Fans of film noir are certainly in luck this summer! Eddie Muller, TCM’s “Czar of Noir,” has released a revised and expanded edition of Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir with plenty of new information and photographs for readers to enjoy.
Film noir is celebrated for its pessimistic tone, harsh atmosphere, and its ability to make female artists shine. While there are numerous noir films that immediately come to mind as classics exemplary of the filmmaking style, there are many more lesser-discussed films noir that are yet to enjoy the spotlight.
Muller’s Dark City offers a thorough overview of a varied selection of films noir, from the staples to the hidden gems. His book delves into each film with a thoughtful discussion of its context, production, as well as on- and off-screen talents involved. Readers can learn about what made each particular film special, in addition to the challenges faced along the way during production.
Moreover, Muller also offers intriguing glimpses into the personal and professional lives of various stars who appeared in noir, including the likes of femme fatales like Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner. In addition, Muller also discusses stars who took on roles that were uncharacteristic of their past on-screen appearances, as in the cases of Dick Powell and Fred MacMurray–for better or worse.
While Muller’s prose offers a wealth of information about films noir and the many individuals who helped shape them, another wonderful feature of Dark City is the ample number of gorgeous photos that accompany Muller’s overview of the different films. These photos tie in beautifully with the moments that Muller highlights in his discussion of a particular film and capture key film moments in a way that allows readers to examine to photo with a strong appreciation for the film and filmmaking craft.
Overall, Muller’s new edition is certainly not to be missed. I would strongly recommend this book to not only fans of film noir but also to individuals who are new to film noir. It is a worthy introduction and overview to the filmmaking style but is also highly enjoyable for noir fans to explore.