell Woolrich's I Married a Dead Man also became three movies: No Man of Her Own, with Barbara Stanwyk; the French I Married a Shadow; and the American comedy, Mrs. Winterborne, which starred Shirley MacLaine and Ricki Lake. Edward Anderson's vivid Thieves Like Us was transformed into They Live by Night, Nicholas Ray's first important movie and one of the seminal noir films of the 1940s. It was brilliantly remade in 1974 by the great revisionist director Robert Altman. Kenneth Fearing's The Big Clock was transformed into a marvelous film starring Charles Laughton; 40 years later, the same source, retitled No Way Out, brought Kevin Costner to stardom. William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley was the source for Tyrone Power's best movie; Horace McCoy's experimental They Shoot Horses, Don't They? became one of the seminal films of the 1960s.

These dark, evocative novels, when taken together, are a fascinating study of how words can inspire a magnificent variety of cinematic images and styles.

Ingram
The first collection in a two-volume set celebrating American crime fiction contains classic novels of the 1930s and 1940s, including The Postman Always Rings Twice, Thieves Like Us, Nightmare Alley, The Big Clock, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, and I Married a Dead Man. "

                Rendezvous in Black (Amereon Ltd.)

                The Cornell Woolrich Omnibus (Penguin)

                Crime Novels : American Noir of the 1930s and 40s (Library of America)

            The Moth by James M. Cain

            The Three Roads by Ross Macdonald

            Halo for Satan by John Evans

            Devil Take The Blue-Tail Fly by John Franklin Bardin

            Fatal Step by Wade Miller

 

1949

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            The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler

Book Description
Chandler's 5th novel has Philip Marlowe going to Hollywood as he explores the underworld of glitter capital, trying to find a sweet young thing's missing brother. --This text refers to the
Paperback edition.

Ingram
A facsimile edition of the classic mystery, which first appeared in 1949, features the fifth appearance of quintessential detective Philip Marlowe as he tangles with the "little sister," a mousey receptionist from Kansas. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover
"Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence." -- Ross Macdonald --This text refers to the
Paperback edition.

Raymond Chandler is arguably the best American pulp novelist. His prose is so acutely visual, his characters so raw and intense that it is small wonder that all but one of his books have been made into movies. And his hero Philip Marlowe has graduated into American legend. Together with its companion volume (Stories and Early Novels), Later Novels and Other Writings forms the most complete Chandler collection in print. In addition to his later novels, this collection contains selected essays and letters, biographical information, and textual as well as explanatory notes. As an added bonus, the editor has included Chandler's screenplay to Double Indemnity, the classic Billy Wilder film adapted from James M. Cain's novel. You're able to compare the script to the finished movie and have the rare opportunity to see how one major crime novelist altered and interpreted another.

                The Little Sister (Otto Penzler Facsimile Edition)

                The Little Sister (Vintage Crime)

                Raymond Chandler : Later Novels and Other Writings (Library of America)

            The Moving Target by Ross Macdonald

Book Description
Like many Southern California millionaires, Ralph Sampson keeps odd company. There's the sun-worshipping holy man whom Sampson once gave his very own mountain; the fading actress with sidelines in astrology and S&M. Now one of Sampson's friends may have arranged his kidnapping.

As Lew Archer follows the clues from the canyon sanctuaries of the megarich to jazz joints where you get beaten up between sets, The Moving Target blends sex, greed, and family hatred into an explosively readable crime novel.

                The Moving Target (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

            The Asphalt Jungle by W.R. Burnett                

            Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

The New Yorker
Highsmith's novels are peerlessly disturbing ....bad dreams that keep us thrashing for the rest of the night.

From Library Journal
From the I can't believe this is out of print department comes Highsmith's white-knuckler and the basis of the Hitchcock film of the same name. With this, her first novel, Highsmith set the pattern she would follow in later books, introducing sociopaths who are so subtle they can pass unnoticed in the world around them.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Time
For eliciting the menace that lurks in familiar surroundings, there's no one like Patricia Highsmith.

