Part of a series aimed at undergraduates, Ron Wilson’s stimulating guide to American gangster cinema covers much ground in just over a hundred pages. What is especially useful about Wilson’s approach is his ability to place the genre in a context that extends beyond cinema: not so much what actual gangsters said and did, but the various discourses, from pulp novels to politicians’ speeches, that established the gangster as a figure of legend. The book also supplies a summary of English-language scholarship in the field, starting with Robert Warshow’s famous essay ‘The Gangster as Tragic Hero’ (1948); characteristically, Wilson treats this pioneering study with due respect while pointing out that the archetypal rise-and-fall narrative identified by Warshow is found in only a handful of films.

Additional Info

  • Free Article No
  • Custom Article Title Jake Wilson reviews 'The Gangster Film' by Ron Wilson
  • Contents Category Film
  • Book Title The Gangster Film
  • Book Author Ron Wilson
  • Book Subtitle Fatal success in American Cinema
  • Author Type Author
  • Biblio Wallflower Press, $32.95 pb, 128 pp, 9780231172073