SCREWBALL COMEDY AND FILM NOIR, Unexpected Connections (2012) Thomas C. Renzi

This is a comprehensive comparative analysis of the screwball comedy and film noir genres–two popular Hollywood staples that emerged around the same time. Despite their contrast in tone and theme, “Screwball” and “Noir” have many narrative elements in common. The author defines the two genres, discusses their historical development and inter-related conventions, and offers detailed comparative analyses of a number of films, among them The Lady Eve and His Girl Friday (screwballs), and Gilda and Sunset Blvd. (noirs). (Book Cover)




1. Toward Definitions of Screwball Comedy and Film Noir

2. Historical Context of Classical Screwball Comedy and Classical Film Noir

3. Genre Analysis: Classifying Noir and Screwball as Genres

4. Cinematic Conventions Connecting Screwball Comedy and Film Noir

5. Comparative Analyses of Films from the Two Genres

Appendix A: Filmography of Screwball Comedies, 1934–1954

Appendix B: Filmography of Films Noirs, 1941–1958