Category Archives: Hardboiled

Institutional Noir

A shot Paul Bond captured from episode 4 of The Wire, “Old Cases,” highlights the corporate institutional spaces much of the police work revolves around in this season. In his commentary for episode 1 of the season, David Simon refers … Continue reading Continue reading

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Dirty Snow Hardboiled

More than six months ago I finished reading Georges Simenon‘s novel Dirty Snow. It still haunts me regularly. There’s only one other book that I’ve read over the last decade that has had the same, harrowing effect on me: Cormac … Continue reading Continue reading

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Milan Caliber 9: Italian Hardboiled

A few weeks ago I watched Fernando Di Leo’s Milan caliber 9 (1972) and loved it. Unfortunately I’ve been too crazy to write about it sooner, so not all the details are fresh with me. That said, there are a … Continue reading Continue reading

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Homeboiled: Touchez pas au grisbi

Thanks to my special lady friend, our focus on French noir continues, this time with a quiet mediation on growing old in the 1954 film Touchez pas au grisbi (“Don’t touch the loot”) by Jacques Becker starring Jean Gabin. The Criterion Collection’s synopsis for the film … Continue reading Continue reading

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Maybe I like to be cheap once in a while….

….maybe everybody does. The following scene is a classic Hollywood moment from Vincente Minnelli‘s 1952 melodrama The Bad and the Beautiful between Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas —and both prove why they are masters, though Douglas steals this one at … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Curtis Hanson, douglas sirk, Hardboiled, James Ellroy, Kirk Douglas, L.A. Confidential, lana turner, movies, Quentin Tarantino, Sterling Hayden, The Bad and the Beautiful, Vincente Minnelli | Leave a comment

The Set-Up: Round two

Last week I blogged a bit about the film version of The Set-Up, so I thought I should take the time to read the book. The book and the film have similarities and differences, which Jefferson Hunter detailed far better than … Continue reading Continue reading

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True crime

Last semester I played along with Jim Groom’s hardboiled detective fiction course at UMW. After all the fun we had with that course, we’re looking at exploring crime reporting in America from colonial era execution sermons through classic true crime (In … Continue reading Continue reading

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Damnable Bestialities: a Hardboiled Discussion with David Kernohan

Thanks to David Kernohan I finally got the opportunity to talk about some of the fallout of the Hardboiled class I taught last semester. It was a really fun class, and like ds106, the first time through a relatively new … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Cotton Mather, David Kernohan, Hardboiled, Paul Bond | Leave a comment


I came to hardboiled fiction from a few different angles. I grew up reading comic books, so the jump from things like The Shadow and Robert E. Howard comics to pulp fiction to detective stories is practically inevitable. Another thing … Continue reading Continue reading

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Ellroy on Hammett: a Hardboiled War on Labor

I was searching the UMW library database for a James Ellroy novel I wanted to re-read this break (The Big Nowhere), when I stumbled across his introduction to an Everyman’s Library Edition of some of Dashiell Hammett’s stories and novels. … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Dashiell Hammett, Hardboiled, James Ellroy, labor, Red Harvest, work | Leave a comment