Monday, April 05, 2010

Reviewing: "Mystery, Suspense, Film Noir And Detective Movies on DVD: A Guide To The Best In Cinema Thrills"

Written by John Howard Reid and self published through Lulu Books last year, this cinematic guide doesn’t waste time with an introduction, preface, or table of contents. It opens with the 1937 file “Accidents Will Happen.” According to the synopsis, the film is about “an insurance adjuster (Reagan) is hounded by his shrewish wife (Shelia Brornley) and a corrupt claims investigator (Lawler.)” Along with a detailed cast list and a production list is basic copyright and technical info on the film and a comment about the movie. The comment is a multi sentence mini review of the film and the Mr. Reid’s reaction to it.

This same format is followed throughout the first more than three hundred pages and ends with the 1933 film “Zoo in Budapest.” In between are many films including ones such as “a Bullet for Joey” staring Edward L. Robinson, “a Kiss Before Dying” staring Robert Wayner and over 180 other films. Ones listed are primarily from the 1930s to the 1950s and features a black and white still picture from the movie.

Starting on page 313 with an essay on the topic of “Noir, Crime and Mystery” various topics are considered in detail with additional movies covered and included. After discussing the topic in considerable depth for over 100 pages through examples and cinematic details, the author moves on to consider “The Best Sherlock Holmes” starting on page 419. This leads into an essay discussion on “The Thin Man Series” (Page 426), “Raymond Chandler on DVD” (Page 440), a two page essay on the 1984 Paramount Production “The Big Clock” (Page 447), and a five page essay considering the ultimate movie tough guys” Boggart Versus Ladd” (page 449) The book concludes with a short list of lesser known retailers that might carry these films, a list of the top thirty-six noir films according to the author and a eleven page index arranged alphabetically by movie title.

This no nonsense guide is a comprehensive and very detailed look at a period of cinematic history. Published by Lulu Books, the book is well worth the investment in both time and money for the reader seriously interested in the subject matter. Details and facts abound in the well written book. For serious movie lovers of the classics, this book is a fantastic resource and a welcome addition to the reference library.

Mystery, Suspense, Film Noir And Detective Movies on DVD: A Guide To The Best In Cinema Thrills
John Howard Reid
LuLu Books
467 Pages

Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2010

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