Below is a comprehensive list of general books written in English and available in the UNC library system on the subject of film noir. Reference books and books on more specific topics are separated out into different pages. Each book's call number is hypertext linked to its record in the UNC Libraries catalog.
- Borde, Raymond and Etienne Chaumeton. A Panorama of American Film Noir, 1941-1953.
San Francisco: City Lights Books, c2002.
DAVIS PN1995.9.F54 B67 2002
Written in France in 1955, this was the first book ever on the genre of film noir. It 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. This book is the English translation.
- Buss, Robin. French Film Noir.
New York: M. Boyars, 1994.
DAVIS and UL PN1995.9.F54 B87 1994
This book is a comprehensive survey of French crime movies from the period immediately following World War II up through more recent films. The author focuses on the continuing influence of such directors as Melville, Godard, and Truffaut.
- Butler, David. Jazz Noir: Listening to Music from Phantom Lady to The Last Seduction.
Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002.
DAVIS and UL PN1995.9.J37 B88 2002
This book examines the connection between jazz and film noir using an interdisciplinary approach that pays equal attention to classic films and their soundtracks.
- Christopher, Nicholas. Somewhere In the Night: Film Noir and the American City.
New York: Free Press, 1997.
DAVIS and UL PN1995.9.F54 C54 1997
This book is a thorough study of film noir, focusing on the labyrinth created by the post-war rise in mechanization and urbanization as one of the noir's key figurations. The author analyzes several films and discusses a number of subtle connections and similarities among films, from the role of dreams to gender issues to noir's attitude toward capitalism.
- Crowther, Bruce. Film Noir: Reflections in a Dark Mirror.
London: Columbus, 1988.
DAVIS PN1995.9.F54 C76 1988
This book is a down-to-earth overview of classic film noir and its origins in hard-boiled fiction.
- Dickos, Andrew. Street With No Name: A History of the Classic American Film Noir.
Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2002.
DAVIS PN1995.9.F54 D53 2002
This book traces the film noir genre back to its roots in German Expressionist cinema and the French cinema of the interwar years. The author describes the development of the film noir in America from 1941 through the 1970s and examines how this development expresses a modern cinema. He follows this development in a loosely historical style that associates certain noir directors with those features in their films that helped define the scope of the genre.
- Hirsch, Foster. Detours and Lost Highways: A Map of Neo-Noir.
New York : Limelight Editions, 1999.
DAVIS PN1995.9.F54 H57 1999
This book examines films from the classic film noir era and their influence on later films. The author devotes a lot of space to comparing original works with their later remakes. He also provides a thorough hisotry of film noir in pre- and post-war France.
- Keaney, Michael F. Film Noir Guide: 745 Films of the Classic Era, 1940-1959.
Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003.
DAVIS PN1995.9.F54 K43 2003
This source provides brief factual information and reviews for 745 films from the classic film noir era of the 1940's and 1950's.
- Kitses, Jim. Gun Crazy
London : British Film Institute, 1996.
DAVIS PN1997.G89 K5 1996
This book is a study of the film noir Gun Crazy, combining film history with textual analysis. The book also includes 25 black and white photographs.
- Lyons, Arthur. Death on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir.
New York: Da Capo Press, 2000.
DAVIS PN1995.9.F54 L96 2000
This book is a history of the B movie and how it led to the development of the genre that would become known as film noir. Included is a comprehensive filmography with title, date, studio, running time, alternate titles, credits, plot outline, and critique for each film. There is also a chronology of every B noir film from 1939 until 1959.
- Martin, Richard. Mean Streets and Raging Bulls: The Legacy of Film Noir in Contemporary American Cinema.
Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1997.
DAVIS PN1995.9.F54 M37 1997
This book is a study of the genre neo-noir and its relation to classic film noir. In the first half of the book, the author puts film noir into historical context. In the second part, he discusses the evolution of neo-noir from the 1970's up through the early 1990's.
- Muller, Eddie. Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir.
London: Titan Books, 1998.
DAVIS PN1995.9.F54 M86 1998b
This attractive book is a study of classic film noir, which is broken down into chapters that represent the key settings and character types of film noir. Also included are film stills and poster reproductions.
