Charles McGraw

Biography of a Film Noir Tough Guy



"Rode’s colorful prose is peppered with anecdotes and recollections of friends, colleagues, and family members who help create a three-dimensional portrait of a loner who put great stock in his professionalism, but ultimately lost his grip"

Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy


"The writing mirrors the movies in which McGraw appeared. It's fast moving and employs a direct rat-a-tat style that allows Rode to cover a lot of territory, transforming the hardened actor into a talisman for the larger societal, artistic, and business changes reshaping Tinseltown from the 1940's through McGraw's bizarre accidental death in 1980."

Jon Bowman, The Santa Fe New Mexican


"Alan K. Rode has hit one out of the ballpark with his new book "Charles McGraw: Biography of a Film Noir Tough Guy". The word "spellbinding" is an appropriate way to describe the style of writing and the way Rode entices the reader to continue chapter after chapter."

Tommy Garrett, The Canyon News

“Tightly and often wittily drawn, this biography shouldn’t be overlooked by film buffs interested in the days before an industry was shaped by summer and holiday blockbusters.”

Wesley Britton, Cinema Retro


“A spellbinding account of the great noir heavy… and a must-have addition to all film noir libraries. Deft biography and overall wild tale”

James Ellroy, the world’s greatest living noir fiction writer


“It is a terrific book, and the research is amazing… buy it…if you're interested in Hollywood movies of the '40s-'50s, especially the film noirs, because it's the history of all THAT stuff too. “

Tom Weaver, film historian and author of over twenty books


Very little, if anything, seems to be left out. …an incredible history lesson for movie enthusiasts…The only thing that confuses us is how Rode managed to fit such a wealth of information in just under 230 pages. We chalk it up to great writing!

Gary Sweeney, The MidnightPalace


“Rode is a natural writer with a genuine love of film… almost always original. Absolutely riveting…I highly recommend this book.”

Laura Wagner, Classic Images


“…a colorful and illuminating study of not only an actor’s saga, but Hollywood’s evolution.”

Michael Fox, SF 360


“…not only a detailed, well-researched portrait of Charles McGraw; but, a veritable who’s-who of Hollywood film noir history, including nuanced sketches of such seminal personalities as Mark Hellinger, Robert Siodmok, Bryan Foy, Johnny Rosselli, Reed Hadley, Sidney Boehm, Crane Wilbur, Walter Wanger, Daniel Mainwaring, Earl Felton, Dick Fleischer—the list goes on and on.”

Michael Guillen, The Evening Class


"Rode is unquestionably an admirer of McGraw, and it shows in Charles McGraw: Biography of a Film Noir Tough Guy"

Rich Heldenfels, Akron Beacon Journal


Charles McGraw: Biography of a Film Noir Tough Guy is available from:

Barnes and Noble,, and McFarland Publishing