My Top 25 Film Noir Films

This is a list for people getting acquainted with the best Film Noir movies. The list includes the titles that have appealed to me the most.
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1.
M (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt. (117 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
“ The German made movie "M" was way ahead of its time. Hollywood loved it, but was afraid to tackle the dark subject matter of the film: a serial killer of children. The director Fritz Lang would join Hollywood about five years later and film noir took off soon after. The dark story and the attention to shadows begins here unconsciously. ” - lokko53
 
2.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship. (110 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ The classic moody film narrated in the first person of the dead man. ” - lokko53
 
3.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette. (100 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ The success of Bogart's film popularized the sub-genre of films about independent detectives for hire. ” - lokko53
 
4.
The Big Sleep (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love. (114 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ This classic detective mystery from the Raymond Chandler novels provides plenty of twists and turns and one-liners for great fun. ” - lokko53
 
5.
Double Indemnity (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions. (107 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ The classic film of murder for insurance money. ” - lokko53
 
6.
Laura (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating. (88 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
“ The classic film about a detective investigating the murder of a woman. ” - lokko53
 
7.
The Third Man (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime. (104 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
“ The classic film about life in the aftermath of war torn Vienna with a classic scene with Orson Welles. The entire musical score is with a zither. An American writer of cheap novels arrives in Vienna to at the request of his friend only to find out that his friend had recently died. A classic tale of mystery, racketeering, loyalty and betrayal. ” - lokko53
 
8.
Mildred Pierce (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter. (111 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ One of the few women-driven films. A single mother trying to raise her daughter and the investigation of a murder. ” - lokko53
 
9.
Night and the City (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter. (101 mins.)
Director: Jules Dassin
“ A great noir that takes place in the underground world of London. ” - lokko53
 
10.
The Big Heat (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate. (90 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
“ The classic example of a cop out for revenge by Fritz Lang. I recommend Fritz Lang movies if you enjoy his movies. ” - lokko53
 
11.
Touch of Evil (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. (95 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
“ Came at the end of the film noir era. It didn't do well when it came out but later fans have found the genius of Welles that went unnoticed during his time. This is the classic film of murder that takes place in a Mexican border town. ” - lokko53
 
12.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. (126 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ A great Bogart/John Huston morality tale on the power of greed that takes place in Mexico. ” - lokko53
 
13.
Out of the Past (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames. (97 mins.)
“ A great moody film. Scorcese showed it to his cast of Shutter Island as an example of the style he was looking for. Robert Mitchum is a great actor to watch. ” - lokko53
 
14.
Key Largo (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other. (100 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ Edward G. Robinson smoking cigars and playing the tough guy. ” - lokko53
 
15.
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery. (92 mins.)
“ A film that takes a surreal fantasy-like twist. It has all the elements of noir, but the director took on a dream-like nightmare approach that turned off the original audience. Here you have the classic scene of a convict with letters tattooed on his knuckles. ” - lokko53
 
16.
The Heiress (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter. (115 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
“ The transformation of Olivia De Havilland's character is one of the best performances in this Wyler film. ” - lokko53
 
17.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder - a theory that he plans to implement. (101 mins.)
“ Classic Hitchcock suspense of man's unfortunate run in with a disturbed man. The merry go round scene is considered a classic of cinema. ” - lokko53
 
18.
Notorious (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them? (101 mins.)
“ Great Hitchcock sense of character development and timing. A German American woman is asked to infiltrate a circle of Germans down in Brazil. Great romance, suspense and spy intrigue. ” - lokko53
 
19.
The Big Clock (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When powerful publishing tycoon Earl Janoth commits an act of murder at the height of passion, he cleverly... (95 mins.)
Director: John Farrow
 
20.
The Woman in the Window (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder. (107 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
“ For some, this film is limited by the choices on the final scenes, but it still remains a powerful film. An older married man starts to contemplate the possibility of infidelity. Great Fritz Lang and Edward G. Robinson collaboration. ” - lokko53
 
21.
Born to Kill (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A calculating divorce risks her chances at wealth and security with a man she doesn't love by getting involved with the hotheaded murderer romancing her foster sister. (92 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
 
22.
Fallen Angel (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A slick con man arrives in a small town looking to make some money, but soon gets more than he bargained for. (98 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
 
23.
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
While on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and attempts to prevent it. (89 mins.)
Director: Anatole Litvak
 
24.
Kiss of Death (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise. (99 mins.)
Director: Henry Hathaway
 
25.
This Gun for Hire (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
When assassin Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies. (81 mins.)
Director: Frank Tuttle
“ In the final scenes the film is limited by the political context of its time during WWII, but the overall product is a deep psychological portrayal of one of cinema history's greatest killer for hire. ” - lokko53