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Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia$
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Wheeler Winston Dixon

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623990

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623990.001.0001

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The Failure of Culture

The Failure of Culture

Chapter:
(p.129) Chapter 5 The Failure of Culture
Source:
Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia
Author(s):

Wheeler Winston Dixon

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623990.003.0006

Walter Hill's The Driver (1978) typifies the film noir of the 1970s in America; aimless, rootless, devoid of hope or compassion. By 2004, Hill was content to serve as producer of Paul W. S. Anderson's execrable Alien vs Predator, thus forfeiting whatever claim he might have had to any artistic legitimacy. But Hill's early films pack a solid punch. After working as a scenarist on Robert Culp's violent noir cop drama, Hickey and Boggs, and Sam Peckinpah's ultra-violent heist thriller The Getaway, Hill graduated to the director's chair with Hard Times (1975). The Driver was only his second film as a director, but already the signature elements of Hill's vision are in place; speed, violence and ruthless sadism. Other similarly-themed noir films of the period include Arthur Penn's Night Moves (1975), Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left (1972), Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13 (1976).

Keywords:   Walter Hill, The Driver, film noir, America, Hickey and Boggs, sadism, violence, Hard Times, Taxi Driver, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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