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notes and sources

  • James Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice is a crime novel classic that has been translated several times onto the silver screen.

  • Both Cain's classic and They Shoot Horses, Don't They? by Horace McCoy are anthologized in Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and 40s. 'Horses' has also been made into a film. But not a film better than the novella....

  • The last chapter of Day of the Locust by Nathaneal West recounts a scene of mob hysteria at a Hollywood premiere. Yet again, this Hollywood of wanna-be starlets, bit players, poseurs and midgets has been translated - not too successfully - onto the big screen.

  • Upton Sinclair's essay, The Movies and Political Propaganda, is part of a larger volume called The Movies on Trial published in 1936. Some essays entitled The Movies, The Actor and Public Morals and The Movies and Juvenile Delinquincy sound fairly current; Sinclair's essay describes the subversive role Hollywood played in his failed bid for governor of California in 1934.

  • The excerpt from James Farrell's Studs Lonigan depicts Studs and a couple of buddies going downtown to see a swell new gangster picture. The type layout in the book mimics the layout of the newsreels on the screen and Studs narrates the film along to the audience....