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Women in Film Noir

Overview

For the expanded edition of this classic text, the editor has brought together further essays which reflect today's renewed interest in film noir. Exploring "net-noir", postmodernism, and other contemporary trends, new essays offer readings of, among others, Bound and Basic Instinct, broadening the scope of the book to include questions of race and homosexuality.

Thrillers and melodramas of the 1940's and 1950's, such as Gilda and Double Indemnity, contain a gallery ...

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Overview

For the expanded edition of this classic text, the editor has brought together further essays which reflect today's renewed interest in film noir. Exploring "net-noir", postmodernism, and other contemporary trends, new essays offer readings of, among others, Bound and Basic Instinct, broadening the scope of the book to include questions of race and homosexuality.

Thrillers and melodramas of the 1940's and 1950's, such as Gilda and Double Indemnity, contain a gallery of strong female characters who resist and disburb the male-ordered world.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Film noir flourished in the years during and immediately following World War II, but the genre has never disappeared, as shown by the recent popularity of films like Basic Instinct, Bound, and LA Confidential. These academic essays, compiled by Kaplan (English, SUNY), ponder the "absent family" in noir, the role of woman as destroyer and redeemer, the common theme of female duplicity, and the role of women in the narrative structure. Other films considered here are Blue Gardenia, Gilda, Double Indemnity, modern noir films like Klute, and the horror classic The Haunting, which one critic sees as a representation of the "disruptive force of lesbian desire." Though few studies of women in this popular genre exist, the book's academic format and language will discourage most general readers. Recommended for academic libraries.--Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780851701059
  • Publisher: BFI Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/1980
  • Series: British Film Institute Bks.
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 132

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Notes on Contributors
Introduction to New Edition 1
Introduction to 1978 Edition 15
1 Klute 1: A Contemporary Film Noir and Feminist Criticism 20
2 Woman's Place: The Absent Family of Film Noir 35
3 Women in Film Noir 47
4 Duplicity in Mildred Pierce 69
5 The Place of Women in Fritz Lang's The Blue Gardenia 81
6 Double Indemnity 89
7 Klute 2: Feminism and Klute 99
8 Resistance through Charisma: Rita Hayworth and Gilda 115
9 Postscript: Queers and Women in Film Noir 123
10 Female Spectator, Lesbian Spectre: The Haunting 130
11 Femme Fatale or Lesbian Femme: Bound in Sexual Differance 151
12 The Postmodern Always Rings Twice: Constructing the Femme Fatale in 90s Cinema 164
13 The 'Dark Continent' of Film Noir: Race, Displacement and Metaphor in Tourneur's Cat People (1942) and Welles' The Lady from Shanghai (1948) 183
14 'Gilda Didn't Do Any of Those Things You've Been Losing Sleep Over!": The Central Women of 40s Films Noirs 202
Bibliography 229
Index 235
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