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The Private Eye: Detectives in the Movies

Nicol, BJ (2013) The Private Eye: Detectives in the Movies Locations . Reaktion Books, London. ISBN 9781780231020

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Abstract

Since the early days of cinema, the private eye has been one of its most memorable characters, often viewed as a romantic hero, a ‘lone wolf’ who confronts and tries to make sense of a violent and chaotic modern world. In The Private Eye Bran Nicol challenges this stereotype, offering a fresh take on iconic figures such as Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe and Jake Gittes, and a cogent reappraisal of film noir. Analysing a wide range of films, including classics such as The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Chinatown, and The Long Goodbye, Nicol traces the history of the private eye movie from the influential film noirs of the 1940s, through innovative 1970s neo-noir cinema, to the presence of the private eye in movie mythology today. He reveals that although these films are exciting thrillers, they are nevertheless preoccupied by ‘domestic’ issues: work, home and love. Rather than fearless investigation, Nicol argues, the private eye’s job is really about unveiling the private lives and private spaces of others, an achievement which comes at the expense of his own private life. Combining a lucid introduction to an under-explored tradition in movie history with a novel approach to the detective in film, this book casts new light on the private worlds of the private eye.

Item Type: Book
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of English and Languages
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Nicol, BJUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 6 May 2013
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Copyright Bran Nicol, 2013. Published by Reaktion Books Ltd. Full text may be available at a later date.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 08 Jul 2014 10:24
Last Modified : 08 Jul 2014 13:33
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/805600

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