"She was part-good before—SHE'S ALL BAD NOW!" "From the moment they met it was Murder!" "Blood-red kisses! White-hot thrills!" No other style of cinema mastered sensational taglines better than film noir, and posters from the genre's mid-century heyday are a goddamn dark delight.

Film Noir 101 is a new book from Fantagraphics that collects some of the most titillating, dramatic, exclamation-point-heavy examples of the art form from the 1940s and 1950s. Author Mark Fertig selected—and restored!!—all of the featured one-sheets, each chock-full of shadowy looking characters caught in the act of seduction, deception, passion, and/or wielding a firearm and ready to shoot.


The men are tough and the women—well, lots of the depictions wouldn't be out of place in these anti-VD propaganda prints from World War II. These are dangerous broads, to be sure. Some of the ads capitalize on the star power of the leads, while others play on the shadowy appeal (but natural partnership) of nogoodniks and illicit sex and other sins or ripped-from-the-headlines, TRUE STORY allure. The one thing they all have in common? They absolutely, positively, make you want to see each and every movie. You can buy a copy here for $35, but in the meantime I picked out a few of my faves below.[The Dissolve]