Book Description
A major new reissue of the work of a classic noir novelist. With the acclaim for The Talented Mr. Ripley, more film projects in production, and two biographies forthcoming, expatriate legend Patricia Highsmith would be shocked to see that she has finally arrived in her homeland. Throughout her career, Highsmith brought a keen literary eye and a genius for plumbing the psychopathic mind to more than thirty works of fiction, unparalleled in their placid deviousness and sardonic humor. With deadpan accuracy, she delighted in creating true sociopaths in the guise of the everyday man or woman. Now, one of her finest works is again in print: Strangers on a Train, Highsmith's first novel and the source for Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1953 film. With this novel, Highsmith revels in eliciting the unsettling psychological forces that lurk beneath the surface of everyday contemporary life.

About the Author
Patricia Highsmith wrote twenty-one novels, including Strangers on a Train and the Ripley series. She died in 1995 in Switzerland, where she resided much of her life.

                Strangers on a Train (W.W. Norton)

                Strangers on a Train (Audio Cassette)

                Strangers on a Train (Audio CD)

From its cleverly choreographed opening sequence to its heart-stopping climax on a rampant carousel, this 1951 Hitchcock classic readily earns its reputation as one of the director's finest examples of timeless cinematic suspense. It's not just a ripping-good thriller but a film student's delight and a perversely enjoyable battle of wits between tennis pro Guy (Farley Granger) and his mysterious, sycophantic admirer, Bruno (Robert Walker), who proposes a "criss-cross" scheme of traded murders. Bruno agrees to kill Guy's unfaithful wife, in return for which Guy will (or so it seems) kill Bruno's spiteful father. With an emphasis on narrative and visual strategy, Hitchcock controls the escalating tension with a master's flair for cinematic design, and the plot (coscripted by Raymond Chandler) is so tightly constructed that you'll be white-knuckled even after multiple viewings. Better still, the two-sided DVD edition of this enduring classic includes both the original version of the film and also the longer prerelease British print, which offers a more overt depiction of Bruno's flamboyant and dangerous personality, and his homoerotic attraction to Guy by way of his deviously indecent proposal. In accordance with the cautious censorship guidelines of the period, Hitchcock would later tame these elements of Walker's memorable performance by trimming and altering certain scenes, so the differences between the original and prerelease versions provide an illuminating illustration of censorship's effect on the story's thematic intensity. Beyond all the historical footnotes and film-buff fascination, Strangers on a Train remains one of Hitchcock's crowning achievements and a suspenseful classic that never loses its capacity to thrill and delight. --Jeff Shannon

                Strangers on a Train (1951 Film DVD)

                Strangers on a Train (1951 Film VHS)

            Nothing More than Murder by Jim Thompson

                Nothing More Than Murder (Vintage/Black Lizard)

            Halo in Brass  John Evans

            The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren

Book Description
Sometimes a man and woman love and hate each other in equal measure that they can neither stay together nor break apart. Some marriages can only end in murder and some murders only make the ties of love and hatred stronger. This book proves just that.

                The Man With the Golden Arm (Seven Stories Press)

                The Man With the Golden Arm (Seven Stories Press Paperback)

When Frankie Machine (Frank Sinatra) comes back to the old neighborhood after a spell in the big house, he wants to stay straight and become a drummer. But his old life--as a poker dealer and heroin addict--comes rushing back to meet him. The subject matter of Nelson Algren's novel was still shocking in 1955, and The Man with the Golden Arm was released without the seal of approval from Hollywood's Production Code. The director, Otto Preminger, used the controversy to whip up interest in the film, and his championing of non-Code pictures such as The Moon Is Blue and The Man with the Golden Arm helped end the influence of the restrictive policy. For Frank Sinatra, the role was a high point; his performance is searching, honest, and (in long scenes of going cold turkey to kick the habit) frighteningly naked. He's touchingly matched with Kim Novak, in one of her best performances; adding a bit of method-acting madness is Eleanor Parker as Frankie's hysterical wife. Sinatra was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, but lost to Ernest Borgnine--the same guy who beat him senseless in From Here to Eternity. The propulsive jazz score is by Elmer Bernstein. Even the credits sequence staked out new territory: the mod images created by Saul Bass were among his first in a long-standing collaboration with Preminger, and were highly influential on other designers. --Robert Horton --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

                The Man with the Golden Arm (1955 Film DVD)

                The Man with the Golden Arm (1955 Film VHS)

            The Third Man by Graham Greene

While The Third Man is recognized by any film buff as one of Orson Welles's great roles--Greene's novella is less well known. It was written in anticipation of the film, with Graham going directly to the screenplay from this original story. In Martin Jarvis's hands, or voice, really, the death of Harry Lime in postwar Vienna takes on a vivid, sinister cloak. Setting the scene, Jarvis never misses an opportunity to accentuate Greene's elegant descriptions, making the nuances hard-edged and poetic at the same time. Jarvis excels at making each player distinct, but never lets any one overshadow the compelling drama of secrets, searches and shifting allegiances. Smooth and precise, Jarvis brings Greene's story alive in exquisite detail and with superb characterizations. R.F.W. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly 1998 Audio Award Winner for Literary Classics. --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.

