Early Film Noir by William Hare

Early Film Noir

Early Film Noir

Early Film Noir Amazon button

Greed, Lust and Murder Hollywood Style

“An early history of the film noir genre with special emphasis on the legendary film ¨The Maltese Falcon¨ and its impact on the careers of Humphrey Bogart and the film’s director, John Huston. The book features leading men and women who popularized the genre in its early phase such as Robert Mitchum, Alan Ladd, Barbara Stanwyck and Jane Greer”

Authors BIO ;

William Hare was born in Los Angeles and launched his writing career in high school, rising to the positions of Editor and Executive Editor at the Scholastic Sports Association, the prep sports department of the Los Angeles Examiner. While at the Examiner he became the youngest writer ever to cover a World Series game for a major metropolitan newspaper. After graduating with a degree in political science with minors in history and English he then became the youngest sports editor at a Los Angeles area daily at the Inglewood Daily News chain. In addition to covering the busy Los Angeles sports scene he began contributing movie features,visiting the local studio scene with interviews of Kim Novak and Ernest Borgnine and reporting on films in the making starring Fred Astaire, Rock Hudson and Elvis Presley


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“Early Film Noir” by William Hare is a pure delight for fans of the genre. Too many books on the subject churn out the same old abridged history with an emphasis on plot synopsis. That’s alright, I suppose, if you only want a brief overview of this fascinating subject, but if you’ve read a few books on film noir, and you now want to delve deeper into the genre, then I recommend “Early Film Noir” as the book for you. This intelligent, well-researched book traces the beginnings of film noir, and delves into the talents of the triptych of film noir novelists Hammett, Cain and Chandler. Author, Hare explores each novelist’s essential literary characteristics, and their contributions to the genre, and even the authors’ reactions to each others’ work. It was Chandler’s job to write the screenplay for “Double Indemnity” from Cain’s novel, and amongst other things, Chandler called Cain “Proust in dirty overalls.”

The book also includes an in-depth analysis of several important films–including–“Double Indemnity”, “The Postman Always Rings Twice”, and “Murder, My Sweet.” “Early Film Noir” is a wealth of information–for example, the author even includes data regarding the comparative sales of Hammett’s books in America versus France, and this surprising information is a lead-in into the origins of term ‘film noir’ and the first time this term emerged into popular film culture.

Hare includes an amazing amount of detail thus creating a fuller picture of the times. Film noir can be seen as a very natural result of certain sociological conditions. Hare’s New Historicism approach places events in their appropriate context, and this grants the reader a greater understanding of the genre.Read more ›


Format: Paperback

Choosing a book to read is often like delving into Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates: You never know what you’re going to get. You sample all the nuts, chews and creams and finally you come across that one that is so good, so special, that you just can’t get enough of it, you want more. That’s the way I felt after reading “Early Film Noir,” by William Hare, a book that takes you into the realm of cinematic shadows and perpetual night, where the landscape is shrouded in fog through which neon lights glow and the sound of footsteps in the dark takes on a whole new meaning. Welcome to the world of shady characters, tough stand-up guys and the fast, calculating women who take them all for that long ride on a short pier; welcome to the world of “Film Noir.”
Beginning with “The Maltese Falcon,” the nine films discussed here in depth by film historian and writer Hare are ones that have given us some of the most magical and memorable moments on the silver screen, movies that veritably define the genre. These are the classic films, favorites of die hard film buffs and casual movie fans alike, all given a fresh perspective and new appreciation under the incisive examination and studied eye of the author.
Taking you behind the scenes for a captivating look at these films from inception to completion to “classic” status, Bill Hare makes you privy to the professional and private lives of those who brought these magnificent movies to life, the collective creative genius behind and in front of the camera and the power struggles, politics and off-screen drama that often equaled or surpassed that which played out on the screen.
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Format: Paperback

Do you like your movies filled with suspense and evil? Did you enjoy any of the following movies: The Maltese Falcon; Double Indemnity; Murder, My Sweet; Crossfire; Out of the Past; Laura; The Postman Always Rings Twice; The Third Man; or Across the Bridge? If you answered “yes” to either question, I highly recommend Early Film Noir to you.
Mr. Hare has written a fine exposition of how the film noir style evolved, the development of the key films in this genre and brief biographies of the important actors, directors, cameramen and producers who influenced the key films. If you are unfamiliar with any of the films, Mr. Hare does an excellent job of summarizing the story lines so that you can understand the subject without having seen the films. I have seen all of these films many times, and encourage you to use the book to decide which ones you would enjoy.
If you already have a great knowledge in this area, you may find the book to be mostly redundant to what you know already. As someone who had seen the films but not studied their backgrounds, this book added greatly to my understanding of the films and my appreciation of them. I especially enjoyed learning about how the scripts were developed. Some books translate easily onto the big screen, while others require substantial story and dialogue development. The Third Man is especially interesting from this perspective.
Each chapter includes one or more great stills from the films. Those add just the right touch of adding noir color.
Many books about film focus on the most famous people involved. Mr. Hare has made a great decision to focus instead on those who are most intriguing. I had always found Jane Greer to be fascinating on screen and was pleased to find a while chapter about her.
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