The Dream of Return

Wheeler Winston Dixon

in Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780748623990
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653614 | DOI:
The Dream of Return

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What happened when the men came home from war? They returned to a world transformed into an alien landscape, something they didn't understand and didn't recognise as home, a place full of new and strange social customs, in which the fabric of prewar society had been torn asunder by massive social, economic, and political change. And a new kind of film was waiting for them, as well; the film noir, or ‘black film,’ which documented better than anything else the realities of this new social order. Boris Ingster's Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) is often cited as one of the first unadulterated film noirs. H. Bruce Humberstone's I Wake Up Screaming (1941) is another tale of big-city dreams shattered by the realities of daily existence. Other post-war film noirs include Edgar G. Ulmer's legendary film Detour (1945), Tay Garnett's The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) and Michael Curtiz's Mildred Pierce (1945).

Keywords: Boris Ingster; Stranger on the Third Floor; film noir; H. Bruce Humberstone; I Wake Up Screaming; Edgar G. Ulmer; Detour; Tay Garnett; The Postman Always Rings Twice; Mildred Pierce

Chapter.  11582 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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