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Killing noir?: The adaptation of Robert Siodmak's The Killers to radio

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Abstract:

Though noir is now remembered as a series of American films from the 1940s and 1950s, it is not as well known that these films were often adapted to lower-budget radio versions on programmes such as the Screen Director's Playhouse and Lux Radio Theater after the films had been released. This article analyses Robert Siodmak's The Killers (1946) and its radio drama adaptation on the Screen Director's Playhouse in 1948. A close analysis of scenes in both works shows both the potential and the limitations of this radio genre. This radio drama is sometimes pitifully direct and unconvincing. Yet, other sequences are haunting and intense, fully fitting and realizing the designation of radio noir.

Keywords: Robert Siodmak; The Killers; adaptation; film genre; film noir; radio drama

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/jafp.3.1.59/1

Affiliations: University of Iowa.

Publication date: 2010-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Adaptation, or the conversion of oral, historical or fictional narratives into stage drama has been common practice for centuries. In our own time the processes of cross-generic transformation continue to be extremely important in theatre as well as in the film and other media industries. Adaptation and the related areas of translation and intertextuality continue to have a central place in our culture with a profound resonance across our civilisation.
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