is a consummate film buff, and a wonderful writer as well.
[He] offers a revealing look behind the scenes of Hollywood,
and at women who made even the crummiest potboilers worth
"More Hollywood scoop than a Liz Smith column. It's
a sympathetic ode to six women who made B-movie history
and helped pave film noir's shadowy streets." Playboy
"Perhaps oddlyperhaps notthese wicked,
lying, cheating, double-crossing, money-hungry temptresses
turn out to be rather nice ladies, as normal as one could
expect of beautiful movie stars, and Muller brings them
fully to life. . . . On screen they will live forever,
just as they do in Muller's marvelous love letter to them
Otto Penzler, Amazon.com's
"Best of 2001"
"What makes this book both unique and memorable are
the anecdotal asides. These aren't mere biographies; they're
Will Viharo, ATOMIC
|Steve Kurtz's insightful essay in Reason
the magazine article that kicked it all off.
Regan Books / Harper Collins
Hardcover Edition: May 1001
Trade Paperback Edition: July 2002
Film noir was the dark side of the movie's happily-ever-after
mythology. Sinister and sexy, it forged a new icon: the
tough, independent, take-no-guff dame. Determined, desirable,
dangerous when cornered, she could handle troubleor
deal out some of her own.
If you thought these women were something special on-screen,
wait till you meet the genuine articles. In Dark City
Dames, acclaimed film historian Eddie Muller profiles
six women who made a lasting impression in this cinematic
terrainfrom veteran "bad girls" Audrey
Totter, Marie Windsor, and Jane Greer to unexpected genre
fixtures Evelyn Keyes, Coleen Gray, and Ann Savage. The
book surveys the lives of these formidable women during
the height of their careers circa 1950, as they balanced
love and career, struggled against typecasting, and sought
fulfillment in a ruthless business. Their personal storiesteeming
with larger-than-life characters like Howard Hughes, L.B.
Mayer, Robert Mitchum, Otto Preminger, and John Huston
offer an illuminating counterpoint to their movies, such
as Out of the Past, Detour, The Lady
in the Lake, and The Killing. Then Dark
City Dames revisits each one of these women today,
fifty years on, to witness their hard-wonand triumphantsurvival.
On every page their own voices ring through, reflecting
on their lives with as much passion, pain, intelligence,
energy, and humor as any movie script.
"I've got a big
mushy soft spot for this book. A large part of my passion
for noir comes from my youthful infatuation with these
dames, and it was one of the special treats of my life
to get to know these women on a very personal level. I'm
honored that they shared so much with me. And I have to
give credit as well to another Dark City Dame, publisher
Judith Regan, who clearly saw that this was a unique project
and allowed it to flourish where other publishers would
have said, "Why bother?" She let me design the
book as well, which was a good idea, but she stepped in
at the last minute and nixed my cover, designing one of
her ownwhich was an even better idea. Thanks again,
Ann Savage and Judith Regan at a party in the 20th Century-Fox
commissary, celebrating Judith moving her base of operations
from New York to Los Angeles.