The Dark Side Of The Screen: Film Noir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Dark Side Of The Screen: Film Noir

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  146 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Foster Hirsch’s Dark Side of the Screen is by far the most thorough and entertaining study of the themes, visual motifs, character types, actors, directors, and films in this genre ever published. From Billy Wilder, Douglas Sirk, Robert Aldrich, and Howard Hawkes to Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski, and Paul Schrader, the noir themes of dread, paranoia, steamy sex, double-c...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 21st 1983 by Da Capo Press (first published 1981)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 296)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Film noir will always be misundestood and always imperfectly duplicated, like every time I see a Sesame Street character act like a detective just because he wears a fedora. When no two movie reviewers can agree on when the era started or ended, because it consists of movies being made by 50 different directors, hundreds of actors and writers, all with cuts being made for morality's sake as well as budgetary concerns, it's a miracle we have more than two movies that fit the category at all.

Jill Hutchinson
I was disappointed in this book. Being a lover of film noir, I at least expected that the facts presented would be accurate. Alas, that was not to be. I found at least 6 glaring errors in the text and player identification........and the author is (or was) a professor of film at Brooklyn College!! Additionally, much of the content was repetitve from chapter to chapter and I found myself skipping through the book searching for new facts. I don't feel that this is a book that the film noir buff wo...more
Tim Schneider
Nice overview of Noir Films, with a look at where they came from, characteristics and where they went. I can certainly take umbrage with a number of the authors points of view (his absolute disdain for Spillane for example) but it is generally well researched and well thought out. By no means exhaustive, it is a good starting point for people looking to read about film noir.
Good, solid introduction to film noir, although I don't agree with all of Hirsch's comments or film choices. Lots of good info, though. Now I'm looking for something that's a little more detailed.
Noiry, Noiry Nights

… erwarten denjenigen, der, neugierig gemacht von der Lektüre des Buches „Film Noir. The Dark Side of the Screen“ von Foster Hirsch, es sich vornimmt, mal wieder einige der dort erwähnten Filme neu zu entdecken oder sie überhaupt zum ersten Male zu sehen. Anfang der 80er Jahre zum ersten Mal erschienen, liegt Hirschs Einführung in den Film noir in einer Neuauflage vor, die um ein Nachwort des Autors, in dem es um weniger bekannte Genrebeiträge geht, ergänzt wurde.

Das Buch ist...more
Rebecca Stevenson
I have no prior knowledge of the topic, so this book may have gaping holes, but I found it an enjoyable read and an interesting introduction to noir. I hope to spend a lot of time with the filmography in the course of this year. The author's style is occasionally a bit overwrought, not at all shy about expressing firmly held opinions, but I did not find those impediments to enjoyment.

The Kindle edition has a ton of formatting errors, but that's not the author's fault.
Randy Ray
I liked this book very much, but it probably wouldn't be of much interest to someone who's not interested in the genre. In fact, a little bit too much of the book is spent in thumbnail descriptions of the highlights of movies' plots. On the other hand, if you're interested in noir, and if you've seen a lot of noir films, you'll find much to enjoy here.
Jason Coffman
A fascinating, intelligent and accessible introduction to film noir. Hirsch traces the style's literary roots and discusses the films of noir's heyday in the 1940s as well as its influence on films since in a brisk, engaging style. Highly recommended if you have any interest in the subject at all.
David McCormick
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first book written in English on film noir. It gives a definition of film noir that has stood the test of time and touches on all the bases of noir technique. In other places, though, I feel the scholarship begins to look a little ragged.
Dave Mortensen
So much of learning about film noir is looking at images from those movies (or watching them) and then asking they "why" behind them. This book was full of wonderfully informative photos and descriptions of the principles and persons behind them.
Wonderful book that highlights all the key characteristcs of film noir. Inspired me to want to see many of the films that he mentions. Nice film bibliography. I hope that these films are on Netxflix.
Some of the most interesting films from Hollywood are addressed for you here. Take a look. ...and then actually see the movies featured. A nice read.
Curt Bozif
Oct 11, 2007 Curt Bozif rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Film Nerds, Defeated or Paranoid Men
Shelves: film
Great Companion to Film Noir and great as an introduction to the genre for beginners.
My initial introduction to film noir, years ago.
Excellent resource on noir aesthetic.
Simple writing, but informative.
Wes marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2014
Diva Dahling
Diva Dahling marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2014
Brieanna marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2014
Isaac marked it as to-read
May 11, 2014
Dan is currently reading it
May 11, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Love, Sex, Death, And The Meaning Of Life: The Films Of Woody Allen Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King Detours and Lost Highways: A Map of Neo-Noir Harold Prince and the American Musical Theatre A Method to Their Madness: The History of the Actors Studio

Share This Book