- Naremore, James. More Than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
DAVIS and UL PN1995.9.F54 N37 1998
This work of cultural history provides production information and commentary on films from the classic film noir period up through more recent neo-noir. The author takes an interdisciplinary approach, including observations about television, literature, and fine art, in his discussion.
- Oliver, Kelly and Benigno Trigo. Noir Anxiety.
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 2003.
DAVIS PN1995.9.F54 O44 2003
This academic work applies feminist and postcolonial psychoanalytic theory to traditional noir films, as well as some neo-noir films from the past three decades. The book focuses on anxiety about ambiguous sexual, racial, and national identities of the characters.
- Palmer, R. Barton. Hollywood's Dark Cinema: The American Film Noir.
New York: Twayne Publishers, 1994.
DAVIS and UL PN1995.9.F54 P36 1994
This book traces the beginning of film noir in the context of industry aims, target audiences, censorship, and the role Hollywood played in American society. The author also includes a review of the genre's identifiable elements of character, plot, and setting.
- Rabinowitz, Paula. Black & White & Noir: America's Pulp Modernism.
New York: Columbia University Press, 2002
DAVIS and UL PN1995.9.F54 R33 2002
This book explores America’s pulp modernism through readings of the noir sensibility in an eclectic array of media: Office of War Information photography, women´s experimental films, and African-American novels, among others. The author argues that film noir has served as an avenue of social and political expression in postwar America.
- Rafter, Nicole Hahn. Shots in the Mirror: Crime Films and Society.
New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
DAVIS and UL PN1995.9.G3 R34 2000
This academic work examines how crime films reflect and shape real life. It focuses on criminology in crime films, cop films, courtroom films, prison and execution films, crime film heroes, and the future.
- Richardson, Carl. Autopsy: An Element of Realism in Film Noir.
Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1992.
DAVIS and UL PN1995.9.F54 R5 1992
This book is a study of location in film noir. It centers its analysis on three classic film noirs: The Maltese Falcon, The Naked City, and Touch of Evil.
- Schwartz, Ronald. Noir, Now and Then: Film Noir Originals and Remakes (1944-1999).
Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001
DAVIS PN1995.9.F54 S39 2001
This book examines the cinematic style of film noir originals and their neo-noir remakes, comparing thirty-five films in total. The author provides in-depth analyses of the films, explaining the characteristics of film noir, as well as providing critical readings of both the originals and the remakes.
- Selby, Spencer. Dark City: The Film Noir.
Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, c1984.
DAVIS and UL PN1995.9.G3 S44 1984
This book is a very complete reference to the classic film noir period. The first section has a lengthy analytical essay as well as detailed plot descriptions and credits for 25 classic films. The second section is an annotated filmography including major credits and short descriptions on nearly 500 films. Also included are appendices listing every film noir by both director and chronological order, off-genre noirs, and other films bearing important relationships to the noir cycle.
- Silver, Alain and James Ursini. The Noir Style.
Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook Press, 1999
DAVIS FOLIO and UL FOLIO PN1995.9.F54 S58 1999
This resource is a collection of black and white movie stills from the classic period of film noir. The accompanying text explores noir's origins while devoting individual chapters to explorations of some classic noir motifs. The book has a 10 x 11 format, four-color jacket, and duotone prints throughout.
- Spicer, Andrew. Film Noir.
New York: Longman/Pearson Education, 2002.
DAVIS PN1995.9.F54 S68 2002
This introduction to film noir explores its contexts of production and reception, its visual style, narrative patterns and themes, and character development. The author also analyzes the rise of the genre of neo-noir. The final section provides a guide to further reading, an extensive bibliography, and a list of over 500 films referred to in the book.
- Telotte, J. P. Voices in the Dark: The Narrative Patterns of Film Noir.
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989.
DAVIS and UL PN1995.9.F54 T44 1989
This study of film noir situates the genre within its historical context, focusing on postwar disillusionment, cold war anxieties, and changing social circumstances. The author also discusses the amount of narrative experimentation in noir films.