Cornell Woolrich and radio noir

Krutnik, Frank (2023) Cornell Woolrich and radio noir. In: King, Rob (ed.) Cornell Woolrich and Transmedia Noir. Edinburgh University Press, pp. 27-44. ISBN 9781399517652

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Of all the writers to transition from pulp magazines to noir movies, Cornell Woolrich was by far the most prolific and most influential. From 1940 to 1954, the heyday of ‘classic’ film noir, Hollywood based not only 18 films on Woolrich properties but also over 70 radio dramas and the beginnings of an equally abundant crop of television adaptations that would continue into the early 1960s. Drawing on a range of critical and archival materials, including audio recordings, this article assesses Woolrich’s contribution to radio drama in the ‘classic noir’ era of the 1940s and early 1950s as well as his broader significance to what David Bordwell has identified as the period’s ‘Murder Culture’. Besides exploring material based on Woolrich’s short stories and novels, I also consider more general propositions about ‘radio noir’ and the ways in which contemporaneous radio dramas intersected in fascinating and diverse ways with cinematic noir. The article concludes with a detailed case study of several radio adaptations of Woolrich’s 1936 short story “The Night Reveals”, one of the most popular selections on the acclaimed CBS anthology series Suspense (1942-62).

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Media and Film
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 10:20
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2023 14:31

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