photographs, since they are what helped to create Gaffney's facade of respectability. A hand turns the magazine page to display another photo, this one of a bandaged but smiling O'Brien lying in a hospital bed. The caption reads: "Smashing of Counterfeit Ring Has Entire World for Stage"--an odd headline that points to the patriotic significance of O'Brien's job, implies that his criminality was just a role, and, subliminally, reminds us that the man in the photo is neither O'Brien nor Harrigan but an actor named Dennis O'Keefe. Within the frame of the movie, however, we are to believe that the photo shows the "real" O'Brien--a humble cop, not the hardened man of the previous sequence. But how can we credit this photo, since we have just been shown that photos lie? Doesn't this photograph present yet another facade of respectability for a character who, we have seen, is capable of murder? How, especially, can we credit the photos when the entire film we have just viewed has dramatized how photographic or artistic representations can never be trusted, how fact can blur easily into "composite" fiction, and how legitimate and illegitimate money are not only indistinguishable, but sometimes issue from the same source.

            Like the other counterfeiting noirs , then, T-Men asks us to credit seemingly incompatible ideas: that photographic images faithfully represent the real and verify factual truth, but also that clever artists, such as filmmakers or counterfeiters, can exploit our belief in those images to manipulate and seduce us into complicity with dishonest games. Thus, despite the concluding assurance that Genaro is a hero because he "died in the service of the people of this country," disturbing questions linger. In performing as criminals, do government agents become them? Is it possible to determine when movies and photos lie and when they tell the truth? Is filmmaking, like counterfeiting, just another mode of sabotage or subversion? Since we have just watched a film in which legitimate authorities make and pass counterfeits, is counterfeiting really a crime, or rather an elaborate way to exert power? And since this ostensible documentary turned out to be a "composite" fictional story, is it really possible to distinguish between the factual and the fake, the true and the counterfeit? Even more broadly, does this difference finally matter? The conclusion of T-Men , like those of Trapped and Southside 1-1000 , strives mightily to resolve these questions with an ending that assures us all is well. But it fails to suture the holes in the apparently seamless fabric of belief--in money, in the political system, in photographic and cinematic representation--that it has torn. We are left with a kind of mise en ab í me which, far from providing a stable ground for a renewed faith in society, its money or its visual art, instead leaves us no firm place on which to stand.

Works Cited

Alton, John. Painting with Light . 1949. Introduction by Todd McCarthy. Berkeley: U of California P, 1995.

--., D.P. The Big Combo . Dir. Joseph H. Lewis. Allied Artists, 1955.

Andersen, Thom. "Red Hollywood." Literature and the Visual Arts in Contemporary Society.             Eds. Suzanne Ferguson and Barbara Groseclose. Columbus: Ohio St UP, 1985. 141-96.

Bloom, Murray Teigh. Money of Their Own: The Great Counterfeiters . New York: Scribner's, 1957.

Call Northside 777 . Dir. Henry Hathaway. Perf. James Stewart, Richard Conte. 20 th Century Fox, 1948.

Crack-Up.   Dir: Irving Reis. RKO, 1946.

Criss Cross . Dir. Robert Siodmak. Universal, 1949.

Dark Passage . Perf. Humphrey Bogart. Warner Brothers, 1947.

Elsaesser, Thomas. Weimar Cinema and After: Germany's Historical Imaginary . London and New York: Routledge, 2001.

Glaser, Lynn. Counterfeiting in America: The History of an American Way to Wealth . New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1968.

Goux, Jean-Joseph. The Coiners of Language . Trans. Jennifer Curtiss Gage. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1994.

--.   "Ideality, Symbolicity, and Reality in Postmodern Capitalism." Postmodernism, Economics and Knowledge. Ed. Stephen Cullenberg, Jack Amariglio, and David F. Ruccio. London and New York: Routledge, 2002. 166-81.

--. Symbolic Economies: After Marx and Freud . Trans. Jennifer Curtiss Gage. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1990.

The House on 92 nd Street . Dir. Henry Hathaway. 20 th Century Fox, 1945.

The Killers . Dir. Robert Siodmak. Universal, 1946.

Krutnik, Frank. In a Lonely Street: Film Noir, Genre, Masculinity. London and New York: Routledge, 1991.

Laura . Dir: Otto Preminger. 20 th Century Fox, 1944.

The Maltese Falcon . Dir John Huston. Warner Brothers, 1941.

Mann, Anthony, director. Border Incident . D.P. John Alton. MGM, 1949.

--. Raw Deal . D.P. John Alton. Eagle-Lion, 1948.

--. Winchester '73 . Perf. James Stewart, Stephen McNally. Universal, 1950.

Mason, Fran. American Gangster Cinema: From Little Caesar to Pulp Fiction. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.              

