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Versions of Hollywood Crime Cinema


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Table of Contents


SECTION I: Gangsterism and Capitalism: The Mob Movie and After

The supplement of Coppola: Primitive accumulation and the Godfather trilogy

Hobbes after Marx, Scorsese after Coppola: On GoodFellas

Tony Soprano and the end(s) of the mob movie

SECTION II: Noir and its Discontents

Marxism, cinema, and some dialectics of fi lm noir and science fiction

Noir, neo-noir, and the end of work: From Double Indemnity to Body Heat

SECTION III: Empire and Gender in the John Wayne Western

Versions of the American imperium in three Westerns by John Ford

Post-heterosexuality: John Wayne and the construction of American masculinity

About the Author

Carl Freedman is the James F. Cassidy Professor of English at Louisiana State University. He is the author of many articles and several books, including The Age of Nixon, The Incomplete Projects: Marxism, Modernity, and the Politics of Culture and Critical Theory and Science Fiction.


'A dense academic reading affair written by an author who is obviously deeply fascinated by the social insights provided by watching cinema through the eyes of Marxism.'

-- Trevor Hogg, Flickering Myth

Carl Freedman once more proves himself the most sensitive reader of texts and the most lucid explicator of critical theory. It is a commonplace that mob movies expose the logic of capitalism, but his nuanced analysis of the Godfather trilogy in terms of Marx's concept of primitive accumulation for once actually makes the case - and makes it stick. Freedman's inclusion of westerns in crime cinema merely appears idiosyncratic - Edwin S. Porter's 'The Great Train Robbery' was seen as a violent crime movie long before anyone called it a western - and his consummate discussion of John Wayne's post-heterosexual masculinity is worth the price of admission alone.'

-- Mark Bould, Reader in Film and Literature, The University of the West of England

'Whether discussing the "post-heterosexuality" of John Wayne, or the role of what Marx called "primitive accumulation" in the Godfather films, Carl Freedman offers thought-provoking new insights on classic Hollywood films.'

-- Steven Shaviro, DeRoy Professor of English, Wayne State University

'Versions of Hollywood Crime Cinema is a fascinating look at film theory and criticism. Instead of limiting crime cinema to its usual place in the procedural, detective, and gangster arenas, Versions situates crime as an inclusive activity, capable of appearing in westerns and science fiction as well. Freedman dissects specific movies in an assortment of genres utilizing Marxism and gender studies to anchor well-balanced theoretical viewpoints.'

-- Rodney Donahue, Journal of American Culture

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