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CMTH 220: Introduction to Film: Crime, Gangster & Prison

This guide will help you find film criticism, biographies of directors, definitions of film genres, and information about the Library's DVD collection.

Classic Crime, Gangster & Prison Films on DVD

What characteristics define the Crime, Gangster, or Prison movie? Visit the “Film Genres” page on the American Movie Classics (AMC) web site to find out!



Now Streaming: Films on Demand

Film noir is a sub-genre of the crime film category that first became popular in the 1930s, featuring cynical and pessimistic themes that touched a nerve in Americans. Historians link the genre's overriding paranoia to Cold War-related angst over the nuclear threat and the anti-Communist blacklist, as well as the anxiety of returning World War II veterans making the difficult transition back to civilian life. In this program, a cinematographer demonstrates the creation of noir lighting, which gives these films their distinctive, moody look, and emphasized undercurrents of corruption and urban decay.

Genre-Related Books