29 November 2013 8:20 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Guns, dames and hats: you can't have a film noir without them, can you? Take a look at the Guardian and Observer critics list of the best 10 noirs and you'll realise things aren't that simple …

• Top 10 westerns

• Top 10 documentaries

• Top 10 movie adaptations

• Top 10 animated movies

• Top 10 silent movies

• Top 10 sports movies

• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s

10. They Live by Night

Nicholas Ray's astonishingly self-assured, lyrical directorial debut opens with title cards and lush orchestrations over shots of a boy and a girl in rapturous mutual absorption: "This boy … and this gir … were never properly introduced … to the world we live in …" A shriek of horns suddenly obliterates all other sound – their shocked faces both turn toward the camera, and the title appears: They Live by Night.

Meet 23-year-old escaped killer Bowie Bowers and his farm-girl sweetheart Keechie Mobley (Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell), in an imaginary idyll »

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