NOIR CITY E-Mag No. 26

NOIR CITY E-Mag Table of Contents

Issue 26 of the NOIR CITY e-mag was originally planned as a "true crime" issue with most of the features blurring the line between crimes in the reel world and the real world. Unfortunately, some of those pieces were postponed or scuttled for various reasons—perhaps to be resurrected at a later date. Two of them remain, however, and they are doozies.

The rarely discussed role of organized crime in the Golden Era of Hollywood is examined by Alan K. Rode in his feature "The Chicago Way." The names Willie Bioff and George Brown aren't known to most film fans, but it could be argued they had as much impact on the course of Hollywood history as Darryl Zanuck or Jack Warner. Maybe. By whatever measure, the tale of these mid-level mobsters muscling the Chicago outfit into the daily operation of the film industry plays like a fictional gangster saga—except it's all true.

If that crime melodrama had a leading man, it was Johnny Roselli, aka "Handsome Johnny," whom John Wranovics profiles in a companion piece to Rode's article. Roselli was a mob scout who truly loved the movies and managed to carve a niche for himself as a silent partner in several noir classics produced by short-lived Eagle-Lion Films. The article, researched over the course of several years by the author, also shines a light on two other intriguing figures rarely given the limelight: producer Bryan Foy and Joseph Breen Jr.—son of Hollywood's chief censor and trusted associate of the Chicago racketeer. See if you can keep track of all the strange bedfellows in this story.

And if you can't get enough of "Handsome Johnny," the redoubtable Lee Server, who's written indispensable bios of Robert Mitchum and Ava Gardner, has a new book on Roselli, reviewed in this issue by Vince Keenan.

Contributor Ben Terrall offers a terrific piece on Jonathan Latimer, one of the best, still unrecognized, screenwriters of the original noir era. Unlike many more well-known novelists turned screenwriters, Latimer never groused about his lot in Hollywood—he was too busy churning out first-rate scripts that stand with the genre's best.

Check out Brain Light's "Out of the Past: Collecting Film Noir Posters!" Not only does Brian provide a concise guide for those considering making poster collecting a hobby, he provides a valuable first-person account of feeding the paper habit back before the advent of the internet—back when you could still pick up that special movie poster for a relative song.

And these are just the entrées in an 88-page smorgasbord of the dark delights in Issue 26 of the NOIR CITY e-magazine.


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NOIR CITY E-Mag Back Issues

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NOIR CITY Annual #11

2019's NOIR CITY Annual 11, the best of the best from the Film Noir Foundation's 2018 quarterly NOIR CITY e-magazines, is an essential addition to any film lover's library—essays, interviews, profiles, tributes, and reviews of classic and modern noir films from today's top writers -- including Imogen Sara Smith, Jake Hinkson, Ray Banks, Vince Keenan, Alan K. Rode, Steve Kronenberg, Gary Deane, Nathalie Atkinson, Ehsan Khoshbakht, Monica Nolan, Ben Terrall, and Eddie Muller. Book layout and design by Michael Kronenberg. And, as with any purchase from the FNF, when you buy NOIR CITY Annual 11, you'll be helping fund the non-profit foundation's film restoration efforts. PURCHASE AT AMAZON

NOIR CITY E-mag Excerpts


Hot Shadows

"Nightclubs ... that appear in American films are pallid and sedate compared with their Mexican counterparts where the smoke is thicker, the music spicier, the neon and passions hotter, the sins and shadows blacker." Imogen Sara Smith offers an overview of Mexican noir showing a country at once energized and disenchanted by modernity. READ

Tehran Noir

In the 1950s and '60s, the premieres of Khachikian's films would cause traffic jams. The films are part documentary, part product of Samuel Khachikian's fantasy of an Iran that successfully absorbed Hollywood style. Ehsan Khoshbakht, co-director of the annual Il Cinema Ritrovata festival in Bologna, offers a fascinating look at the career of the Iranian director. READ

Patrick McGoohan


Patrick McGoohan was a tough man to know, but author Ray Banks provides an insightful profile on the famously guarded and often opaque actor including his films with the Rank Organisation, High Tide at Noon (1957), Hell Drivers (1957), and The Gypsy and the Gentleman (1958). READ

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