katie fforde join us on facebook twitter lyrebird when i was invisible
Search our site
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell Read the opening extract of the brand new Lisa Jewell book before its publication on 27/07/2017

The Dark Mirror Psychiatry and Film Noir by Marlisa Santos

The Dark Mirror Psychiatry and Film Noir

RRP £24.95


The Dark Mirror Psychiatry and Film Noir by Marlisa Santos

The Dark Mirror: Psychiatry and Film Noir probes the meanings behind the depiction of psychiatry and psychological illness in film noir, and how these depictions contribute to an overall understanding about the noir cycle itself. In this study, Marlisa Santos examines the role that the popularization of psychoanalysis in the 1940s and 1950s, beginning with the use of psychoanalytic techniques to treat World War II soldiers, had on writers and filmmakers of noir. This popularization had a lasting effect on American culture, especially as ideas such as introspection and a morally neutral universe became status quo, and thereby became reflected in the noir series. The films analyzed in this study reveal a distillation of such ideas, a bringing to the surface concerns and fears regarding the contradictory, yet thrilling nature of psychoanalysis: the ability of a 'science of the mind' to eliminate the mysteries of the human psyche and the simultaneous nature of this science to expose the fundamental unknowability of the human psyche. Indeed, Santos argues that noir itself might not have existed without the introduction of psychoanalysis into American culture.


Dark Mirror provides a well-researched, convincing and necessary return to a topic that much recent noir scholarship has repressed: the inextricable relation between film noir and psychiatry in all its forms. Marlisa Santos
breadth of knowledge about classic noir is staggering and her analyses of individual films

-ranging from the celebrated to the truly obscure-illuminate film noir as a veritable catalog of psychopathology. Delusion, anxiety, hysteria, paranoia, memory loss, perversion...without these, there is no noir. -- Hugh S. Manon, Clark University Marlisa Santos
The Dark Mirror: Psychiatry and Film Noir is a significant addition to the body of work on film noir

. Drawing together the form's often unremarked fascination with psychiatrists, psychoanalysis, asylums, and insanity, Santos builds on previous scholarship to help explain why the noir world's often mannered depictions of the real, the everyday, and the conscious mind so consistently-and disconcertingly-slip into the imagery of dreams, the abnormal, and the unconscious. -- J. P. Telotte, Georgia Institute of Technology; author of Science Fiction TV; editor of The Essential Science Fiction Television Reader

About the Author

Marlisa Santos is associate professor and director of the division of humanities at Nova Southeastern University.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

8th April 2011


Marlisa Santos

More books by Marlisa Santos
Author 'Like for Like'


Lexington Books


204 pages


Film theory & criticism



As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

Lovereading are lovely people who send me lovely books. What's not to love?

Gavin Dimmock

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney

Love Reading - it not only does what it says on the tin, it does it with Jam on!!

Maz Tucker