Film Noir Fatal Women


320 pages
8x10 paper
400 B&W photos
Silman-James Press

From Alain Silver and James Ursini, authors of The Noir Style and Film Noir Graphics and editors of the seven-volume Film Noir Reader series, comes Film Noir Fatal Women—their latest exploration of the key elements that define America’s only homegrown film movement.

400 illustrations reveal the graphic and sensory core of the classic noir Femme Fatale, the visual icon and dramatic persona that underlies countless doomed narratives of the genre. From torch singers to gun molls, secretaries to sociopaths, black widows to B-girls, both blondes and brunettes, abused and empowered—they all haunt these vivid pages.

About James Ursini

James Ursini holds degrees in theater and film from UCLA and has written and/or co-written (many with Alain Silver) numerous books, including The Noir Style, Film Noir, Film Noir: The Directors, Film Noir Reader, Film Noir Light and Shadow, Film Noir Prototypes, The Fabulous Life and Times of Preston Sturges, Directors on the Edge, The Modern Amazons: Warrior Women On-Screen, and Cinema of Obsession: Erotic Fixation and Love Gone Wrong in the Movies. Ursini has also written for various film magazines and supplied the commentary for numerous classic film noir DVDs. He lectures on filmmaking in the Los Angeles area.

About Alain Silver

Alain Silver holds degrees in film from UCLA and is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America. He has written and co-written (many with James Ursini) and edited dozens of books, including Film Noir: The Encyclopedia, The Noir Style, Film Noir Fatal Women, L.A. Noir, Film Noir Graphics, Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles, Film Noir Reader, James Wong Howe: The Camera Eye, The Films of David Lean, Roger Corman: Metaphysics on a Shoestring, The Zombie Film, The Vampire Film, The Samurai Film, The Film Director’s Team, Film Budgeting, any many others.
He has been an assistant director and production manager on numerous studio projects and an independent feature producer whose 30-plus credits include Cyborg 2, Beat, and Crashing. He has lectured on topics that range from film production to film noir and has moderated and participated in panels for the American Film Institute, Slamdance, Cinequest, the LA Film Festival, and UCLA Extension.
As an expert on noir, Raymond Chandler, as well as vampire films and directors David Lean, and Robert Aldrich, he has appeared on-camera for the BBC, Starz, Channel Four UK, E!, KCET, American Movie Classics, the Sci-fi Channel, CBC/Ontario, and ARD and done a couple dozen audio commentaries and essays for DVD releases from Criterion, Warner Bros. and 20th Century-Fox

“Quite often, despite its masculine swagger, film noir’s most complex, most compelling characters are women. In proving that case, Alain Silver and James Ursini, with their encyclopedic knowledge of the genre, have curated a comprehensive collection of images, aided and abetted by their always insightful comments. Guns, guts, guile, glamour—it’s all here.”
—Richard Deming, Director of Creative Writing at Yale University and author of Touch of Evil (BFI)

“These authors use a key aspect of film noir, visual style, to illuminate one of its principal dark icons: the femme fatale. Lavishly illustrated, this book provides both eye-catching and meticulous detail on classic characters that embody noir’s fatal women.”
—Walter Hill, writer-director of Hard Times, The Driver, 48 Hrs., and Johnny Handsome

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