"By the time of early film noir the internal combustion automobile was already firmly entrenched in the American way of life. The country’s ideals of individual freedom, prosperity, and technological advancement all found a perfect symbol in the car, a liberating machine with the promise of personal mobility and control. But as the automobile began to affect the physical and social fabric of cities and their environs, a film movement focused on the dark sides of the city and humanity would take an equally dark view of the car."
Excerpted from: Driving is Murder: The Automobile, Violence, and the City in Film Noir
Written for Professor Joan Copjec's Reading the City: Film Noir
at City College of New York, December 15, 2006