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Humphrey Bogart
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May 29 2013

Noir’s Goon Squad: Ted de Corsia

Let us establish here and now the Ted de Corsia Rule: Any movie with Ted de Corsia is worth watching. That’s not to say that Ted can redeem a complete stinker but he’ll always be worth the...
April 11 2013

Dashiell Hammett: One of the Most Influential American Writers of His Time

Samuel Dashiell Hammett was born in Maryland in 1894. In his early teens, he left school and worked at various jobs. Finally at age twenty-one he took a job as an operative with the Pinkerton Detective...
April 5 2013

Night Beat: Radio Noir

By 1950, the golden age of dramatic radio had come to an end. In the twenties, thirties and forties, radio was the at-home alternative to a night out at the movies. With the coming of television, however,...
February 14 2013

Noir’s Goon Squad: Dorothy Malone

The one scene that every film noir fan remembers Dorothy Malone for is her brief appearance in Howard Hawks’s 1946 adaptation of The Big Sleep. Private eye Philip Marlowe is investigating a phony...
December 4 2012

Noir’s Goon Squad: Frank Lovejoy

Frank Lovejoy just had one of those faces. He looked like 1952. Reserved and calm, under most circumstances anyway, he was perfectly believable as a white collar working stiff—an insurance salesman...
June 20 2012

Noir’s Goon Squad: Elisha Cook Jr.

This post will kick off a semi-regular look at some of the great character actors who occupy the margins of film noir. If you have even a glancing familiarity with classic crime, you will recognize...
October 12 2011

Street of the Lost: David Goodis and Philadelphia

David Goodis was going to be the next Raymond Chandler. In 1946, Goodis’s second book, Dark Passage, was a bestseller and adapted into a classic film noir. Goodis was signed to a studio contract and...
June 7 2011

The Maltese Falcon at 70

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the release of John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon.   How do you even begin to take the measure of a masterpiece like this? It isn’t simply one...
May 6 2011

Outsider Creds: The Coolness of Peter Gunn

When I was a child in the Southern California of the late 1950s, watching Peter Gunn on television was one of the week’s highlights.  Henry Mancini, who did the music for the series, lived...
April 28 2011

Private Eyes and Westerns

“The private-eye novel was a western that happened somewhere else.”–William Reuhlmann, Saint with a Gun “The modern detective story and the modern Western have a great deal...