Death On The Cheap: The Lost B Movies Of Film Noir

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9780306809965: Death On The Cheap: The Lost B Movies Of Film Noir

Robert Mitchum once commented to Arthur Lyons about his movies of the 1940s and 1950s: "Hell, we didn't know what film noir was in those days. We were just making movies. Cary Grant and all the big stars at RKO got all the lights. We lit our sets with cigarette butts." Film noir was made to order for the "B," or low-budget, part of the movie double bill. It was cheaper to produce because it made do with less lighting, smaller casts, limited sets, and compact story lines—about con men, killers, cigarette girls, crooked cops, down-and-out boxers, and calculating, scheming, very deadly women. In Death on the Cheap, Arthur Lyons entertainingly looks at the history of the B movie and how it led to the genre that would come to be called noir, a genre that decades later would be transformed in such "neo-noir" films as Pulp Fiction, Fargo, and L.A. Confidential. The book, loaded with movie stills, also features a witty and informative filmography (including video sources) of B films that have largely been ignored or neglected—“lost" to the general public but now restored to their rightful place in movie history thanks to Death on the Cheap.

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Review:

Penzler Pick, September 2000: The past 20 years or so appear to have seen more books on film noir than any other movie genre. When people speak or write about film noir, they invariably invoke Laura, Double Indemnity, The Maltese Falcon, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Third Man, and a handful of other iconic examples of the popular genre. These are A movies, however, made with substantial budgets by the major studios and featuring the headline actors and actresses of the time. The B films, with a few notable exceptions, have largely been ignored. Arthur Lyons, who really knows his stuff, figured that the world didn't need to read again about Dashiell Hammett and James M. Cain, or Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott. Instead, he devotes his intelligent pen to helping us rediscover the B films, the second features that helped keep movie theaters full in the 1940s and 1950s. Made for budgets that frequently fell short of $100,000, with cheap sets and costumes, these plot-driven movies had little in the way of special effects and nothing in the way of super-star actors and actresses. Republic was famous for its low-budget films and serials, as was Monogram, but even the major studios had B units.

Hugely fascinating information impossible to find without devoting an inordinate amount of your life to research, which is clearly what Lyons must have done, fills every page of this tome. In addition to an overview and chronological history of B films noir, Death on the Cheap has a comprehensive filmography with title, date, studio, running time, alternate titles, credits, plot outline, and critique for each film. There is also a chronology of every B noir film (Lyons credits 1939's Blind Alley as the first and reckons 1959 as the end of the genre). Although an unapologetic fan of B noir films, Lyons has no problem warning potential viewers from the really bad ones, and he doesn't exactly make his opinions known in a subtle fashion. Take this example, used to describe Hit and Run, a 1957 movie involving twins, produced, directed, written by and starring Hugo Haas: "Yet another smell-o by Haas.... Haas, of course, had to play the parts of both twins, doubling the pain for the audience."

Lyons, a well-known writer of the superb series of private-eye novels about Jacob Asch, demonstrates that his writing skills remain equally high whether he's writing fiction or nonfiction. Death on the Cheap is one of those rare pleasures, like a box of expensive chocolates that you can dip into any time and discover a genuine treat. --Otto Penzler

About the Author:

Arthur Lyons is the author of eighteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Dead Are Discreet and other mysteries featuring private eye Jacob Asch. He lives in Palm Springs, California.

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Arthur Lyons
Editore: INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United Kingdom (2000)
ISBN 10: 0306809966 ISBN 13: 9780306809965
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Descrizione libro INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Robert Mitchum once commented to Arthur Lyons about his movies of the 1940s and 1950s: Hell, we didn t know what film noir was in those days. We were just making movies. Cary Grant and all the big stars at RKO got all the lights. We lit our sets with cigarette butts. Film noir was made to order for the B, or low-budget, part of the movie double bill. It was cheaper to produce because it made do with less lighting, smaller casts, limited sets, and compact story lines,about con men, killers, cigarette girls, crooked cops, down-and-out boxers, and calculating, scheming, very deadly women. In Death on the Cheap , Arthur Lyons entertainingly looks at the history of the B movie and how it led to the genre that would come to be called noir, a genre that decades later would be transformed in such neo-noir films as Pulp Fiction, Fargo , and L.A. Confidential . The book, loaded with movie stills, also features a witty and informative filmography (including video sources) of B films that have largely been ignored or neglected, lost to the general public but now restored to their rightful place in movie history thanks to Death on the Cheap . Codice libro della libreria AA29780306809965

