“Mob City” Takes Us on Noir Tour of LA Architecture

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la noir collage

L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, is a gripping non-fiction book by John Buntin, about the interlocking lives of gangster Mickey Cohen and police chief William Parker against the backdrop of Tinseltown. Now the book has been adapted by TNT into a colorful drama full of femme fatales, smoky jazz clubs, mob massacres and seductively noirish production design by Gregory Melton and Alex Hajdu.

L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, is a gripping non-fiction book by John Buntin, crime writer for Governing magazine, that teases out the rivalry and interlocking lives of gangster Mickey Cohen and police chief William Parker against the backdrop of Tinseltown, corrupt politics and racist policing in Los Angeles from the 1930s to the ’60s.

Now the book has been adapted by TNT into a colorful drama full of femme fatales, smoky jazz clubs, mob massacres and seductively noirish production design. The Production Designer Gregory Melton and Art Director Alex Hajdu, “developed the look of the show,” says Alex, “including the signature permanent sets: Bunny’s Jungle Club, The Clover Club, and the LAPD Headquarters while it was still in City Hall (as seen in the opening to D.O.A. the classic Noir film.)”

LAPD office

They also featured other classic LA locations – Union Station, Griffith Park Merry Go-Round, Miceli’s Hollywood and the Stocker Oil Fields.

Below are some of the locales. And tonight TNT airs the second episode of the trilogy, with the conclusion December 18. You can catch the first here and here.

Note: L.A. Noir, the book, is not to be confused with the Rockstar video game L.A. Noire, which is set in a highly detailed recreation of 1940s Bunker Hill and surroundings (and was reviewed by Buntin on this DnA). John Buntin notes that “film noir is also an important source of knowledge about LA’s architectural history. Flicks such as He Walked by Night and Crime Wave really do provide viewers with glimpses of parts of Los Angeles (such as Bunker Hill) that are no longer there.