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The Crime Films of Anthony Mann [Hardcover]

Max Alvarez

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Book Description

22 Oct 2013
A survey and rediscovery of the many noir films directed by a master of the western Anthony Mann (1906-1967) is renowned for his outstanding 1950s westerns starring James Stewart (Winchester '73, The Naked Spur, The Man from Laramie). But there is more to Mann's cinematic universe than those tough Wild West action dramas featuring conflicted and secretive heroes. This brilliant Hollywood craftsman also directed fourteen electrifying crime thrillers between 1942 and 1951, among them such towering achievements in film noir as T-Men, Raw Deal, and Side Street. Mann was as much at home filming dark urban alleys in black-and-white as he was the prairies and mountains in Technicolor, and his protagonists were no less conflicted and secretive than his 1950s cowboys. In these Mann crime thrillers we find powerful stories of sexual obsession (The Great Flamarion), the transforming images of women in wartime and postwar America (Strangers in the Night, Strange Impersonation), exploitation of Mexican immigrants (Border Incident), studies of the criminal mind (He Walked by Night), and Civil War bigotry (The Tall Target). Mann's forceful camera captured such memorable and diverse stars as Erich von Stroheim, Farley Granger, Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Richard Basehart, Ricardo Montalbán, Ruby Dee, and Raymond Burr. The Crime Films of Anthony Mann features analysis of rare documents, screenplays, story treatments, and studio memoranda and reveals detailed behind-the-scenes information on preproduction and production on the Mann thrillers. Author Max Alvarez uses rare and newly available sources to explore the creation of these noir masterworks. Along the way, the book exposes secrets and solves mysteries surrounding the mercurial director and his remarkable career, which also included Broadway and early live television.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 332 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (22 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617039241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617039249
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,298,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Among devoted cinephiles, Anthony Mann's Westerns have been enshrined near the top achievements in that beloved genre, especially the handful he made with James Stewart, but little has been written about the excellent series of crime pictures he directed before those. That oversight has now been corrected with this meticulously researched and lovingly detailed new book by Max Alvarez, a triumph of film scholarship, most readable, reliable in its opinions, and touching in its devotion to the subject at hand."--Peter Bogdanovich

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introcution to Anthony Mann and his life 15 July 2014
By W. CREED - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Anthony Mann is one of the greatly unappreciated directors of the fifties. His westerns with James Stewart not only revitalized Stewart's career but got Mann a place in the list of great western directors. Max Alvarez argues quite persuasively that some of his crime films deserve equal appreciation. His book is worth reading and getss my four star rating just for the opening chapters which are a short biography of Mann, who had quite an interesting childhood and upbringing. Alvarez then goes into great detail about Mann's early films. My main criticism of the book is Alvarez's repetitions of facts in the different sections on each film. Also, he goes quite a lot into the marketing (or lack of it) of each film, a little too much for me since it really doesn't further explain why Mann's early films have not received proper critical respect. But Alvarez does do a great job with his critical explanations of the films, showing the evolution of Mann's directorial vision.
5.0 out of 5 stars A major contribution to film scholarship 19 April 2014
By Addison de Witt - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Max Alvarez provides a solid contribution to the already remakarble corpus of Anthony Mann studies. His reasarch focused on the early life and debuts in theatre and television would justifity buying this book, as it brings a new light to an obscure and neglected phase of Mann's career. The noir "œuvre" is discussed in depth with numerous script excepts, screen shots, etc. All in all a major work.
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