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Descrizione libro INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Robert Mitchum once commented to Arthur Lyons about his movies of the 1940s and 1950s: Hell, we didn t know what film noir was in those days. We were just making movies. Cary Grant and all the big stars at RKO got all the lights. We lit our sets with cigarette butts. Film noir was made to order for the B, or low-budget, part of the movie double bill. It was cheaper to produce because it made do with less lighting, smaller casts, limited sets, and compact story lines,about con men, killers, cigarette girls, crooked cops, down-and-out boxers, and calculating, scheming, very deadly women. In Death on the Cheap , Arthur Lyons entertainingly looks at the history of the B movie and how it led to the genre that would come to be called noir, a genre that decades later would be transformed in such neo-noir films as Pulp Fiction, Fargo , and L.A. Confidential . The book, loaded with movie stills, also features a witty and informative filmography (including video sources) of B films that have largely been ignored or neglected, lost to the general public but now restored to their rightful place in movie history thanks to Death on the Cheap . Codice libro della libreria AA29780306809965

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Descrizione libro Da Capo Press 11/2/2000, 2000. Paperback or Softback. Condizione libro: New. Death on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir. Book. Codice libro della libreria BBS-9780306809965

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Descrizione libro Da Capo Press. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.8in. x 6.0in. x 0.6in.Robert Mitchum once commented to Arthur Lyons about his movies of the 1940s and 1950s: Hell, we didnt know what film noir was in those days. We were just making movies. Cary Grant and all the big stars at RKO got all the lights. We lit our sets with cigarette butts. Film noir was made to order for the B, or low-budget, part of the movie double bill. It was cheaper to produce because it made do with less lighting, smaller casts, limited sets, and compact story linesabout con men, killers, cigarette girls, crooked cops, down-and-out boxers, and calculating, scheming, very deadly women. In Death on the Cheap, Arthur Lyons entertainingly looks at the history of the B movie and how it led to the genre that would come to be called noir, a genre that decades later would be transformed in such neo-noir films as Pulp Fiction, Fargo, and L. A. Confidential. The book, loaded with movie stills, also features a witty and informative filmography (including video sources) of B films that have largely been ignored or neglectedlost to the general public but now restored to their rightful place in movie history thanks to Death on the Cheap. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria 9780306809965

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Descrizione libro Da Capo Press, 2000. Condizione libro: New. "Robert Mitchum once commented to Arthur Lyons about his movies of the 1940s and 1950s: "Hell, we didn't know what film noir was in those days. We were just making movies. Cary Grant and all the big st" Num Pages: 224 pages, 40 b&w illustrations. BIC Classification: 2ABM; APF; FF; HBT. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 229 x 153 x 15. Weight in Grams: 370. . 2000. 2nd. Paperback. . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780306809965

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Descrizione libro The Perseus Books Group. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Death on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir, Arthur Lyons, Robert Mitchum once commented to Arthur Lyons about his movies of the 1940s and 1950s: "Hell, we didn't know what film noir was in those days. We were just making movies. Cary Grant and all the big stars at RKO got all the lights. We lit our sets with cigarette butts." Film noir was made to order for the "B," or low-budget, part of the movie double bill. It was cheaper to produce because it made do with less lighting, smaller casts, limited sets, and compact story lines--about con men, killers, cigarette girls, crooked cops, down-and-out boxers, and calculating, scheming, very deadly women. In Death on the Cheap, Arthur Lyons entertainingly looks at the history of the B movie and how it led to the genre that would come to be called noir, a genre that decades later would be transformed in such "neo-noir" films as Pulp Fiction, Fargo, and L.A. Confidential. The book, loaded with movie stills, also features a witty and informative filmography (including video sources) of B films that have largely been ignored or neglected--"lost" to the general public but now restored to their rightful place in movie history thanks to Death on the Cheap. Codice libro della libreria B9780306809965

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Descrizione libro Da Capo Press. Condizione libro: New. "Robert Mitchum once commented to Arthur Lyons about his movies of the 1940s and 1950s: "Hell, we didn't know what film noir was in those days. We were just making movies. Cary Grant and all the big st" Num Pages: 224 pages, 40 b&w illustrations. BIC Classification: 2ABM; APF; FF; HBT. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 229 x 153 x 15. Weight in Grams: 370. . 2000. 2nd. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780306809965

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