Another 100 Film Noirs (BFI Screen Guide)

by TheWanderingFish | created - 25 Jan 2012 | updated - 25 Jan 2012 | Public
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1. Act of Violence (1949)

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

An embittered, vengeful POW stalks his former commanding officer who betrayed his men's planned escape attempt from a Nazi prison camp.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh, Mary Astor

Votes: 3,600

2. The Aura (2005)

Not Rated | 134 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

78 Metascore

A deluded taxidermist plans the perfect crime.

Director: Fabián Bielinsky | Stars: Ricardo Darín, Manuel Rodal, Dolores Fonzi, Pablo Cedrón

Votes: 11,853 | Gross: $0.06M

3. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)

Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A novelist aided by his future father-in-law conspires to frame himself in the murder of a stripper as part of an effort to ban capital punishment.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer, Arthur Franz

Votes: 3,619

4. Black Angel (1946)

Approved | 81 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

When Kirk Bennett is convicted of a singer's murder, his wife tries to prove him innocent...aided by the victim's ex-husband.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Dan Duryea, June Vincent, Peter Lorre, Broderick Crawford

Votes: 2,094

5. Reign of Terror (1949)

Approved | 89 min | History, Romance, Thriller

Robespierrre, a powerful figure in the French revolution, is desperately looking for his black book, a death list of those marked for the guillotine.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Robert Cummings, Richard Basehart, Richard Hart, Arlene Dahl

Votes: 1,023

6. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

89 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 580,352 | Gross: $27.00M

7. Mang jing (2003)

Unrated | 92 min | Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident ... See full summary »

Director: Yang Li | Stars: Qiang Li, Baoqiang Wang, Shuangbao Wang, Jing Ai

Votes: 2,124 | Gross: $0.03M

8. Blood Simple. (1984)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

81 Metascore

A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh

Votes: 74,968 | Gross: $2.15M

9. The Blue Gardenia (1953)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern, Raymond Burr

Votes: 3,752

10. Bob le Flambeur (1956)

PG | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

80 Metascore

After losing big, an aging gambler decides to assemble a team to rob a casino.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, Daniel Cauchy, Guy Decomble

Votes: 8,635 | Gross: $0.02M

11. Body Heat (1981)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna, Ted Danson

Votes: 25,922 | Gross: $24.06M

12. Border Incident (1949)

Passed | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Mexican and American federal agents tackle a vicious gang exploiting illegal farm workers in southern California.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Howard Da Silva, James Mitchell

Votes: 1,681

13. Bound (1996)

R | 108 min | Crime, Romance, Thriller

61 Metascore

Corky, a tough female ex con and her lover Violet concoct a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet's crooked boyfriend Caesar.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano, John P. Ryan

Votes: 44,727 | Gross: $3.80M

14. Branded to Kill (1967)

Not Rated | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama

After a badly done assignment, a hitman finds himself in conflict with his organisation, and one mysterious and dangerous fellow-hitman in particular.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Jô Shishido, Mariko Ogawa, Annu Mari, Kôji Nanbara

Votes: 6,342

15. The Brasher Doubloon (1947)

Approved | 72 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Detective Philip Marlowe encounters a variety of characters while checking on why Leslie Murdock stole a rare doubloon from his mother.

Director: John Brahm | Stars: George Montgomery, Nancy Guild, Conrad Janis, Roy Roberts

Votes: 675

16. Brick (2005)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin, Meagan Good

Votes: 91,573 | Gross: $2.06M

17. Caught (1949)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

It was Leonora Eames' childhood dream come true. She had married Smith Ohlrig, a man worth millions. But her innocent dream became a nightmare once she realizes the truth about her husband ... See full summary »

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: James Mason, Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Ryan, Frank Ferguson

Votes: 2,588

18. Clash by Night (1952)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, Paul Douglas, Marilyn Monroe

Votes: 4,682

19. Classe Tous Risques (1960)

Not Rated | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

Abel Davis is a criminal, hunted in Italy. The police are closing in, so he and his pal Raymond arrange to flee back to France with Abel's wife, Thérèse, and their two young sons. Abel and ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Sautet | Stars: Lino Ventura, Sandra Milo, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Marcel Dalio

Votes: 2,530 | Gross: $0.09M

20. Lilac (1932)

90 min | Crime, Drama

Lilac is consorting with the criminal scum of Paris but then she falls in love with a handsome detective...

