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Raising Cain: The work of James M. Cain

18 September 2012 7:13 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Hammett, Chandler, Cain: the modern mystery thriller starts with them. They are the godfathers of that sensibility that would come to be called noir which would, in time, overflow the printed page and onto the stage, the big screen, and eventually even to television. Identified primarily with mysteries, the concept of flawed human beings ethically tripping and stumbling in a moral No Man’s Land, equidistant between Right and Wrong, Good and Bad would bleed across genre lines. There would be noir Westerns (Blood on the Moon, 1948), noir war movies (Attack!, 1956), noir horror (The Body Snatcher, 1945), even noir melodramas like Cain’s own Mildred Pierce, adapted for the screen in 1945.

But they all started with what Hammett, Chandler, and Cain did on the page, and each provided an evolutionary step which took what had once been usually dismissed as a flyweight genre dedicated to colorful private investigators and clever puzzles, »

- Bill Mesce

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2013 | 2012 | 2009

1 item from 2012


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