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Hollywood AestheticPleasure in American Cinema$
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Todd Berliner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190658748

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190658748.001.0001

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Crime Films during the Period of the Production Code Administration

Crime Films during the Period of the Production Code Administration

(p.157) Eight Crime Films during the Period of the Production Code Administration
Hollywood Aesthetic

Todd Berliner

Oxford University Press

Chapter 8 demonstrates the ways in which ideological constraints in studio-era Hollywood shaped the aesthetic properties of an entire body of crime films, now commonly known as film noir. The ideological restrictions of the Production Code Administration posed creative problems that noir filmmakers solved through visual and narrative contortion. The contortions created challenges for audiences, who had to decode and make sense of films that may not show complete clarity or coherence in their storytelling. Film noir remains aesthetically engaging because it operates near the boundaries of classicism without sacrificing classical Hollywood’s accessibility and formal unity.

Keywords:   Film noir, Crime films, Production Code Administration, Violence in film, The Asphalt Jungle, Primacy effect, Film regulation, Censorship, Pickup on South Street

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