Hardboiled Hollywood: The True Crime Stories Behind the Classic Noir Films

Max Decharne, Author
Max Decharne, Author . Pegasus $25 (240p) ISBN 978-1-60598-076-8 ISBN 978-1-60598-083-6
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-1-84243-070-5
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-84243-119-1
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-60598-083-6
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Décharné, a member of the British band the Flaming Stars, tackles some literary noir scenarios and true murder tales as prime inspirations for some of the finest crime films produced in Hollywood. He analyzes the thrill gangsters held for the masses when screenwriters put them into films from the 1930s until the present, producing overnight stars like Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, and Humphrey Bogart. Although sometimes the book seems like a tame clip job, it does provide the rare eye-opening revelation about the featured films and the real-life or literary events behind their creation: the story of Al Capone behind Little Caesar ; the experiences leading Raymond Chandler to write his novel turned movie The Big Sleep ; the realities and myths behind the protagonists of Bonnie and Clyde ; and the 1950s Los Angeles world of crime and scandal behind the novel and movie L.A. Confidential . Rehashing several familiar Tinseltown tidbits and uncovering very little new material about these landmark offerings, Décharné's work is not an essential reference volume for the entertainment book shelf. (Jan.)

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