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A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide Hardcover – 30 Oct 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 770 pages
  • Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books (30 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557838313
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557838315
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 5.6 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 389,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

<strong>John Grant</strong> (Hewitt, NJ) is the Scottish-born author of some 60 books, including <em>Encyclopedia of Walt Disney’s Animated Characters, Masters of Animation</em>, and a number of movie pocket references. He was coeditor with John Clute of <em>The Encyclopedia of Fantasy</em>, for which he wrote the movie entries; he also wrote the cinema section of David Pringle’s <em>The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Science Fiction</em>. He has received the Hugo Award (twice), the World Fantasy Award, and a number of others.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leo Madigow on 11 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don't get me wrong: for the true noirhead who'll watch anything, from any country, made in any year, that vaguely smacks of noir this book is indispensable with literally thousands of reviews, synopses, and interesting facts. But, and this is a big but, if you care anything for suspense when you're watching a film, don't read more than a line or two of each entry in this book before viewing the film. In one case, a fairly famous early work by a very famous French director gives away the information that one of the women (and he tells you which one) is strangled to death at the end of the film, something which was completely unpredictable and spoiled my viewing experience. Most of the longer reviews contain too much information about the film's plots. I don't understand how anyone can imagine that knowing everything that happens in a film beforehand could enhance rather than mar the experience. Enough to say, surely, that there's a twist - don't tell us what it is. This would have been a five-star review, otherwise.
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By KB on 26 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is both an excellent survey of the field of film noir and a lovely coffee-table book (or bathroom book) - the kind you dip into whenever you have a few spare minutes and end up realizing that not only has far more than a few spare minutes passed but you've also just placed another online DVD order.

The author is an experienced reviewer and encyclopedist, and he writes both with comprehensive academic authority and a passion for the subject that comes through in even the potentially driest of entries. The introduction provides an entertaining and informative discussion of what we actually mean by the term "film noir", managing to provide several ways to draw the boundaries while simultaneously acknowledging that such boundaries are both fluid and fuzzy. In his selection of films to include, Grant attempts to satisfy both ends of this spectrum of genre definitions, covering not only the core genre films but also their predecessors and those that have followed, and for me that's far more interesting than anything more narrowly focused would have been.

As the author points out, no list of films, books, etc, is ever going to satisfy everyone - those better informed than me may well argue about films included and overlooked - but with something like 3500 films covered it would be a very mean reader indeed who would grumble too loudly.

Put any pedantic discussion of which films qualify aside and what we have is a book staggering in its scope, full of insight and informed commentary, and all written with Grant's characteristic charm and wit. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Terrific Film Noir Encyclopedia 20 April 2014
By Dr. Ronald Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
When I opened this book to the LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN entry, John Grant and I agreed---it was the first color film noir ever made in 1945. I had a hard time convincing director Paul Schrader of this point several years ago at a film conference at the French Institute in NYC, but he admitted it WAS a noir even though it was made in color. As the author of 3 books on film noir myself, I can tell all customers that John Grant's book is wonderful, an A to Z of film noir minor and major classics including many foreign film noir. I just
wish there was an Index by country of the 3000+ films he reviewed. Other than that, his capsule reviews are usually on target about each film under scrutiny and there are various stills not seen before of directors. foreign noir, the faces of noir, classic noir and neo-noir among other stills in galleries of portraits. I discovered this book on W.82nd St. at a Barnes & Noble there in Manhattan and should have waited for amazon's price but couldn't help myself. Amazon, don't hold this against me for the book is very worthwhile and not a "bluff" as that poor German fellow has criticized it. His comment should be removed from this page.
Best, Dr. Ronald Schwartz, Prof. Emeritus, City University and Columbia U.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommended. 26 Oct. 2014
By KB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is both an excellent survey of the field of film noir and a lovely coffee-table book (or bathroom book) - the kind you dip into whenever you have a few spare minutes and end up realizing that not only has far more than a few spare minutes passed but you've also just placed another online DVD order.

The author is an experienced reviewer and encyclopedist, and he writes both with comprehensive academic authority and a passion for the subject that comes through in even the potentially driest of entries. The introduction provides an entertaining and informative discussion of what we actually mean by the term "film noir", managing to provide several ways to draw the boundaries while simultaneously acknowledging that such boundaries are both fluid and fuzzy. In his selection of films to include, Grant attempts to satisfy both ends of this spectrum of genre definitions, covering not only the core genre films but also their predecessors and those that have followed, and for me that's far more interesting than anything more narrowly focused would have been.

As the author points out, no list of films, books, etc, is ever going to satisfy everyone - those better informed than me may well argue about films included and overlooked - but with something like 3500 films covered it would be a very mean reader indeed who would grumble too loudly.

Put any pedantic discussion of which films qualify aside and what we have is a book staggering in its scope, full of insight and informed commentary, and all written with Grant's characteristic charm and wit. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Pricey but worth it. I might quibble with some ... 4 Mar. 2015
By Bill Cunningham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pricey but worth it. I might quibble with some of the additions as "noir" but as comprehensive a guide as I've seen with descriptions of movies, critical analysis and cast listing. If you're hardcore noir, this is the book to save your money for!
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great Book 20 Nov. 2013
By IOANNIS GIGIS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book for the film noir enthusiasts. Detailed information for numerous film noir movies. A book of reference and really essential for someone who wants to go deep into film noir.
The item arrived in perfect condition within two days 27 Feb. 2015
By Coffee Expert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased this "film noir" encyclopedia new from Amazon via Prime. The item arrived in perfect condition within two days! As for the book itself, it is a rather extensive and exhaustive reference guide to all things "film noir". It does not contain a lot of photographs (mostly black and white), more fine print, but at almost 800 pages - this book covers just about anything and everything you could ask for related to noir + it could hold open a door in a stiff breeze too!
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