Crime Films (Genres in American Cinema)
Focusing on ten films that span the range of the twentieth century, Thomas Leitch traces the transformation of three figures common to all crime films: the criminal, the victim and the avenger. He shows how the distinctions among them become blurred throughout the course of the century, reflecting and fostering a deep social ambivalence towards crime and criminals. The criminal, victim and avenger characters effectively map the shifting relations between subgenres (such as the erotic thriller and the police film) within the larger genre of crime film.
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