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A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide
by John Grant
With rumpled PIs, shyster lawyers, corrupt politicians, double-crossers, and femme fatales, film noir is a genre that emerged from the cinema’s shadowy wainscots. It flourished because so often the movies that collectively built it went unobserved by the shapers of opinion. Angela Lansbury once remarked that The Manchurian Candidate “went from failure to classic without ever passing through success.” Still, hardly a week goes by without a neonoir being released, and although there may be debate whether some of these noir offshoots should be included in the genre, it’s pleasing that there’s still much scurrying going on in those dark corners of cinema artistry.
A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir (Limelight Editions, Oct. 2013, $44.99) by John Grant features more than 3,500 movie entries, including not only classic U.S. film noirs from the 1940s through 1960s, but also modern manifestations like neonoirs and erotic thrillers. Films from every continent (except Antarctica) are represented here. Each entry (listed alphabetically) includes the main cast and core crew, and outlines the plot, without spoiling the ending. (If you want to find out who the murderer is, you’ll have to go watch the movie!)
With photo inserts and a copious appendix containing filmographies of prominent directors, actors, and writers, A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir is an engrossing and essential reference work that should be on the shelves of every cinephile.
John Grant is a Scottish-born author of 60 books, including Encyclopedia of Walt Disney’s Animated Characters, Masters of Animation, and a number of movie pocket references. He was coeditor with John Clute of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, for which he wrote the movie entries. He also wrote the cinema section of David Pringle’s The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. He has received the Hugo Award twice and the World Fantasy Award. He lives in Hewitt, NJ.
8” x 10”