Michaels, Walter Benn. The Gold Standard and the Logic of Naturalism: American Literature at the Turn of the Century. Berkeley: U of California P, 1987.

Munby, Jonathan. Public Enemies, Public Heroes : Screening the Gangster from Little Caesar to Touch of Evil . Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1999.

Naremore, James. More Than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts . Berkeley: U of California P,


Neale, Steve. Genre and Hollywood . London and New York: Routledge, 2000.

Out of the Past . Perf. Robert Mitchum. RKO, 1947.

Scarlet Street. Dir: Fritz Lang. Universal Pictures, 1945.

Schrader, Paul. "Notes on Film Noir ." 1972. Film Noir  Reader . Eds. Alain Silver and James Ursini. New York: Limelight, 1996. 53-63.

Shell, Marc. The Economy of Literature. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1978.

--. Money, Language and Thought: Literary and Philosophic Economies from the Medieval to the Modern Era . Berkeley: U of California P, 1982.

Simmel, Georg. The Philosophy of Money . 1900. Ed. David Frisby. Trans. Tom Bottomore and David Frisby. 2 nd enlarged ed. London and New York: Routledge, 1990.

Smith, Robert. "Mann in the Dark: The Films Noir of Anthony Mann." Film Noir Reader . Eds. Alain Silver and James Ursini. New York: Limelight, 1996.189-201.

Southside 1-1000. Dir: Boris Ingster. D.P. Russell Harlan. Perf. Don Defore, Andrea King. PRC Pictures, 1950.

Spicer, Andrew. Film Noir . Harlow, UK and New York: Longman, 2001.

The Street with No Name . Dir: William Keighley. Perf. Mark Stevens, Richard Widmark. 20 th Century Fox, 1948.

T-Men . Dir: Anthony Mann. D. P. John Alton. Prod. Bryan Foy. Perf. Dennis O'Keefe, Alfred Ryder. Eagle-Lion, 1948.

Telotte, J.P. Voices in the Dark: The Narrative Patterns of Film Noir . Urbana and Chicago: U of Illinois P, 1989.

Trapped . Dir: Richard Fleischer. D.P. Guy Roe. Prod. Bryan Foy. Perf. Lloyd Bridges, John Hoyt, Barbara Payton. Eagle-Lion, 1949.

Walker, Michael. "Film Noir: Introduction." The Book of Film Noir . Ed. Ian Cameron. New York: Continuum, 1992. 8-38.

Weschler, Lawrence. Boggs: A Comedy of Values . Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1999.

1             1 In T-Men, for example, a government official marvels that the Treasury's crime lab is able to determine the exact content of the counterfeiters' paper, stating that they now "know more about the paper than the people who made it."

2             2 Most scholars treat these pseudo-documentaries under the noir umbrella: Schrader, for example, acknowledges them as part of his generic definition (55, 59), and Ward and Silver incorporate many of them into their encyclopedic reference work.

3             3 Recent scholarship has challenged and amplified this historical connection. According to Andrew Spicer, the Expressionist influence on film noir is not merely a transplantation, but a "process of diffusion and reappropriation where a modified Expressionism [is] superimposed over existing generic conventions through a more self-conscious deployment of mise-en-sc P ne, chiaroscuro lighting, minimalist sets, mobile camerawork and the use of fractured narratives" (14). Jonathan Munby argues that film noir draws as much from other Weimar genres as it does from Expressionist landmarks like Dr. Kaligari (200). Robert Siodmak, for example, director of    outstanding noirs such as The Killers and Criss Cross , did his early work in the Kammerspielfilm or Strassenfilm . For helpful discussions of the wider generic issues raised by the noir cycle, see Neale 151-77, and Elsaesser 420-44.

4             4 I write "seemingly" because the pseudo-docs' style departed in at least one way from the conventions of Hollywood filmmaking, where the camera was never acknowledged, by frequently calling attention to their own cinematic apparatus; see Telotte 139.

5             5 Made by the same studio, Eagle-Lion, and the same producer, Bryan Foy, Trapped functions as a quasi-sequel to T-Men .

6             6 Similar issues are raised by the work of nineteenth-century trompe l'oeil painters such as William Harnett, who drew pictures of paper money, and in the work of contemporary American artist J.S.G. Boggs, who draws pictures of currency, then attempts to use them for actual purchases. Boggs's finished works are records of the entire transactions he completes using the hand-drawn money (Weschler 6). The value of Boggs's work hence derives not from its originality but from its being a beautiful copy of currency--one good enough to earn him real money. His "counterfeits" become non-counterfeit, then, as soon as somebody accepts them in place of real money. Thus his work suggests that ultimately there is no difference between real and counterfeit money. For accounts of the aesthetic issues in trompe l'oeil , see Michaels 161-5. For a detailed treatment of Boggs and his controversial work, see Weschler.