Alec Guiness
"Greene was a great writer who spoke brilliantly to a whole generation." --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.

William Golding
"Graham Greene was in a class by himself... He will be read and remembered as the ultimate chronicler of 20th-century man's consciousness and anxiety." --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.

Newsweek
Graham Greene was "a master storyteller, one of the first to write in cinematic style with razor-sharp images moving with kinetic force." --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.

AudioFile, October/November 1998
"Jarvis never misses an opportunity to accentuate Greene's elegant descriptions, making the nuances hard-edged and poetic at the same time. Jarvis excels at making each player distinct, but never lets any one overshadow the compelling drama of secrets, searches and shifting allegiances. Smooth and precise, Jarvis brings Greene's story alive in exquisite detail and with superb characterizations." --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.

Los Angeles Times, August 1998
"Jarvis, an award-winning narrator, captures the cynicism and paranoia of the story...He effortlessly slips into a flat American twang or the clipped speech of a working-class Brit. But that's secondary to his smooth, deep voice and intelligent interpretation." --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.

Chicago Tribune, August 30, 1998
"Narrator Martin Jarvis' performance is first-rate." --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.

The New Yorker, October 19, 1998
"Some books are so effective on tape that they're arguably better heard than read. Audio Editions' version of Graham Greene's The Third Man, read by Jarvis, begins with the haunting zither music of the film, and Jarvis' cynical, assured voice brings Harry Lime to seedy life - and death." --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.

Book Description
The Third Man is one of the truly great post-war films, the Oscar winner starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton. This complete novella is the original basis for that film. The story centers on a pulp-fiction writer who is searching for an old friend in post-World War II Vienna. When he discovers that his friend died under suspicious circumstances, he becomes inextricably involved in the mystery. Graham Greene, recognized as one of the most important writers of this century, brings the listener face to face with fundamental questions of morality and personal loyalty. Martin Jarvis truly demonstrates his vocal virtuosity as he captures Greene's taut dialogue, minimalist characterizations, and international cast. 2 cassettes. --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.

Ingram
Graham Greene's tale of mystery and intrigue in postwar Vienna begins when pulp fiction writer Rollo Martins arrives in town looking for an old friend, Harry Lime. When Harry turns up dead under mysterious circumstances, Rollo feels compelled to investigate--a decision that will plunge him headlong into a web of romance, danger, corruption, and deceit. --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.

About the Author
Graham Greene (1904-1991) is a superb storyteller. His bestselling novels include The Power and the Glory, The Quiet American, The End of the Affair, Travels with My Aunt, The Comedians, The Heart of the Matter, and numerous others. Many of his novels and short stories have been made into films. --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.

                The Third Man (Penguin)

The fractured Europe post-World War II is perfectly captured in Carol Reed's masterpiece thriller, set in a Vienna still shell-shocked from battle. Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) is an alcoholic pulp writer come to visit his old friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles). But when Cotton first arrives in Vienna, Lime's funeral is under way. From Lime's girlfriend and an occupying British officer, Martins learns of allegations of Lime's involvement in racketeering, which Martins vows to clear from his friend's reputation. As he is drawn deeper into postwar intrigue, Martins finds layer under layer of deception, which he desperately tries to sort out. Welles's long-delayed entrance in the film has become one of the hallmarks of modern cinematography, and it is just one of dozens of cockeyed camera angles that seem to mirror the off-kilter postwar society. Cotten and Welles give career-making performances, and the Anton Karas zither theme will haunt you. --Anne Hurley

                The Third Man (1950 Film DVD)

                The Third Man (1950 Film VHS)

            Night of the Jabberwock by Fredric Brown

 

 

 

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