The second edition of this classic study provides a reintroduction to some of the major films and theoretical considerations of film noir and gangster films in twentieth-century America. Ranging from Little Caesar (1930) to Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995), Shadoian guides the reader through twenty classic movies of the genre.
His approach is to use brief introductions to introduce distinct eras of the gangster films in each of seven chapters. Moving chronologically, he offers plot synopses and close readings of such definitive examples as Bonnie and Clyde, The Public Enemy, D.O.A. and The Godfather, each accompanied by photographs and author's critiques. Compenendia of facts on each film are also provided. This updated version looks a newer films as well as how the genre has moved into the new century. Appendices look at the movie Criss Cross as an epitome of the genre while others offer different lists of gangster films, including the author's top fourteen alltime, fifty post-Godfather films worth seeing, and fifty vintage films.