Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Book: Dana Andrews: The Face of Noir

Ooooooh...film fans everywhere are going to be interested in this one: DANA ANDREWS: THE FACE OF NOIR is due in approximately March 2010.

The author is James McKay.

From the website of the book's publisher, McFarland: "Dana Andrews, arguably the finest minimalist actor of his generation, could convey more with one look than many actors could with a soliloquy. In a film career spanning nearly five decades, Andrews appeared in some of Hollywood’s most prestigious productions, including The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). His unique screen presence was shown at its best in such film noir classics as Laura (1944) and Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950).

"Beginning with an absorbing biographical chapter, this critical survey of Dana Andrews’ screen career features a complete filmography, synopses, reviews, behind-the-scenes anecdotes and insightful comments from Andrews and his coworkers. A chronological list of Andrews’ television credits is included."

For more details, visit the McFarland site (click the title of this post) or Amazon page.

27 Comments:

Blogger The Old Geezer said...

I enjoyed looking over your blog
God bless you

3:41 PM  
Blogger Terri said...

Laura is one of my favorites!

5:24 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

It's one of my favorites too, Terri! :)

Best wishes,
Laura

8:22 AM  
Blogger crollyson@gmail.com said...

I'm writing a biography of Dana Andrews for University Press of Mississippi. I'm happy to know he will be the subject of another book.
Carl Rollyson

9:10 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for that info, Carl! I'd love to be kept apprised of your book's publication date, and I'll be sure to mention it here. Many of my readers are Dana Andrews fans, as am I.

Best wishes,
Laura

9:40 AM  
Blogger jau said...

I'm definitely a Dana Andrews fan but there's also always something a bit edgy or uncomfortable about him, for me. I wonder why.

Best-
Anne

8:17 AM  
Blogger crollyson@gmail.com said...

I guess it depends on the role. In Fallen Angel, for example, it's clear that the character he is playing is uncomfortable with himself--with what he is doing. I find it revealing that Andrews had some reluctance about doing the part, although as a contract player he had no choice in the matter.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for your notes, Anne and Carl.

It seems to me as though Andrews often played characters wrestling with inner turmoil. For example, even a benign character such as the father & husband he played in I WANT YOU is mentally anguished about whether to leave his family and business to rejoin the military. Anne, perhaps you are picking up on that aspect of his roles and acting when you find him edgy?

Best wishes,
Laura

11:47 AM  
Blogger crollyson@gmail.com said...

It's fascinating that you mention "I Want You," a film Sam Goldwyn hoped would be a kind of sequel to "The Best Years of Our Lives." The film did not do that well at the box office and critics have not been kind to it, but the film has its moments.

1:16 PM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

Thanks for the headsup on the oldies.com sale!
Dana Andrews was certainly versatile and I don't think gets the credit he deserves now a days. He was great in noirs, but also very appealing as a nice romantic fellow as in "My Foolish Heart".

There is a nice interview with the daughters of Dana Andrews, Robert Ryan & William Wyler here:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/06/15/MO7021.DTL
Which lead to a podcast interview with Susan Andrews and Lisa Ryan:
http://lucygrayphotography.wordpress.com/2007/08/14/podtechrobert-ryan-and-dana-andrews-had-daughters/
I really enjoyed the inverviews because I like the work of all three of these men so much. I hope others will also enjoy it.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Carl, I thought I WANT YOU was quite an interesting movie; I wrote a post on it a couple years back: I WANT YOU.

I think my favorite Andrews films thus far are the classic mid-'40s trio of LAURA, FALLEN ANGEL, and STATE FAIR (one of his least-conflicted characters!).

Best wishes,
Laura

2:17 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Would you believe I haven't seen MY FOOLISH HEART yet? Fortunately I did record it from TCM at one point and it's in my mile-high stack of movies to watch. I'll inch it closer to the top! It has a wonderful cast.

Thank you as well for the links, Panavia999! I happened across them via another website a few months ago and enjoyed it all immensely. I'm glad you've called the links to the attention of readers who might have missed them.

Susan Andrews did an excellent commentary track with Eddie Muller for FALLEN ANGEL, incidentally.

Best wishes,
Laura

2:21 PM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

Maybe it's a small world and you saw my comments with those links at "Another Old Movie Blog? Because that's the blog that lead me to you. :-) I push those links whenever a blog mentions Dana Andrews or Robert Ryan
Have hankies at hand when you watch "My Foolish Heart". With these Pacific storm systems thundering in, it's a perfect time to watch old b&w romance. (I'm on the coast near San Francisco.) I made a list of greatest tearjerkers and "My Foolish Heart" is near the top.

