New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2009. First edition. Hardcover. SIGNED. 252pp. Quarto [31 cm] Black cloth over boards with a gilt stamped title on the spine. Black matte endpapers. With a pictorial dust jacket. New. Item #39620
Photography by Dan Gregory. Design by John Malloy. Signed by Kevin Johnson on the title page. Following up on his well-received bibliography of first edition sources for American film noir of the 1940s, Kevin Johnson's new bibliography The Dark Page II explores the second half of the classic American period, covering the years 1950-1965. Ground rules for noir style were by this time firmly established in Hollywood, and new techniques and themes had emerged, including location shooting and documentary-style storytelling, the incorporation of social issues into storylines, the final years of the Production Code's stranglehold on film content, and the influence of the style on Westerns, melodramas, and even science fiction. Importantly too, this era would see many of Hollywood's finest writers and directors blacklisted, jailed, or exiled as a result of McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities hearings.
The literary sources that informed this era evolved as well, with Hollywood taking a greater interest in the surprisingly literate novels that were being published as paid-by-the-word paperback originals, as well as hardcover titles being released by obscure and often short-lived publishers. The influence of the film industry on the book industry was felt in turn, with stories being snatched up as film options as soon as they first appeared in magazines and newspapers, sometimes resulting in a book publication that would never have occurred otherwise.
The Dark Page II is an essential volume in a continuing series of references that are projected to cover American screwball comedies, European film noir, and American crime films and dramas of the late 1960s and 1970s. Full-color photos of each first edition are featured, as well as bibliographical points for each book and a bounty of factual information surrounding both the origins of the books and their subsequent film adaptations.