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James M. Cain
Showing all CriminalElement.com content using the tag "James M. Cain" including series, stories, blog posts, and users. To browse published posts on the front page, click here.
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BrianGreene
September 11 2014

Lost Classics of Noir: Build My Gallows High by Geoffrey Homes

I didn’t set out to make a habit of, when writing appreciations of books for this site, also commenting on movies that were made from the novels. Ditto discussing the books that were converted...
JakeHinkson
July 23 2014

The Movies of 1944: Double Indemnity

This year film noir turns 70. While there had been some intermittent films leading up to the birth of the classic noir, in 1944 the dahlia bloomed with six key films: Double Indemnity, Laura, Murder...
JakeHinkson
June 6 2014

Noir’s Hard Luck Ladies: Joan Crawford

In some ways, Joan Crawford might seem an odd choice for a hard luck lady of noir. Unlike many of the actors I’ve profiled in this series—people like Peggie Castle or Barbara Payton—who...
JakeHinkson
May 11 2014

Pulp Nonfiction: A Guide to Studying Hardboiled Crime

You know you’re officially a mystery fanatic when you start reading books about books. Luckily, over the years many studies of hardboiled and noir crime fiction have been published to meet...
john90278
September 11 2013

Double Indemnity: Flashing Back to a Singular Standard

It’s a good thing Double Indemnity, Billy Wilder’s classic noir of desire–for lust, money and revenge–was made in 1944, because it wouldn’t get made today. Not because...
JakeHinkson
April 23 2013

A Darkness On The Plains: 8 Classic Western Noir Films

Noir is like a disease. Its symptoms are moodiness, despair, guilt, and paranoia. There were early strains of it in German Expressionism; in the crime fiction of Woolrich, Holding, and Cain; in the...
BrianGreene
January 31 2013

Lost Classics of Noir: The Digger’s Game by George V. Higgins

So many people have been cited as influences on the films of Quentin Tarantino that it’s laughable. I might as well say my 21-month-old daughter influenced Reservoir Dogs. But if there’s...
ericbeetner
November 15 2012

Lost and Found: Reader Fascination with Recovering “Lost” Novels

From the promise of discovering a dusty Van Gogh in the attic, to coming across fabled recordings by Robert Johnson, we love to discover something once thought lost forever. For book lovers the...
MaxAllanCollins
May 9 2012

Where’s the Love for—and in—Hardboiled?

You don’t see the term “hardboiled” much any more. “Noir” has supplanted it, co-opted from the French film critics who intended it for the American crime films made during and shortly after...
RKLewis
December 13 2011

What Is Noir?

“So,” said the lovely dame sitting next to me, “what really is Noir?” Smiled as she said it. Like she knew she was setting me up. A level of mirth on par with seeing me nude...
October 11 2011

Billy Wilder’s Noir Trilogy

When you’re a teenager, there’s nothing like discovering a new writer or a new movie director – new to you, that is. The experience has a powerful, magical quality to it,one that you can easily...
LauraKCurtis
September 25 2011

Lost James M. Cain Manuscript Found!

Nine years ago, Charles Ardai, founder of Hard Case Crime, first heard about The Cocktail Waitress, the last novel written by noir great James M. Cain before he died in 1977. The book had never been...
ericbeetner
September 22 2011

Crime Waits

I have a favorite crime writer. I bet you’ve heard of him. But you may not be able to come up with his name. Here, have a sample and see if you can guess who it is: Well it’s 9th and Hennepin...
RichardZSantos
September 3 2011

The Nothing Man: Jim Thompson in Hollywood, Part One

Crime fiction and crime films are helplessly entwined, and after a certain point it’s impossible to tell which influenced the other more. Sure you can’t talk about the creation of film noir without...
WilliamLengman
August 9 2011

Maybe Mystery Mashups

Trends may come and trends may go (though I’ve got a case of Pet Rocks stashed in the basement for when they make a comeback). One recent publishing trend that may have already seen its heyday come...
RobertHughes
May 2 2011

Rex Stout: An American Wit and Propagandist

Rex Stout was a propagandist. You might have thought he was only that author who came up with the enduring Nero Wolfe mysteries, featuring the larger-than-large, orchid-growing detective and his...
Charles Ardai
April 25 2011

From the “Hard Case” Files: Pursuing Pulp’s Heroes

Back in 2004, Max Phillips and I launched a labor-of-love project we called Hard Case Crime, intended to revive the style of the great old paperback crime novels of the 1940s and 50s.   We...