AND... "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" is on TCM, Jan 25, 02:00PM PST. Apparently, the production was beset with troubles, but it has Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine and directed by that great Teutonic fatalist Fritz Lang. I always watch a movie if it features any of those three, it's got to be worth a viewing.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's very possible indeed that I first saw the links at AAMB since I am a regular visitor there. That's wonderful to know that Jacqueline's blog led you here! :)

I've also got BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT taped...I've got more movies taped than I can keep up with but it's great fun choosing a new one each time (grin)...I agree, this is the perfect week to cozy up to old black and white movies! Wow, this afternoon's rain was something we haven't seen in a long, long time.

Thanks so much for your note and for visiting regularly!

Best wishes,
Laura

4:31 PM  
Blogger crollyson@gmail.com said...

Dana Andrews was doing a lot of drinking during his work with Fritz Lang (two films back-to-back). It was not until 1970 that he finally stopped drinking. For years he had been calling himself an alcoholic. He could not abide AA and was able to stop drinking on his own (with the support of his family). He then did public announcements about alcoholism for the Department of Transportation.

3:39 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'll keep that background in mind when I catch up with BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, Carl. Although it took him a while for him to get there, I admire the fact that Mr. Andrews ultimately faced up to and dealt with his problem and then tried to help others.

A bit of (sad) trivia which you might be interested in as his biographer is that I happen to live very close to the Alzheimer's facility where Mr. Andrews passed away.

Best wishes,
Laura

9:04 AM  
Blogger crollyson@gmail.com said...

I'll be in California in March and may have time to visit the facility where Dana Andrews spent his last days. The interview with his daughter,Susan, and Robert Ryan's daughter is quite informative. Susan is helping me a great deal with my biography of her father. Susan provides an interesting commentary on the dvd release of Fallen Angel, a film that features one of Dana Andrews's finest performances. I'll have to look up that comment on I Want You.

10:43 AM  
Blogger crollyson@gmail.com said...

I read your comment on I Want You, Laura. I think it is a good film even if, as Leonard Maltin suggests, it is dated. Sad to say, Farley Granger in his autobiography dismisses the film. He was very angry at Sam Goldwyn and wanted to break his contract, which he did eventually.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm glad to know that Susan Andrews is participating in her father's biography. I had the chance to hear the FALLEN ANGEL commentary and very much enjoyed the personal insights she shared about her father. It added a special dimension to the commentary track.

A fun story is that my dad went to elementary school in Long Beach, CA, in the '40s with a Dana Andrews -- Dana's nephew. I believe Dana's brother was a school principal in Long Beach but I'm not sure if he was the younger Dana's father.

Best wishes,
Laura

11:11 AM  
Blogger crollyson@gmail.com said...

You got it right, Laura. The Dana you mention was the son of Dana Andrews's brother Charles, who was the Long Beach principal. I have interviewed the nephew as well as his sister.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Funny coincidence, I received Farley Granger's book for Christmas! It's too bad he didn't appreciate I WANT YOU. It's a movie which deserves more recognition -- perhaps it has been overlooked being in the shadow, so to speak, of THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. Despite Leonard Maltin's comment, I found it very relevant to today's world.

Best wishes,
Laura

11:19 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Isn't that fun! That's wonderful to know the "young" Dana has been able to participate in your book as well. Thanks for confirming the exact family connection.

Best wishes,
Laura

11:25 AM  
Blogger crollyson@gmail.com said...

I wonder if Maltin had in mind the style more than the substance of I Want You. I agree that the film is still relevant. Granger's book is good. Some of it (in an earlier version) is also in Carol Easton's biography of Sam Goldwyn.

11:33 AM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

That's interesting that Dana Andrews couldn't stand AA. I know someone who was a drunken bum for years. (His description not mine.) He hated AA. He said it was full of people who gave up an addiction for drink for an addiction to AA. It's not just to stop drinking but to get away from the addictive social cycle and that includes many of the people. He concluded it's still better to be addicted to staying sober than to be intoxicated.
AA works for plenty of people, but not for all.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Carl Rollyson said...

Just wanted everyone to know my biography of Dana Andrews is finished. It is in copyediting now and should be available by the fall of 2012.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Carl, that's wonderful news! Please continue to share info as the publication date nears -- I'd like to help make my readers aware of it and, of course, put it on my "to buy" list! :)

Thanks for the update!

Best wishes,
Laura

3:39 PM  
Blogger Carl Rollyson said...

My biography of Dana Andrews will be published in September and is available for pre-orders at amazon.com, bn.com, and other sites. I also include the catalog copy for the book on my website: carlrollyson.com

5:04 AM  

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