The 25 Best Film Noir Movies of All Time

by malthe-tuxen | created - 18 Jan 2018 | updated - 1 week ago | Public

My 25 personal favorite film noir movies of all time.

Honorable Mentions:

The Killing (1956) - Stanley Kubrick Kiss Me Deadly (1955) - Robert Aldrich Gun Crazy (1950) - Joseph H. Lewis Drunken Angel (1948) - Akira Kurosawa The Big Sleep (1946) - Howard Hawks Shadow Of A Doubt (1943) - Alfred Hitchcock The Letter (1940) - William Wyler The Roaring Twenties (1939) - Raoul Walsh Angels With Dirty Faces (1938) - Michael Curtiz I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang (1932) - Mervyn LeRoy

Related:

The 25 Best Neo-Noir Movies of All Time - https://www.imdb.com/list/ls046664269/

The 25 Best Psychopath Movies of All Time - https://www.imdb.com/list/ls068728445/

The 25 Best Detective Movies of All Time - https://www.imdb.com/list/ls023301310/

The 25 Best Classic Movies of All Time - https://www.imdb.com/list/ls021997760/

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1. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Passed | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

A screenwriter develops a dangerous relationship with a faded film star determined to make a triumphant return.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

Votes: 217,753

2. Vertigo (1958)

PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller

100 Metascore

A former San Francisco police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with the hauntingly beautiful woman he has been hired to trail, who may be deeply disturbed.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore

Votes: 394,604 | Gross: $3.20M

3. 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: 46,880 | Gross: $4.36M

4. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

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

97 Metascore

San Francisco private detective Sam Spade takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette, with the stakes rising after his partner is murdered.

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

Votes: 156,791 | Gross: $2.11M

5. M (1931)

Passed | 99 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke

Votes: 155,342 | Gross: $0.03M

6. The Lost Weekend (1945)

Passed | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 36,609 | Gross: $9.46M

7. 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: 36,621

8. Ace in the Hole (1951)

Approved | 111 min | Drama, Film-Noir

72 Metascore

A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to rekindle his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Porter Hall

Votes: 35,389 | Gross: $3.97M

9. The Third Man (1949)

Approved | 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: 169,541 | Gross: $0.45M

10. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid the $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Director: Charles Laughton | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason

Votes: 88,180 | Gross: $0.65M

11. 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: 103,526 | Gross: $2.24M

12. Dial M for Murder (1954)

PG | 105 min | Crime, Thriller

75 Metascore

A former tennis star arranges the murder of his adulterous wife.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams

Votes: 172,563 | Gross: $0.01M

13. Scarlet Street (1945)

Approved | 102 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

A man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, though her fiancé persuades her to con him out of the fortune they mistakenly assume he possesses.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea, Margaret Lindsay

Votes: 16,449

14. Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

Passed | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A writer falls in love with a young socialite and they're soon married, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of them both as well as everyone around them.

Director: John M. Stahl | Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price

Votes: 12,520

15. Pickup on South Street (1953)

Passed | 80 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Romance

A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter, Murvyn Vye

Votes: 14,564

16. Strangers on a Train (1951)

PG | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

88 Metascore

A psychopath forces a tennis star to comply with his theory that two strangers can get away with murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll

Votes: 132,271 | Gross: $7.63M

17. Double Indemnity (1944)

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

95 Metascore

A Los Angeles insurance representative lets an alluring housewife seduce him into a scheme of insurance fraud and murder that arouses the suspicion of his colleague, an insurance investigator.

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

Votes: 154,371 | Gross: $5.72M

18. Gaslight (1944)

Passed | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Ten years after her aunt was murdered in their London home, a woman returns from Italy in the 1880s to resume residence with her new husband. His obsessive interest in the home rises from a secret that may require driving his wife insane.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, May Whitty

Votes: 28,319

19. Spellbound (1945)

Approved | 111 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance

79 Metascore

A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll

Votes: 48,082 | Gross: $7.00M

20. White Heat (1949)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 32,502

21. 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. However, she soon starts to have her doubts.

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

Votes: 31,025

22. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Approved | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A veteran British barrister must defend his client in a murder trial that has surprise after surprise.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester

Votes: 122,217 | Gross: $8.18M

23. The Big Heat (1953)

Passed | 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: 26,478

24. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Approved | 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: 31,461

25. Notorious (1946)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

100 Metascore

The daughter of a convicted Nazi spy is asked by American agents to gather information on a ring of Nazi scientists in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern

Votes: 99,953 | Gross: $10.46M



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