mark a. vieira





What is the true story of film noir? Mark A. Vieira lets the genre tell the story in its own voice. He shows its birth and growth, profiling eighty-two films with pithy, nasty quotes from filmmakers, journalists, and exhibitors. Into the Dark: The Hidden World of Film Noir, 1941 to 1950 is time travel, a ticket to a smoky, glamorous world.


Into the Dark is the first book to re-create the environment that spawned film noir. You see Stanley Kramer get financing for Champion from lettuce growers, you visit Clifton Webb in the bathtub on the set of Laura, and you watch Joan Crawford’s Mildred Pierce come unglued in front of a preview audience.

There was a consensus in 1944: something different was coming from Hollywood. Edwin Schallert wrote in the Los Angeles Times that the trend toward “honesty” had begun in 1941—with Citizen Kane and The Maltese Falcon. When critics wrote about “hard-boiled” films, these were cited as the first—so 2016 marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of film noir!


Into the Dark is the first noir book to display the wit and warmth of its artists. Hedda Hopper reports on Citizen Kane, calling Orson Welles “Little Orson Annie.” Hollywood legends Hal Wallis, Barbara Stanwyck, Billy Wilder, and Orson Welles talk about film noir, putting a frame on the flashback.

Into the Dark: The Hidden World of Film Noir, 1941 to 1950 conveys the mystery, glamour, humor, and irony that make film noir a surpassingly popular genre.




"The new book ‘Into the Dark’ illuminates the shadows of film noir classics”

Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times (August 6, 2016)

“When Mark A. Vieira set out to write Into the Dark: The Hidden World of Film Noir, 1941-1950, he was keenly aware that hundreds of books already existed on the subject. 'I wanted to know what people thought when these films were coming out,' Vieira says. ‘How were they regarded?’ . . . . The result is an entertaining, volume chock full of insightful quotes covering 82 films. .”