Almost everything you need to know in one essential guide. The laconic private eye... the corrupt cop... the heist that goes wrong... the Femme Fatale with the rich husband and dim lover - all are trademark characters of the movement known as film noir, that allusive mixture of stark lighting and even starker emotions. Noir explored the dark side of post-war society - gangsters, hoodlums, prostitutes and killers - and showed how it corrupted the good and the beautiful. Many of these films are now touchstones of what we regard as 'classic' Hollywood - The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Big Sleep (1946), Double Indemnity (1944) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). The Pocket Essential Film Noir charts the progression of the noir style as a vehicle for filmmakers who wanted to record the darkness at the heart of American society as it emerged from World War to the Cold War. What's in this book? As well as an introductory overview of the origins of film noir, this Pocket Essential discusses all the classics from the heyday of the movement and includes a handy reference section for readers who want to know more.