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Marcelle Romée, André Luguet, Jean Gabin, Madeleine Guitty

Votes: 128

21. Coup de torchon (1981)

Not Rated | 128 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A worn-out, ineffective police chief humiliated by everyone around him decides one day to improve his life, by any means.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Isabelle Huppert, Stéphane Audran, Jean-Pierre Marielle

Votes: 4,154

22. Crack-Up (1946)

Approved | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Art curator George Steele experiences a train wreck...which never happened. Is he cracking up, or the victim of a plot?

Director: Irving Reis | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall, Ray Collins

Votes: 964

23. Crime Wave (1953)

Approved | 73 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

Director: André De Toth | Stars: Gene Nelson, Sterling Hayden, Phyllis Kirk, Ted de Corsia

Votes: 2,240

24. Croupier (1998)

Not Rated | 94 min | Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

An aspiring writer is hired as a croupier at a casino, where he realizes that his life as a croupier would make a great novel.

Director: Mike Hodges | Stars: Clive Owen, Nick Reding, Nicholas Ball, Alexander Morton

Votes: 16,856 | Gross: $6.20M

25. The Dark Mirror (1946)

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

A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, Thomas Mitchell, Richard Long

Votes: 3,136

26. The Dark Past (1948)

Passed | 75 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

An escaped psychopathic killer who takes the family and neighbors of police psychologist hostage reveals a recurring nightmare to the doctor.

Director: Rudolph Maté | Stars: William Holden, Nina Foch, Lee J. Cobb, Adele Jergens

Votes: 799

27. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

PG | 88 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Film noir parody with a detective uncovering a sinister plot. Characters from real noirs appear as scenes from various films are intercut.

Director: Carl Reiner | Stars: Steve Martin, Rachel Ward, Alan Ladd, Carl Reiner

Votes: 18,051 | Gross: $18.20M

28. The Deep End (2001)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

78 Metascore

A woman spirals out of control while trying to keep her son from being found culpable in a murder investigation.

Directors: Scott McGehee, David Siegel | Stars: Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Peter Donat

Votes: 10,257 | Gross: $8.82M

29. Le dernier tournant (1939)

90 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Frank, a hobo, ends up in a garage-truck stop in the middle of nowhere. Nick Marino, its naive owner, is a good man married to Cora, a young and sexy bitch, half his age. Frank, although ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Chenal | Stars: Fernand Gravey, Michel Simon, Marcel Vallée, Auguste Bovério

Votes: 182

30. Desperate (1947)

Approved | 73 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

A young married couple flee both police and a gangster out for revenge.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Steve Brodie, Audrey Long, Raymond Burr, Douglas Fowley

Votes: 1,462

31. The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947)

Approved | 62 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Law-abiding Jimmy Ferguson soon regrets giving a ride to killer Steve Morgan.

Director: Felix E. Feist | Stars: Lawrence Tierney, Ted North, Nan Leslie, Betty Lawford

Votes: 619

32. The Element of Crime (1984)

Not Rated | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A cop in a dystopian Europe investigates a serial killings suspect using controversial methods written by his now disgraced former mentor.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Michael Elphick, Esmond Knight, Me Me Lai, Jerold Wells

Votes: 7,907

33. The Fallen Idol (1948)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

88 Metascore

A butler working in a foreign embassy in London falls under suspicion when his wife accidentally falls to her death, the only witness being an impressionable young boy.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Ralph Richardson, Michèle Morgan, Sonia Dresdel, Bobby Henrey

Votes: 6,363 | Gross: $0.06M

34. The File on Thelma Jordon (1950)

Passed | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Assistant district attorney Cleve Marshall falls for the mysterious Thelma Jordon when she seeks help solving robberies of her aunt's estate.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell Corey, Paul Kelly, Joan Tetzel

Votes: 1,516

35. Gheisar (1969)

100 min | Crime, Drama

A young man's drive to avenge for his sister and brother.

