The pioneering, incisive, lavishly illustrated survey of noir on television—the first of its kind.
Noir—as a style, movement, or sensibility—has its roots in hardboiled detective fiction by writers like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, and films adapted from their novels were among the first called “film noir” by French cinéastes. But film isn’t the only medium with a taste for a dark story.
Hundreds of noir dramas have been produced for television, featuring detectives and femmes fatales, gangsters, and dark deeds, continuing week after week, with a new disruption of the social order. In TV Noir, television historian Allen Glover presents the first complete study of the subject. Deconstructing its key elements with astute analysis, from NBC’s adaptation of Cornell Woolrich’s The Black Angel to the anthology programs of the ’40s and ’50s, from the classic period of Dragnet, M Squad, and 77 Sunset Strip to neo-noirs of the ’60s and ’70s including The Fugitive, Kolchak, and Harry O, this is the essential volume on TV noir.
Imprint: Abrams Books
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 298 B&W and 147 Color
Trim Size: 8 X 10 (Hardcover)
Other Formats: Kindle, eBook, Audible
Explore TV Noir by clicking on any chapter title:
* Each section could be a stand-alone show at a media museum or, better yet, a series at a dimly lit revival house. Essential for noir lovers, especially those who have exhausted the film canon and are hungry for more.
TV Noir is a very thorough and engaging book . . . Glover really knows his stuff—not just the genre, but also how to present a really good read. Rating: 9/10.
By taking such a diverse group of series and picking out the noir elements in each, Glover makes a compelling case for the genre to stand in its own right, separate from film, as a worthy and important artistic expression. The writing here is erudite and confident and, in part because examples used are often wildly differing, agreeably not repetitive in the arguments being made. The majority of the series in this book have had comparatively little written about them and it’s pleasing that Glover does so with clear-headed affection, wit and depth. If you’re a scholar of television history or simply just interested in the shows mentioned above, there is much to enjoy and it’s honestly likely that our rating would go up after more time spent with it. Highly recommended. 8/10.
Remarkably, despite the number of books on noir movies this is the first really comprehensive encyclopaedia on TV noir. It is beautifully illustrated, black and white/colour photoplates, images of book covers, behind the scenes shots, film and TV stills, and posters, there's an image on nearly every page. TV Noir serves very well as a survey of the noir genre programming across the major US TV networks that is satisfying whether you are looking to relive a past joy (a trip down memory lane) or discover the kind of TV that led to the programmes you love today. This is also a book that would suit a more academic enquiry into the art of noir on TV. Glover explores the transfer from book, movie and radio to TV, technical developments, plots, casts, writers, directors, socio-political context, critical theory and, to a lesser extent, the economics of it all. This is much more than a glossy scud through TV history.