Saturday, August 28, 2010

New from McFarland: Mystery Movie Series of 1940s Hollywood

Mystery Movie Series of 1940s Hollywood
Ron Backer 
ISBN 978-0-7864-4864-7
63 photos, bibliography, index
330pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2010
Price: $45.00

Many of the 20th century’s most celebrated fictional sleuths appeared in Hollywood movie mystery series of the forties. This volume focuses on 19 series (146 films): The Saint, The Lone Wolf, Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, Nick Carter, Michael Shayne, Ellery Queen, Boston Blackie, The Falcon, Mr. District Attorney, Wally Benton, Crime Doctor, The Whistler, Inner Sanctum, Dick Tracy, Philip Marlowe, Jack Packard and Doc Long, Steve Wilson and Lorelei Kilbourne, and John J. Malone.

For each series, there is an overview of the source material, the individual films, and the performers who acted in them. An overall review of each film is included, with a critique of the film’s quality and the cohesiveness of its plot. For movies based on written works, a comparison between the film and its literary original is offered.

Table of Contents
Introduction      1

1. The Saint: The Robin Hood of Modern Crime      5
2. The Lone Wolf: The Retired Cracksman      26
3. Sherlock Holmes: The World’s Greatest Detective      52
4. The Shadow: The Caped Avenger      86
5. Nick Carter: The Master Detective      97
6. Michael Shayne: The Private Detective      104
7. Ellery Queen: The Amateur Detective      128
8. Boston Blackie: The Reformed Ex-Convict      149
9. The Falcon: The Other Robin Hood of Modern Crime      170
10. Mr. District Attorney: Champion of the People      196
11. Wally Benton: The “Whistling” Comedy Mysteries      205
12. Crime Doctor: The Psychiatrist Detective      213
13. The Whistler: The Man Who Knew Many Things      229
14. Inner Sanctum: The Mystery of the Mind      246
15. Dick Tracy: The Police Detective      260
16. Philip Marlowe: The Hardboiled Detective      271
17. Jack Packard and Doc Long: I Love a Mystery      286
18. Steve Wilson and Lorelei Kilbourne: The Big Town Reporters      294
19. John J. Malone: The Attorney Detective      302
Bibliography      313 

Index      315

About the Author
Ron Backer is an attorney who has previously written for law reviews and other legal publications. An avid fan of both mysteries and movies, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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