Bullets over Hollywood [electronic resource] : the American gangster picture from the silents to The Sopranos /
John McCarty.
1st Da Capo Press ed.
Cambridge, MA : Da Capo Press, 2004.
viii, 325 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
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Cambridge, MA : Da Capo Press, 2004.
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
Filmography: p. 264-300.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 311-313) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-01-01:
McCarty provides an expansive look at the history of the gangster film in Hollywood, and indeed his discussion ranges over a wide number of films from Griffith to the present, including films not generally available. Some readers will value his inclusion of a filmography of more than 1,200 films for reference; the appendix listing award nominations and winners will undoubtedly prove of interest to fans and historians of the genre. Nevertheless, readers seeking readings of the films or the tradition will find the book of limited use. This reviewer particularly regrets that McCarty makes almost no reference to the rich critical heritage (particularly on film noir or on genre) that has been assembled on many of these films. He argues, for example, that there is an important relationship between gangster films and westerns, but the argument offered in the first chapter is brief and perfunctory with no reference to the substantial body of criticism assembled on the western genre. The discussion of individual films and of movements within the gangster tradition itself is conceptually much thinner here than in a work such as James Naremore's More than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts (CH, Apr'99). ^BSumming Up: Optional. Extensive collections serving upper-division undergraduates through faculty. K. S. Nolley Willamette University
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2004-05-17:
According to McCarty, Americans admire the antihero gangster because he's an unbound character who goes where he wants, does what he wants and "takes no bull from anybody." The author conveys the appeal of these reckless outlaws, personified in film by such icons as Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney, through concise analyses of key crime films and well-drawn personal histories of the genre's central stars, directors and writers. McCarty, who's written some 30 books (The Fearmakers; etc.), astutely charts the inextricable link between gangster movies and westerns to a point where one mobster film, High Sierra (1941), was reshaped for cowboy fan consumption via Colorado Territory (1949), then underwent a gangster remake as I Died a Thousand Times (1955). McCarty kicks off with 1915's Regeneration and shoots through White Heat (1949), The Godfather (1972) and Chicago (2002). He credits D.W. Griffith for making the first gangster picture of any importance, The Musketeers of Pig Alley. He applauds Silky Jane Greer for her haunting, indelible portrayal of Kathy Moffat in 1947's Out of the Past and brings Richard Widmark vibrantly alive as the psychopath who pushes wheelchair-bound Mildred Dunnock down a flight of stairs. The book's most telling line powerfully indicates how vital gangster movies have been by citing George Raft-"gangster movies... taught gangsters how to talk"- and concludes that real-life criminals now define themselves by the mob images they've seen in The Godfather, Goodfellas and The Sopranos. Photos. Agent, Joy Tutela. (July 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, May 2004
Reference & Research Book News, November 2004
Choice, January 2005
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Table of Contents
Prologue: Gunslingers to Gangstersp. 1
The Devil's Triangle
Mean Streetsp. 13
Archetypesp. 26
The Mobster of a Thousand Facesp. 46
A Landscape of Night and Shadep. 64
Molls, Twists, Babes, and B Girlsp. 76
The Hoods
The Shame of a Nationp. 109
The Green-Eyed Mobsterp. 135
"Made it, Ma! Top o' the World!"p. 151
Bustin' Outp. 177
The Family
Once Upon a Time in New Yorkp. 203
An Offer Hollywood Couldn't Refusep. 222
Epilogue: Through the Looking Glassp. 241
Acknowledgmentsp. 247
The Oscars--Major Award Nominations and Winners, 1927-2003p. 249
The American Gangster Picture (Feature Length)--A Selected Filmography, 1915-Presentp. 264
Notesp. 301
Selected Bibliographyp. 311
Indexp. 315
About the Authorp. 325
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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