New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2008. Dan Gregory. Second printing. Hardcover. 378pp. Quarto [31.5 cm] Black cloth over boards, with a gilt stamped title on the spine. Black endpapers. New / new. Item #50495
Reprinted, with corrections. Photography by Dan Gregory. Design by John Malloy. From the Publisher- The literary origins of the American film noir cycle are more convoluted than a plot contrived by Raymond Chandler after a too-long night at Musso and Frank. Kevin Johnson has paired his obsessions with film and literature to illuminate even the murkiest connections. Identifying every 1940s American film noir with a published literary source, The Dark Page provides concise but fact-filled accounts of the authors, books and filmmakers that came together-often in unlikely combinations-to create a unique and cherished period in film history.
Tapping the wells of film historians, cinemanistas, rare booksellers, collectors and librarians around the world, Johnson has compiled an unprecedented dossier of rare first edition book images. Bibliophiles and film fans alike will delight in the voyeuristic pleasure of seeing the colorful images of these editions, often with lurid or surreal jacket art, many of which they are unlikely to ever see elsewhere.
Complete with carefully researched and detailed bibliographical points for the first editions, The Dark Page is a highly entertaining resource that cuts across several disciplines, bringing the films and their literary sources into sharper focus for both the specialist and the casual reader. This is the first volume in a projected series that will cover the entire film noir cycle. Assuming the author escapes the gunplay that is almost sure to result from his revealing these long-held secrets of the rare book trade, the second volume will encompass American films noir between 1950-1965, and the third will explore the even more obscure world of British and European films noir.
The foreword to the book was written by the well-known film noir director, screenwriter and critic Paul Schrader. Another film critic, Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio, writes about The Dark Page: "If you love hard-boiled novels and the noir films they inspired--and how could you not--your hands are shaking right about now. With compelling reproductions of first edition jackets alternating with pithy, knowledgeable text about both the books and the films, this stunning volume is a dark dream come true."
Author Kevin Royal Johnson is the owner of Royal Books in Baltimore, specializing in first editions of modern literature, crime fiction, science fiction, books on film, photography, art and music. He is a member of the ABAA.