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Dark City Dames
By Eddie Muller

Femme fatales are everywhere nowadays—whether they're swingin' chicks, punk rock pin-ups or rockabilly ravers. In movies and magazines, on billboards and on the street, bawdy babes are adopting the look, style, attitude and patter of eye-catching icons from eras past, forever preserved in cinematic gems like Detour, Out of the Past, The Lady in the Lake, the Killing and Kiss of Death. Now, the luscious ladies of film noir get a chance to tell their side of the story in Eddie Muller's edifying new book, Dark City Dames (ReganBooks), wherein he interviews and chronicles the lives and loves of six legends: Jane Greer, Audrey Totter, Marie Windsor (who has since passed on), Evelyn Keyes, Coleen Gray and Ann Savage.

Muller is no stranger in this town; his previous book on the subject, Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir, was nominated for all the major literary mystery awards, and was unanimously praised as the definitive guide to this beleaguered burg. With this insightful, moving and entertaining follow-up, he gives us a tour of the tormented town from a personal point of view. The women profiled here differ greatly in matters of politics, sex, religion and even acting style, but they are all immortalized in the eyes of the world because of their work during the glory days of the Hollywood film factory. They are also somewhat surprised by the adulation, although they welcome it all the same. What makes this book both unique and memorable are the anecdotal asides. These aren't mere biographies; they're character studies. Muller revels—in their own words—the hearts, minds and souls of his sultry subjects. Equally stunning is the roster of supporting characters, including John Huston, Howard Hughes, Tyrone Power, Artie Shaw, John Garfield, Lana Turner, Gloria Grahame, Robert Mitchum, and other legendary luminaries. The walks through Hollywood history relate such major events as the McCarthy Communist witch-hunt, the Second World War, the advent of television, the rise and fall of the studio system, and the final days of a colorful century, all witnessed through the wisened eyes of these"wicked women of film noir."

The photos tell the stories almost as eloquently as the cinematic, hardboiled prose: From vintage cheesecake pics to latter day snapshots, we get to know these dangerous dames inside and out. And as is so often the case in the B-movie potboilers or yore, the true life twists and turns keep us glued to our seats till the final, fateful fadeout.

—Will "The Thrill" Viharo





Year 1999 Reviews
Year 2000 Reviews
Year 2001 Reviews
Year 2002 Reviews
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BR549—This is BR549
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Matt Catingub's Big Kahuna and The Copa Cat Pack—Shake Those Hula Hips!
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Cine Mexicano, California Crazy & Beyond, Poker
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Dark City Dames
Entering Germany 1944-1949
The House That Jack Built: My Life As a Trailblazer in Broadcasting and Entertainment
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Tell It To The Future

 


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