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Even though they're in black-and-white and contain no high-tech special effects or graphic sex and violence, classic films noir appeal to the members of Generation X as much as they did to their parents and grandparents. That's what Ginny B. Schwartz, who teaches a First- Year Seminar on the genre, has found.

An essay by Schwartz, coordinator of academic support for the office of academic planning, advising and services, is a chapter in Volume Four of the book series Film Noir Reader. Titled "It's Deja Vu All Over Again: Double Indemnity Resonates With Generation X," the essay explains students' reactions to viewing the 1944 Billy Wilder classic over the five years that Schwartz has been teaching the seminar.

According to Schwartz, the Fred MacMurray-Barbara Stanwyck flick "typically emerges as one of the students' favorite films," in part because they can readily see how it has influenced many contemporary films and filmmakers.

A still from the film appears on the cover of Film Noir Reader 4, at left.

Posted: December 17, 2004