Hard-Boiled Hollywood: Crime and Punishment in Postwar Los Angeles

Jon Lewis (Author)

Product Details

University of California Press
Publish Date
April 19, 2017
5.98 X 0.69 X 9.02 inches | 1.11 pounds

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About the Author

Jon Lewis is the Distinguished Professor of Film Studies and University Honors College Eminent Professor at Oregon State University. He has published eleven books, including Whom God Wishes to Destroy . . .: Francis Coppola and the New Hollywood and Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry, is past editor of Cinema Journal, and served on the Executive Council of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.


"Jon Lewis's range as a film scholar is vast. . . . He leaves us with the conviction that the movie business is even more complicated and dangerous than we ever suspected, but never without great plots."-- (04/10/2017)
"On the way fantasy and reality interact in the films of the period, and on Hollywood's essential darkness, this is a dense and compelling book."--Times Higher Education (06/01/2017)
"The kind of book that could sit comfortably on the shelf between James Ellroy and Mike Davis. . . . A breezy read that doesn't talk down to the consumer - film buffs may know a lot about the subject, but younger readers will benefit."-- (04/14/2017)
"Borrowing language from the hard-boiled writing of mid-century America, Lewis tells this history like a noir, with flashbacks and an elegantly labyrinthine structure that merges form and content. Written with verve, an eye for detail and a wit that positions it in the space between history and fiction, it is a significant addition to the catalogue of books that have puzzled over the meanings of Hollywood and Los Angeles. . . . A dazzling book." -- (08/01/2017)
"By illuminating a vast collection of characters, the noble + ignoble alike, Lewis revises standard industry narratives in important + suggestive ways, widening the scope of Hollywood history."--Film Quarterly
"You can tell a lot about a society by looking at its suicides. That off-handed comment from Emile Durkheim becomes the animating principle for Jon Lewis's Hard-Boiled Holly-wood, which studies, as the surrealists would have it, the "exquisite corpses" of those left behind by the collapse of the studio machine. . . . The writing in this book is, in the Surreal-ists' terms, exquisite as well: a combination of penetrating analysis of the decline of the in-dustry and jaunty, laconic, and funny descrip-tion of the fish swimming in this infested sea."--The Journal of American History