Director: Masud Kimiai | Stars: Behrouz Vossoughi, Pouri Baneai, Naser Malek Motiee, Jamshid Mashayekhi

Votes: 2,057

36. Hard Eight (1996)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

Professional gambler Sydney teaches John the tricks of the trade. John does well until he falls for cocktail waitress Clementine.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson

Votes: 32,887 | Gross: $0.22M

37. Harikomi (1958)

116 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Harikomi is an atypical film noir with a social background. It tells the story of two detectives of Tokyo that, on the trail of a murderer, they have to faced with Sadako that will end up questioning their role of police officers and men.

Director: Yoshitarô Nomura | Stars: Minoru Ôki, Takahiro Tamura, Seiji Miyaguchi, Hideko Takamine

Votes: 182

38. High Wall (1947)

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

After a brain-damaged man confesses to murder and is committed, Dr. Ann Lorrison tries to prove his innocence.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt | Stars: Robert Taylor, Audrey Totter, Herbert Marshall, Dorothy Patrick

Votes: 1,099

39. His Kind of Woman (1951)

Approved | 120 min | Action, Crime, Film-Noir

A deported gangster's plan to re-enter the USA involves skulduggery at a Mexican resort, and gambler Dan Milner is caught in the middle.

Directors: John Farrow, Richard Fleischer | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Vincent Price, Tim Holt

Votes: 3,114

40. The Hot Spot (1990)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

Upon arriving to a small town, a drifter quickly gets into trouble with the local authorities- and the local women- after he robs a bank.

Director: Dennis Hopper | Stars: Don Johnson, Virginia Madsen, Jennifer Connelly, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 8,914 | Gross: $1.29M

41. The House on 92nd Street (1945)

Approved | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Bill Dietrich becomes a double agent for the F.B.I. in a Nazi spy ring.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: William Eythe, Lloyd Nolan, Signe Hasso, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 2,309

42. Human Desire (1954)

Approved | 91 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A Korean War vet returns to his job as a railroad engineer and becomes involved in an affair with a co-worker's wife following a murder on a train where they meet.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford, Edgar Buchanan

Votes: 3,026

43. Infernal Affairs (2002)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

75 Metascore

A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop.

Directors: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak | Stars: Andy Lau, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Eric Tsang

Votes: 106,946 | Gross: $0.17M

44. It Always Rains on Sunday (1947)

92 min | Crime, Drama

An escaped convict tries to hide out at his former lover's house, but she has since married and is reluctant to help him.

Director: Robert Hamer | Stars: Googie Withers, Jack Warner, John McCallum, Edward Chapman

Votes: 1,039 | Gross: $0.01M

45. Johnny One-Eye (1950)

Approved | 78 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Martin is a wounded gangster comforted by a visits from a little girl and her tiny dog with one bad eye. As he hides out, he makes plans to find his abusive, double crossing, partner.

Director: Robert Florey | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Wayne Morris, Dolores Moran, Gayle Reed

Votes: 73

46. Kala Bazar (1960)

163 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

A man sells movie tickets on the black market, but starts to have a change of heart after he falls in love.

Director: Vijay Anand | Stars: Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman, Nanda, Vijay Anand

Votes: 193

47. 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: 31,929

48. Kill Me Again (1989)

R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

61 Metascore

A young detective becomes involved with a beautiful woman on the run from the mob and her psychopath boyfriend.

Director: John Dahl | Stars: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Pat Mulligan, Nick Dimitri

Votes: 3,746 | Gross: $0.28M

49. The Killers (1964)

Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Surprised that their contract victim didn't try to run away from them, two professional hit men try to find out who hired them and why.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes, Clu Gulager

Votes: 5,491

50. A Kiss Before Dying (1956)

Approved | 94 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

A ruthless college student resorts to murder in a futile attempt to marry an heiress.

Director: Gerd Oswald | Stars: Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, Virginia Leith, Joanne Woodward

Votes: 2,449

51. Klute (1971)

R | 114 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

7.2