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Best Film Noir Books You Must Read

Here is a list of the best Film Noir books, some I have read myself, some that I did research on, and all have great reviews!

1. The Art of Noir: The Posters and Graphics from the Classic Era of Film Noir (2014)

Best Film Noir Books You Must ReadThe poster art from the noir era has a bold look and an iconography all its own. During noir’s golden age, studios commissioned these arresting illustrations for even the lowliest “B” thriller. The Art of Noir is the first book to present this striking artwork in a lavishly produced, large-format, full-color volume. The more than 300 dazzling posters and other promotional material range from the classics to rare archive films such as The Devil Thumbs a Ride and Blonde Kiss. With rare offerings from around the world and background information on the illustrators, The Art of Noir is the ultimate companion…
Author(s): Eddie Muller

2. Film Noir Guide: 745 Films of the Classic Era, 1940-1959 (2010)

Best Film Noir Books You Must ReadMore than 700 films from the classic period of film noir (1940 to 1959) are presented in this exhaustive reference book–such films as The Accused, Among the Living, The Asphalt Jungle, Baby Face Nelson, Bait, The Beat Generation, Crossfire, Dark Passage, I Walk Alone, The Las Vegas Story, The Naked City, Strangers on a Train, White Heat, and The Window. For each film, the following information is provided: the title, release date, main performers, screenwriter(s), director(s), type of noir, thematic content, a rating based on the five-star system, and a plot synopsis that does not reveal the ending….
Author(s): Michael F. Keaney

4. The Dark Side of the Screen (2008)

Best Film Noir Books You Must ReadA revised and updated edition of the definitive study of film noir—the most original genre of American cinema—with a new afterword by the authorSince The Dark Side of the Screen first appeared over two decades ago, it has served as the essential take on what has become one of today’s most pervasive screen influences and enduringly popular genres. Covering over one hundred outstanding films and offering more than two hundred carefully chosen stills, it is by far the most thorough and entertaining study available of noir themes, visual…
Author(s): Foster Hirsch

5. Noir City Annual, No. 11 (2019)

Best Film Noir Books You Must Read2019’s NOIR CITY Annual 11, the best of the best from the Film Noir Foundation’s 2018 quarterly NOIR CITY e‑magazines, is an essential addition to any film lover’s library-essays, interviews, profiles, tributes, and reviews of classic and modern noir films from today’s top writers — including Imogen Sara Smith, Jake Hinkson, Ray Banks, Vince Keenan, Alan K. Rode, Steve Kronenberg, Gary Deane, Nathalie Atkinson, Ehsan Khoshbakht, Monica Nolan, Ben Terrall, and Eddie Muller. Book layout and design by Michael Kronenberg. And, as with any purchase from…
Author(s): Eddie Muller

6. Film Noir Reader (Limelight) (2004)

Best Film Noir Books You Must ReadThis bountiful anthology combines all the key early writings on film noir with many newer essays, including some published here for the first time. The collection is assembled by the editors of the Third Edition of Film Noir: An Enclyclopedic Reference to the American Style, now regarded as the standard work on the subject….
Author(s): Alain Silver, James Ursini

7. Film Noir: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (2019)

Best Film Noir Books You Must ReadFilm noir, one of the most intriguing yet difficult to define terms in cinema history, is usually associated with a series of darkly seductive Hollywood thrillers from the 1940s and 50s–shadowy, black-and-white pictures about private eyes, femme fatales, outlaw lovers, criminal heists, corrupt police, and doomed or endangered outsiders. But, film noir actually predates the 1940s and has never been confined to Hollywood. International in scope, its various manifestations have spread across generic categories, attracted the interest of the world’s great directors, and continue to appear even…
Author(s): James Naremore

8. Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir (2005)

Best Film Noir Books You Must ReadChallenging conventional scholarship placing the origins of film noir in postwar Hollywood, Sheri Chinen Biesen finds the genre’s roots firmly planted in the political, social, and material conditions of Hollywood during the war. After Pearl Harbor, America and Hollywood experienced a sharp cultural transformation that made horror, shock, and violence not only palatable but preferable. Hard times necessitated cheaper sets, fewer lights, and fresh talent; censors as well as the movie-going public showed a new tolerance for sex and violence; and female producers experienced newfound…
Author(s): Sheri Chinen Biesen

9. A Panorama of American Film Noir (1941-1953) (2002)

Best Film Noir Books You Must ReadWhen it appeared in France in 1955, A Panorama of American Film Noir was the first book ever on the genre: this clairvoyant study of Hollywood film noir is at last available in English translation.A Panorama of American Film Noir addresses the essential amorality of its subject from a decidedly Surrealist angle, focusing on noir’s dreamlike, unwonted, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel atmosphere, and setting it in the social context of mid-century America.Beginning with the first film noir, The Maltese Falcon, and continuing through the post war “glory days,” which included such films as Gilda, The Big Sheep, Dark Passage, and The Lady…
Author(s): Raymond Borde , Etienne Chaumeton, et al.

10. Film Noir (Insider Film) (2002)

Best Film Noir Books You Must ReadFilm Noir is an overview of an often celebrated, but also contested, body of films. It discusses film noir as a cultural phenomenon whose history is more extensive and diverse than American black and white crime thrillers of the forties. An extended Background Chapter situates film noir within its cultural context, describing its origin in German Expressionism, French Poetic Realism and in developments within American genres, the gangster/crime thriller, horror and the Gothic romance and its possible relationship to changes in American society. Five chapters are…
Author(s): Andrew Spicer, Alexander Ballinger

Best Film Noir Books You Must Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some film noir books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Locating Nordic Noir: From Beck to The Bridge

Author(s): Kim Toft Hansen, Anne Marit Waade
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2017, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2152910

Out of the Past: Lacan and Film Noir

Author(s): Ben Tyrer
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2016, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1580136

The Red and the Black: American Film Noir in the 1950s

Author(s): Robert Miklitsch
Publisher: University of Illinois Press, Year: 2016, Size: 20 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1637743

LIFE Film Noir: 75 Years of the Greatest Crime Films

Author(s): The Editors of LIFE
Publisher: LIFE BOOKS, Year: 2016, Size: 21 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2338650

The Many Lives of Cy Endfield: Film Noir, the Blacklist, and Zulu

Author(s): Brian Neve
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press, Year: 2015, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1682077

Wisconsin Film Studies : Many Lives of Cy Endfield : Film Noir, the Blacklist, and Zulu

Author(s): Neve, Brian
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press, Year: 2015, Size: 2 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2091403

Class, Crime and International Film Noir: Globalizing America’s Dark Art

Author(s): Dennis Broe
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK, Year: 2014, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1457915

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: On Classic Film Noir

Author(s): Robert Miklitsch
Publisher: University of Illinois Press, Year: 2014, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1538181

Euro Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to European Crime Fiction, Film and TV

Author(s): Forshaw, Barry; Helin, Sofia
Publisher: Oldcastle Books;Pocket Essentials, Year: 2014, Size: 470 Kb, Download: epub
ID: 2081488

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are absolutely hot items according to Los Angeles Times, others are composed by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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