7             7 For analyses and reproductions of various early coins, see Shell, Economy 64-69 and 158-9. The upper die used to stamp these coins was called the charakter , a word that has given us the English word referring to identity.

8             8 The word "counterfeit" comes from the Latin contra + facere : "to make in opposition or contrast to something else."

9             9 Both films also run a disclaimer stating that although the filmmakers were allowed to photograph real money and real Treasury Department credentials for the film, "further reproduction of said currency or credentials. . . is strictly prohibited." In effect, they admit that they have created profitable legal cinematic counterfeits in order to produce stories that deplore counterfeiting.

10             10 He was also, in his way, devoted to truth: asked why he didn't write on his bills the words "Engraved and Printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing," he answered, "dey didn't make dem" (Bloom 44).

11             11 The emergence of paper money and the spread of literacy, not surprisingly, occurred during the same period in Europe. Some early American counterfeit bills were printed abroad, which made them subject to misspelled warnings about "Couunterfeit" bills (Glaser 16)--detectable, of course, only to those who could read.

12             12 The departure from the gold standard took place at different times in different nations: in France, for example, it occurred just after World War I, whereas the US did not officially dispense with it until 1971. However, in practice, paper money was inconvertible much earlier, since there was far more money in circulation than could ever have been exchanged for gold or silver.

13             13 As Walter Benn Michaels has suggested, this view of mimesis ultimately rests upon a "goldbug aesthetic" that seeks to do away with representation altogether (162, 165).

14             14 For a more detailed version of this argument, see the essay "Numismatics" in Goux's Symbolic Economies (9-63). If Goux's historical schema at times seems too pat, nonetheless the parallels among registers that he describes reveal useful parallels in the logics of different systems.

15             15 The crisis is also displayed in films noirs such as Laura (1944), Scarlet Street (1945), and Crack-Up (1946); the last-named film links non-realist (mostly European) art with subversive politics.

16             16 Films such as Abraham Polonsky's Force of Evil , John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle , and Joseph Losey's The Prowler , all directed by members of the Hollywood Left, are more blatant in their attacks on capitalism and the status quo than any of the counterfeiting noirs .

17             17 Lurking behind these assertions may be memories of Stalin's notorious attempt, in the late twenties and early thirties, to topple the US government by authorizing the production of   counterfeit American banknotes. These excellent fakes, made with the same paper as real currency, were detectable only by minute changes in the pictures (Glaser 239-40). Postwar audiences might also have been aware of Hitler's "Operation Bernhard," in which he mobilized a group of mostly Jewish experts to create thousands of counterfeit British banknotes. The aim was to disrupt the UK banking system and undermine their war effort. However, there was so much new money printed after the war that the fake notes scarcely made a ripple (see Bloom 234-67).

18             18 This story, called "Trouble in Hollywood,"details some of the economic problems in the studios that led to Samuel Goldwyn's handing his employees a 50% pay cut. The problems cited   include rising production costs, falling attendance (according to Life , a consequence of shoddy product), and the loss of foreign markets (because, in the aftermath of the war, Europeans were too impoverished to afford to attend movies: 55).

19             19 The entire issue seems as fascinated by questions of doubling and authenticity as are the counterfeiting noirs . For example, near the story on T-Men there is an advertisement for Stetson hats that asks: "Does Randolph Scott have a twin?" The ad shows how, when dressed in different styles of Stetson hats, Scott appears to be entirely different men. Is Randolph Scott a counterfeit?   On the same page as the T-Men photos we find an ad for Solovox, an early electronic keyboard device that "actually adds instrumental solos to your piano playing. Violin, clarinet, trumpet, oboe--even organ voices." Of course, since it's not a real piano and these aren't real instruments, the Solovox does not "actually" add anything (not to mention the fact that, since the voices would accompany one's playing, they could hardly be "solos").

20             20 Mann later attested that T-Men was the first film on which he had any degree of creative freedom, time to rehearse the actors, and opportunity to develop a script (qtd in Spicer 107).

21             21 For example, Winchester '73 , Mann's first Western, highlights the relationship between James Stewart's hard-bitten hero and a villain, played by Stephen McNally, who turns out to be his brother. All of these tendencies are fully displayed in T-Men .

22             22 In The Street with No Name (1948), for example, another pseudo-documentary noir with an undercover agent plot, gang leader Alec Stiles (Richard Widmark) boasts to an undercover FBI agent that his organization is run on "scientific" lines modeled after the FBI itself.

23             23 The doubling motif is common in the period's undercover cop films. For example, in Street with No Name , G-man Gene Cordell (Mark Stevens) assumes the identity of a George Manly, but to be accepted by the criminals, he must first re-enact the trajectory of a man called Danker, whom the gang has previously murdered. As the voiceover puts it, Cordell must become Danker's "carbon copy."




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