30 Great Film Noir Classics

by eibeh007 | created - 20 Mar 2011 | updated - 21 Mar 2011 | Public
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1. Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger

Votes: 10,223

2. Angel Face (1953)

Not Rated | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman, Herbert Marshall

Votes: 5,879

3. L.A. Confidential (1997)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Votes: 477,645 | Gross: $64.62M

4. The Big Sleep (1946)

Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

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.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers

Votes: 71,730

5. Laura (1944)

Passed | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 37,034

6. Detour (1945)

Not Rated | 68 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Chance events trap hitch-hiker Al Roberts in a tightening net of film noir trouble.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald

Votes: 11,666

7. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Passed | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore

Votes: 20,733

8. Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

95 Metascore

An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses the suspicion of an insurance investigator.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Byron Barr

Votes: 121,189 | Gross: $5.72M

9. I Wake Up Screaming (1941)

Passed | 82 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Why is Inspector Ed Cornell trying to railroad Frankie Christopher for the murder of model Vicky Lynn?

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone | Stars: Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Laird Cregar

Votes: 3,144

10. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit".

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Juano Hernandez

Votes: 16,098

11. Gun Crazy (1950)

Passed | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis | Stars: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger, Morris Carnovsky

Votes: 9,721

12. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

Not Rated | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband. Once the deed is done, they must live with the consequences of their actions.

Director: Tay Garnett | Stars: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway, Hume Cronyn

Votes: 16,203 | Gross: $8.33M

13. Out of the Past (1947)

Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

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.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming

Votes: 27,798

14. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery

96 Metascore

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre

Votes: 135,928

15. Crossfire (1947)

Unrated | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of demobilized soldiers he met in a bar. But which one? And why?

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame

Votes: 6,418 | Gross: $1.30M

16. In a Lonely Place (1950)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid

Votes: 21,218

17. Rebecca (1940)

Not Rated | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Votes: 106,652

18. Key Largo (1948)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

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.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore

Votes: 32,852

19. The Third Man (1949)

Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 137,677 | Gross: $0.45M

20. Chinatown (1974)

R | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

92 Metascore

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez

Votes: 255,892 | Gross: $29.20M

21. The Big Heat (1953)

Not Rated | 89 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Alexander Scourby

Votes: 19,680

22. Kiss of Death (1947)

Approved | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

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.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray, Richard Widmark

Votes: 6,121

23. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Film-Noir

100 Metascore

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner

Votes: 23,410

24. Criss Cross (1949)

Not Rated | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally

Votes: 5,969

25. Touch of Evil (1958)

PG-13 | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 89,468 | Gross: $2.24M

26. Niagara (1953)

Not Rated | 92 min | Film-Noir, Thriller

As two couples are visiting Niagara Falls, tensions between one wife and her husband reach the level of murder.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, Max Showalter

Votes: 12,824

27. The Killing (1956)

Not Rated | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen

Votes: 70,982

28. Brute Force (1947)

Passed | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

At a tough penitentiary, prisoner Joe Collins plans to rebel against Captain Munsey, the power-mad chief guard.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo

Votes: 7,539

29. Mildred Pierce (1945)

Passed | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden

Votes: 19,324

30. Force of Evil (1948)

Approved | 79 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An unethical lawyer, with an older brother he wants to help, becomes a partner with a client in the numbers racket.

Director: Abraham Polonsky | Stars: John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, Marie Windsor, Howland Chamberlain

Votes: 4,925



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