helped in the evolution of film noir. The book explored women in film noir through the
different milestones in history. More than half her book discussed the evolution of the
role of women in film noir during and after the war. The trend of using less glamorous
male characters was explained as being necessary to offset the shortage of eligible men as
all able bodied ones were drafted to serve in the Army. This was an important
accommodation as the new types of roles were written to pair the beautiful actresses with
older men, young boys and foreign looking immigrants from Europe. This book is good
for a study into the specific era of war and its consequences in film noir industry. Biesen
has done a thorough research and analysis on the films, rationale behind their
productions, film censorships, public response, film critics' reviews, and the overall film
noir genre analysis. Some of her better insightful arguments were about the linkage
between the noir and espionage genre, and noir and realism. Biesen's book is a
comprehensive, easy read. The shortcomings were that some facts were presented in a
didactic manner. Some information about how wartime filming locations were limited
and restricted was repetitively stressed to emphasize to excuse or justify the monotonous
backgrounds and settings.
Muller's book is about the history of film noir and six of its women actresses;
Jane Greer, Coleen Gray, Evelyn Keyes, Ann Savage, Audrey Totter and Marie
Windsor. Each actress' strengths and weaknesses is analyzed. It traced their personal
lives from the time they made their debut in Hollywood's film noir until their greatest
triumphs in black film. Then, the narration lapsed,...
The Silver and Ursini book had a collection of essays, case studies and articles on theevolution of film noir. Some essays were accompanied by the famous black and whitephotographs from the films. This anthology should suffice for the average college levelfilm studies. Part One had eight essays on crime and how it had been exploited on film. The evolution of crime in dramas was traced. There was an essay examining in detail onhow bad fictional women characters were worshipped as part of the strategy of film noir.The essays maybe outdated as they were written in the 1970s. Part Two had eight casestudies of the popular genres of film noir. Part Three showed the evolution the film noirand how it has modernised. There were essays on the new types of noir films thatincluded abstract expressionism, forensic science and feminist female characters. Thedisadvantage is that the editors exercised a heavy hand criticizing others in theintroduction without presenting a balanced and fair case for critique. The French filmcritic Marc Vernet was highlighted and heavily criticised. Some essays depict only thenegative aspects of their respective arguments. If this book were the sole reference, thenit would severely prejudice the reader. Some of the choices examined in the section onthe evolution of film noir is controversial. For example, police crime dramas, like theMiami Vice, were included even though they lack the traditional film noir womencharacters. Some of the essays contained technicalvocabulary.