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Kiss the Blood Off My HandsOn Classic Film Noir$
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Robert Miklitsch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038594

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038594.001.0001

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Radio, Film Noir, and the Aesthetics of Auditory Spectacle

Radio, Film Noir, and the Aesthetics of Auditory Spectacle

(p.80) 4 Radio, Film Noir, and the Aesthetics of Auditory Spectacle
Kiss the Blood Off My Hands

Neil Verma

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the relationship between 1940s radio and cinema. While classic noirs began to flourish at the cinema, most Americans listened to radio for about four hours a day over some nine hundred stations, most of which were affiliated with one of four large commercial networks that centralized content. During these years, drama formats were second only to music as the most common network offering in the evening; crime and mystery shows prospered especially well. Although constituting only 13 percent of evening drama in the mid-1930s, the category rose to 33 percent during the war, and by the 1950s crime stories could be up to half of all plays on air on a given evening. Seen in aggregate, noir on the radio adds up to tens of thousands of hours of material heard by tens of millions of listeners from 1937 to 1955, the most active years for auditory drama on American airwaves ever.

Keywords:   radio, cinema, classic noirs, evening drama, mystery shows, crime stories, auditory drama

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