Richardson deals chiefly with three films noirs: The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Naked City (1948), and Touch of Evil (1958). Treated in chronological order, these case studies show how essential location became to the grim assessment of reality for which noir's repertoire is noted. As the appropriately bleak title suggests, the main thrust of the inquiry is to find out what happened to arguably the most intriguing group of films ever produced by the American Film industry. Richardson makes abundant use of primary material, situates films in historical context, and examines them intertextually. This is the first study of its kind to delve into the use, misuse, and abuse of locations. Although it centers exclusively on film noir, the results suggest larger implications.