Sunday, September 09, 2007

Death on The Cheap

Death on The Cheap by Arthur Lyons is a book I pull down whenever I want to recall going to second-run movies theaters in the early-to-mid-Fifties. Nostalgia with brains.

There was usually an A picture run with a B picture and the B-picture was almost always a suspense film (in the towns I lived in B westerns were run in B western theaters).

Lyons concentrates on the forgotten Bs and does a good job of assessing them and making the trip entertaining without being patronizing. He praises such films as Don Siegel's Crime in The Streets and tries (conversely) to make sense of some of the worst of PRC and Monogram plots, which is no easy task.

Lyons wrote a number of excellent private eye novels in the Seventies and Eighties. His style and insight into the crime genre make this book an essential purchase for the noir fan.

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