В книге рассматривается весь спектр криминального кино: гангстерский фильм, нуар, эротический триллер, криминальная комедия и другие. Автор выводит закономерности и общие тенденции. Он анализирует десять важнейших фильмов жанра и показывает, что происходило в этом жанре в течение всего столетия.

However different their primary impulses might seem, comedies and crime films both depend on outraging the establishment within the film and viewers’ expectations about the film. Assuming that viewers wish to laugh at criminal outrages that fulfill their own dark fantasies, and will do so if they can be released from the moral decorum that demands they condemn criminal behavior, many crime films work to establish a decorum of acceptable outrage, just as noncomic crime films might rely on a decorum that accepts mob killings or vigilante cops as normal.

The obvious way to establish a decorum of acceptable comic outrage is to present victims who are comical because they are inconsequential, despicable, or incapable of suffering serious harm, like the eight murdered relatives all played by Alec Guinness in the Ealing comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets(1949) and the blustering criminals who end up dying instead of their innocent intended victims in The Ladykillers(1955) and Charade(1963). Audiences will laugh even at serious crimes, however, if they are investigated by comical detectives like Buster Keaton’s daydreaming amateur sleuth in Sherlock Jr.(1924),the incompetent detectives played by W. C. Fields in The Bank Dick (1940) and Groucho Marx in The Big Store (1941) and Love Happy (1950), Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the Pink Panther movies (1964–93), and Axel Foley in the Beverly Hills Copfranchise (1984–94). Finally, criminal threats can be defused and rendered comical if the criminals themselves are played for laughs, like the maiden-aunt killers of Arsenic and Old Lace(1944); the oblivious couple who commit the murders in Eating Raoul(1982) in hopes of financing a restaurant; the aspiring standup comic of The King of Comedy (1982) who kidnaps a talk-show host in order to break into show biz; and the mob boss in Analyze This (1999) who consults an unwilling psychiatrist when he unaccountably loses his appetite for killing.

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@темы: книги о кино, философия, семантика, СПГС