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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Crime novelists, movie stars and filmmakers have together created a shadowy celluloid underworld of desperate characters, violent passions and illicit schemes, dubbed by the French "film noir" ("black film"). This book traces the development and history of this movement, using original movie poster art from 100 vintage films. Covering the period from 1941 to 1959, the films include: "The Maltese Falcon", "This Gun for Hire", "Laura", and "The Postman Always Rings Twice". Originally displayed in movie theatres, the posters also illustrate the signature in-house movie poster styles and printing processes used by the major studios of the day.
From the iconic "Casablanca" to Orson Welles's seminal "Citizen Kane", from the optimistic "It's a Wonderful Life" to the exotic "Thief of Baghdad", the films of the 1940s are now recognized as some of the greatest of all time. Just as the forties was the decade hailed nostalgically ever since as Hollywood's golden age, it also saw the emergence of a dark new undercurrent in pop culture - the sinister world of gumshoes, gangsters, double-crossing dames, and blind alleys that comprised film noir. Long before the era of the television trailer and satellite media junket, studios lured audiences to theaters with graphically bold poster art, gorgeously illustrated by classically trained artists adept at capturing the nuances of Veronica Lake's seductive glance, Humphrey Bogart's world-weary eyes, Bette Davis's icy stare, and hundreds of other stars at their best and most glamorous. All of the era's legendary stars are included in this volume: Lauren Bacall, Robert Mitchum, Barbara Stanwyck, Rita Hayworth, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Marlene Dietrich, and more. "Film Posters of the 40s" brings to life in lavish full-color an era in film history that will never be forgotten.
The Woman in the Window (Fritz Lang, USA 1944)
Yield to the Night, a serious drama about the Ruth Ellis case, was released in the US as Blonde Sinner. The provocative promotional campaign presented star Diana Dors in glamorous gowns, rather than as she appears in the film--in prison uniform. Yield to the Night (J. Lee Thompson, UK 1958)