When it appeared in France in 1955, A Panorama of American Film Noir was the first book ever on the genre: this clairvoyant study of Hollywood film noir is at last available in English translation.
A Panorama of American Film Noir addresses the essential amorality of its subject from a decidedly Surrealist angle, focusing on noir's dreamlike, unwonted, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel atmosphere, and setting it in the social context of mid-century America.
Beginning with the first film noir, The Maltese Falcon, and continuing through the post war "glory days," which included such films as Gilda, The Big Sheep, Dark Passage, and The Lady from Shanghai, Borde and Chaumeton examine the dark sides of American society, film, and literature that made film noir possible, even necessary.
A Panorama of American Film Noir includes a film noir chronology, a voluminous filmography, a comprehensive index, and a selection of black-and-white production stills.
"Incredibly, this is the first English translation of the very influential 1955 French book that initially identified, described and assessed the Hollywood movies that we now term film noir . . . a seminal work of cinema description and analysis and therefore an essential purchase for most libraries." —From the Starred Review in Library Journal