Murder and the Movies

David Thomson

£16.99

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Yale University Press
8 September 2020
ISBN: 9780300220018
Hardback

From the publisher

A renowned movie critic on film's treatment of one of mankind's darkest behaviors: murder

"[Thomson's] analysis of death in Hitchcock movies is gorgeous. His restlessness is palpable. There is an anxiety in this brief, hurried book that suits these political and medical times."-Lisa Schwarzbaum, New York Times Book Review

Included in the New York Times Book Review's "Best Books to Give" holiday list, 2020

How many acts of murder have each of us followed on a screen? What does that say about us? Do we remain law-abiding citizens who wouldn't hurt a fly? Film historian David Thomson, known for wit and subversiveness, leads us into this very delicate subject. While unpacking classics such as Seven,Kind Hearts and Coronets,Strangers on a Train,The Conformist,The Godfather, and The Shining, he offers a disconcerting sense of how the form of movies makes us accomplices in this sinister narrative process.

By turns seductive and astringent, very serious and suddenly hilarious, Murder and the Movies admits us into what Thomson calls "a warped triangle": the creator working out a compelling death; the killer doing his and her best; and the entranced reader and spectator trying to cling to life and a proper sense of decency.