Prüfer, J: Hardboiled Hollywood
Traces of American Heroism and Cultural Change in the Portrayals of the Detective Hero in The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep
The heroes of American fiction, from Leatherstocking to the Terminator, have never been strangers to violence. So is it violence then that makes them truly American? Where does this often to freely assumed obsession with the fist as a means of solving problems come from? Has it always been that way, and will it always be like that? In his thesis, Jan-Christoph Prüfer explores the cultural significance of two of the greatest Hollywood heroes of all time, Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, impersonated in both cases by Humphrey Bogart, himself a character of mythical proportions. In the course of the work, the similarities and differences between the two cinematic heroes are analyzed to an extent that allows the reader to recognize them as born in the USA - but at the same time as a product of Hollywood and of the times that they were born into. Consequently, this book is of relevance for students of or anyone interested in American Studies, Literature, History and Film alike.
Jan-Christoph Prüfer has studied English, History and Text Technology at the Universites of Bielefeld, Germany, and Coleraine, Northern Ireland. He works as a journalist in Germany.