Film Noir: Resources

Resources for the Bibliographical and Biographical Sleuth

Here are a few starting points for researching the works of twentieth-century Film Noir.

Many thanks to Richard L. Edwards of Ball State University for sharing a number of these sources. This list is by no means comprehensive.

If have a suggestion or a source you think would be great for our list, feel free to send us your suggestion via our contact form! 

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Books and Articles:

  • Biesen, Sheri Chinen. Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir. (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2005).
  • Blaser, John and Stephanie Blasser. “Film Noir and the Hard-Boiled Detective Hero” Online: from
  • Blaser, John and Stephanie Blasser. “Film Noir’s Progressive Portrayal of Women.” Online: from
  • Borde, Raymond and Etienne Chaumeton. A Panorama of American Film Noir, 1941-1953. Translated by Paul Hammond (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2002 [1955])
  • Bordwell, David, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson. The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985).
  • Buhle, Paul and Dave Wagner. Radical Hollywood: The Untold Story behind America’s Favorite Movies. (New York: The New Press, 2002).
  • Bould, Mark. Film Noir from Berlin to Sin City. (London, Wallflower, 2005).
  • Butler, David. Jazz Noir: Listening to Music from Phantom Lady to the Last Seduction. (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2002).
  • Casper, Drew. Postwar Hollywood: 1945-1962. (Wiley, 2007)
  • Clute, Shannon and Richard Edwards. The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism (Dartmouth College Press, 2011).
  • Copjec, Joan, ed. Shades of Noir. (London: Verso, 1993).
  • Dashiell, Chris. “A Crash Course in Studios.” Online: Available at
  • Duncan, Philip. Film Noir: Films of Trust and Betrayal. (Pocket Essentials Film, 2003).
  • French, Philip. “From Nighthawks to the shadows of film noir” from The Guardian UK
  • Greil, Marcus. “Picturing America,” Online:
  • Hammett, Dashiell. “Arson Plus.” Available at The Library of America for free
  • Hirsch, Foster. Detours and Lost Highways: A Map of Neo-Noir. (Limelight Edition, 1999).
  • Hirsch, Foster. Film Noir: The Dark Side of the Screen. (A.S. Barnes and Company, 1981).
  • Isenberg, Noah. Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014).
  • Kaplan, E. Ann, ed. Women in Film Noir. (London: Palgrave, 2008 [first published 1978]).
  • Krutnik, Frank. In a Lonely Street: Film Noir, Genre, and Masculinity. (New York: Routledge, 1991).
  • Lyons, Arthur. Death on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir. (Da Capo Press, 2000).
  • Mainon, Dominique and James Ursini. Femme Fatale: Cinema’s Most Unforgettable Lethal Ladies. (New York: Limelight, 2009).
  • Muller, Eddie. Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998).
  • Muller, Eddie. Dark City Dames: The Wicked Women of Film Noir (New York: Regan Books, 2001).
  • Muller, Eddie. “Film Noir.” Online at
  • Muller, Eddie. “Low Company, High Style: The Eternal Lure of Film Noir.” Online at
  • Naremore, James. More Than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008).
  • Patterson, John. “Cheap Thrills” (2009) in The Guardian:
  • Place, Janey and Lowell Peterson. “Some Visual Motifs of Film Noir” (1974) (Republished in Silver and Ursini’s Film Noir Reader 1 and also available from a Western Illinois University website
  • Polan, Dana. Power and Paranoia: History, Narrative, and the American Cinema, 1940-1950. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986).
  • Porfirio, Robert. “No Way Out: Existential Motifs in Film Noir” (1976) in Silver and Ursini’s Film Noir Reader 1.
  • Rabinowitz, Paula. Black & White & Noir: America’s Pulp Modernism. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002).
  • Silver, Alain and James Ursini. Film Noir Reader 1. (New York: Limelight Editions, 1999).
  • Silver, Alain and James Ursini. Film Noir Reader 2. (New York: Limelight Editions, 2003).
  • Silver, Alain and James Ursini. Film Noir Reader 4: The Crucial Films and Themes (New York: Limelight Editions, 2004)
  • Silver, Alain and James Ursini. The Noir Style. (New York: The Overlook Press, 1999)
  • Silver, Alain and Elizabeth Ward. Film Noir: An Encylopedic Reference to the American Style. Third Edition. (Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1988)
  • Spicer, Andrew. Historical Dictionary of Film Noir. (Lantham: The Scarecrow Press, 2010).
  • Truffault, Francois and Helen G. Scott. Hitchcock: Dialogue between Truffault and Hitchcock. (London: Simon and Schuster, 1983).
  • Weegee. “Weegee” from Bomb Magazine
  • Welles, Orson and Peter Bogdonavich. This is Orson Welles. (New York: Harper Perennial, 1993).



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