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Hollywood's Private Eyes

He can be a white knight in a trench coat (or just a tough guy with an attitude), but the private detective is as much a Hollywood archetype as the cowboy—and just as complicated. We look at characters in six hard-boiled films, including works from Chandler and Hammett, Polanski and Tourneur, and discover a diverse variety of private eyes—among them, moralistic (The Maltese Falcon), fatalistic (Out of the Past), nihilistic (Kiss Me Deadly), and pessimistic (Chinatown). Nonetheless, they all share a fondness for bourbon, a weakness for femmes fatales, and the very modern suspicion that the world is shaped by rich and powerful men whose agendas we can only hope to fathom.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Familiarity with classic movies that feature private detectives
  • A better understanding of the commonalities and the differences among cinema’s greatest private eyes
  • Knowledge about different directors’ approaches to depicting the world of the private detective

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
  • Movie buffs
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.