The Art of Noir: The Posters and Graphics from the Classic Period of Film Noir

The Art of Noir: The Posters and Graphics from the Classic Period of Film Noir

by Eddie Muller
     
 
Film noir is all about style, even as much as it is about crime. The poster art from the noir era has a bold look and an iconography all its own. A sizzling marriage of sex and violence--the sinuous figures of femme fatales alongside the granite features of the era's tough-guy stars--made this artwork dynamic and dangerous. During the golden age of noir, studios

Overview

Film noir is all about style, even as much as it is about crime. The poster art from the noir era has a bold look and an iconography all its own. A sizzling marriage of sex and violence--the sinuous figures of femme fatales alongside the granite features of the era's tough-guy stars--made this artwork dynamic and dangerous. During the golden age of noir, 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 250 dazzling posters, lobby cards, and other promotional material range from the classics Out of the Past, Touch of Evil, and The Big Sleep, to rare archive films such as The Devil Thumbs a Ride and Blonde Kiss. Noir expert Eddie Muller provides background information for the illustrators, most of whom have never received credit for their work. With rare offerings from France, Italy, Spain, Britain, and Russia, as well as the knockout graphics of Hollywood, The Art of Noir is the ultimate companion for movie buffs, collectors, as well as artists and designers.

Author Biography: Eddie Muller is the author of Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir and Dark City Dames: The Wicked Women of Film Noir. A noted film noir expert, he organizes and hosts the annual film noir festival at Los Angeles's premier film revival house, American Cinemateque, where he is the official programmer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Stanley Kubrick's The Killing touted as being "In All Its Fury and Violence...Like No Other Picture Since 'SCARFACE' and 'LITTLE CAESAR'!" Bay Area mystery writer Muller (his novel Shadow Boxer will be reviewed in the Dec. 9 issue of PW) describes the various styles employed by the studio system, all designed for, in the charming vernacular of theater owners, "putting asses in the seats"; the idiosyncratic promo for Sudden Fear has Joan Crawford staring luridly over a male figure's shoulder at a miniaturized Gloria Grahame embracing Jack Palance. With a clear love for and expertise in his subject matter, Muller tracks the evolution of the form through 275 posters (338 full-color illustrations in all), many of them full-page plates, which look nothing short of smashing in the book's oversize, 10 x 14 format. A series of foreign posters reveal how artists outside the studio system were able to convey a great deal of the films' psychological complexity in a single, giant image. The variety, style and color here, representing films familiar (The Postman Always Rings Twice) and forgotten (The Big Tip Off, starring Cathy Downs), will be enticing to any fan of noir or mid-century American history. (Dec. 3) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585670734
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
11/11/2002
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
870,667
Product dimensions:
10.75(w) x 14.50(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Eddie Muller, "The Czar of Noir," is the founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation, and provides commentary for noir films and specials on Turner Classic Movies. He created his own graphics firm, St. Francis Studio, and is the author of Grindhouse, Dark City Dames, and Dark City. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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