Jacques Tourneur: The Cinema of Nightfall

Overview

As the director of Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, and Night of the Demon, Jacques Tourneur crafted three horror classics which, decades later, have lost none of their power to frighten audiences. And his 1947 film Out of the Past is still acknowledged as the quintessential film noir. Yet Tourneur himself remains underappreciated and his contribution to cinema history neglected. Many of his films, however, reveal a fluid artistry absent from the routine studio fare of the era. Working in a variety of genres, ...
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Jacques Tourneur: The Cinema of Nightfall

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Overview

As the director of Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, and Night of the Demon, Jacques Tourneur crafted three horror classics which, decades later, have lost none of their power to frighten audiences. And his 1947 film Out of the Past is still acknowledged as the quintessential film noir. Yet Tourneur himself remains underappreciated and his contribution to cinema history neglected. Many of his films, however, reveal a fluid artistry absent from the routine studio fare of the era. Working in a variety of genres, from Westerns (Canyon Passage) and spy films (Berlin Express) to swashbucklers (The Flame and the Arrow) and melodramas (Experiment Perilous), Tourneur imposed a personal cinematic vision that emphasized mystery and sensuality. In the first in-depth exploration of Tourneur's entire career, Chris Fujiwara offers a detailed film-by-film analysis of this influential director's work.

About the Author: Chris Fujiwara is a freelance writer whose work frequently appears in Hermenaut and the Boston Phoenix. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Editorial Reviews

Martin Scorsese
Tourneur was a great director, fully deserving of the thoroughly researched and perceptive treatment he receives from Chris Fujiwara.
Kim Newman
Every director of importance deserves a book-length, in-depth study. Jacques Tourneur remains underrated, but fully merits this treatment. In this book, Chris Fujiwara has set out the reasons why we should take Tourneur seriously, not merely for the accepted classics, but for a great deal of interesting, surprising and powerful work in horror, noir and the Western.
Jonathan Rosenbaum
This is likely to be the best book about Jacques Tourneur that we can hope to find. I value it not only for the depth and thoroughness of its research, but also because it's a critical appreciation, not the simple gushing of a fan. Chris Fujiwara makes plenty of fine distinctions between major and minor works, and his judgements seem both considered and sound. As an example of sophisticated and nuanced auteurism, with a sharp feeling for style, I'd place this book alongside Gunning on Lang and Naremore on Minnelli. It belongs on the shelf of everyone who wants to explore this fascinating and neglected filmmaker.
Booknews
Recounts the career of Jacques Tourneur as the director of four French films, 20 MGM shorts and 29 studio films, identifying common themes sewn throughout his work. Some of his movies are , and . Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Public Library Quarterly
interesting...important
SFRA Review
this intelligent, thorough study must be considered as definitive
San Francisco Examiner Magazine
excellent
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801865619
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Edition description: JOHN HOPKI
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Fujiwara is a freelance writer. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction 1
Maurice Tourneur 13
Jacques Tourneur: I 20
Jacques Tourneur: II 24
French Films (1931-1934) 32
Second-Unit Work (1934-1938) 36
MGM Shorts (1936-1942) 39
They All Come Out (1939) 60
The Nick Carter Films: Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939) and Phantom Raiders (1940) 64
Doctors Don't Tell (1941) 70
Cat People (1942) 72
I Walked with a Zombie (1943) 85
The Leopard Man (1943) 98
Days of Glory (1944) 108
Experiment Perilous (1944) 112
"Reward Unlimited" (1944) 123
Canyon Passage (1946) 125
Out of the Past (1947) 138
Berlin Express (1948) 150
Easy Living (1949) 158
Stars in My Crown (1950) 164
The Flame and the Arrow (1950) 177
Circle of Danger (1951) 183
Anne of the Indies (1951) 189
Way of a Gaucho (1952) 198
Appointment in Honduras (1953) 209
Stranger on Horseback (1955) 218
Wichita (1955) 221
Great Day in the Morning (1956) 229
Nightfall (1957) 235
Night of the Demon (1957) 242
The Fearmakers (1958) 256
Timbuktu (1959) 262
La Battaglia di Maratona (1959) 267
The AIP Films: The Comedy of Terrors (1963) and War-Gods of the Deep (1965) 270
Television Films 276
Afterword 289
Notes 291
Filmography of Jacques Tourneur 301
Bibliography 319
Index 323
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