In this Book

The Red and the Black
summary
Critical wisdom has it that we said a long goodbye to film noir in the 1950s. Robert Miklitsch begs to differ. Pursuing leads down the back streets and alleyways of cultural history, The Red and the Black proposes that the received rise-and-fall narrative about the genre radically undervalues the formal and thematic complexity of '50s noir and the dynamic segue it effected between the spectacular expressionism of '40s noir and early, modernist neo-noir. Mixing scholarship with a fan's devotion to the crooked roads of critique, Miklitsch autopsies marquee films like D.O.A., Niagara, and Kiss Me Deadly plus a number of lesser-known classics. Throughout, he addresses the social and technological factors that dealt deuce after deuce to the genre--its celebrated style threatened by new media and technologies such as TV and 3-D, color and widescreen, its born losers replaced like zombies by All-American heroes, the nation rocked by the red menace and nightmares of nuclear annihilation. But against all odds, the author argues, inventive filmmakers continued to make formally daring and socially compelling pictures that remain surprisingly, startlingly alive. Cutting-edge and entertaining, The Red and the Black reconsiders a lost period in the history of American movies.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Prise de Position: For ’50s Noir, or Confessions of a Film Noir Addict
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Preface: Generalities, or The Rise and Fall of Classic American Film Noir
  2. pp. xv-xx
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  1. Introduction: Coming Attractions, or The Particulars
  2. pp. 1-16
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  1. Part One: ’50s Noir and Anticommunism
  2. pp. 17-18
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  1. 1. The Woman on Pier 13: I Married a Communist!
  2. pp. 19-39
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  1. 2. The Red and the Black: “Black Film” and the Red Menace
  2. pp. 40-78
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  1. 3. Pickup on South Street: Out of the Red and Into the Black
  2. pp. 79-92
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  1. Part Two: ’50s Noir in the Atomic Age
  2. pp. 93-94
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  1. 4. D.O.A.: Fatality, Sexuality, Radioactivity
  2. pp. 95-108
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  1. 5. “Black Film” and the Bomb: Spies and “Cowboys,” “Indians,” Red Professors and Thieves
  2. pp. 109-143
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  1. 6. Kiss Me Deadly: The X Factor, or The “Great Whatsit”
  2. pp. 144-160
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  1. Part Three: New Media and Technologies
  2. pp. 161-162
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  1. 7. Noir en couleur: Color and Widescreen
  2. pp. 163-195
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  1. 8. Niagara: Colored Marilyns
  2. pp. 196-211
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  1. 9. The Glass Web: 3-D, TV, and the Beginning of the End of Classic Noir
  2. pp. 212-228
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  1. Conclusion: The Crimson Kimono, or Odds for Tomorrow
  2. pp. 229-240
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 241-272
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 273-287
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