Film noir and German expressionism

by anna_sterretje | created - 26 Feb 2013 | updated - 26 Feb 2013 | Public
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1. The Big Combo (1955)

Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis | Stars: Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Jean Wallace, Brian Donlevy

Votes: 5,139

2. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

98 Metascore

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 132,777 | Gross: $0.03M

3. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 46,013

4. Nosferatu (1922)

Not Rated | 81 min | Fantasy, Horror

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Votes: 76,104

5. Sunrise (1927)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Romance

An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston, Bodil Rosing

Votes: 39,243

6. 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: 70,375

7. Fury (1936)

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

When a wrongly accused prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to fake his death and frame the mob for his supposed murder.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Spencer Tracy, Walter Abel, Bruce Cabot

Votes: 9,727

8. You Only Live Once (1937)

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

The public defender's secretary and an ex-convict get married and try to make a life together, but a series of disasters sends their lives spiraling out of control.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Henry Fonda, Barton MacLane, Jean Dixon

Votes: 4,551

9. The Student of Prague (1913)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Balduin, a student of Prague, leaves his roystering companions in the beer garden, when he finds he has reached the end of his resources. He is scarcely seated in a quiet corner when a ... See full summary »

Directors: Paul Wegener, Stellan Rye | Stars: Paul Wegener, Grete Berger, Lyda Salmonova, John Gottowt

Votes: 1,418

10. The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Not Rated | 195 min | Drama, History, War

The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper

Votes: 19,135 | Gross: $10.00M

11. Genuine (1920)

88 min | Horror

Extremely rare work of Robert Wiene. From the director and year of excellent "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" this work was eventually overshadowed by the success of Caligari. It has a dreamy atmosphere, like another world or something.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Fern Andra, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Ernst Gronau, Harald Paulsen

Votes: 706

12. The Hands of Orlac (1924)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

A world-famous pianist loses both hands in an accident. When new hands are grafted on, he doesn't know they once belonged to a murderer.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Conrad Veidt, Alexandra Sorina, Fritz Strassny, Paul Askonas

Votes: 1,660

13. Der müde Tod (1921)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

When a woman's fiancé disappears, Death gives her three chances to save him from his fate.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Bernhard Goetzke, Hans Sternberg

Votes: 4,090 | Gross: $0.01M

14. Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922)

Not Rated | 242 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker, Alfred Abel

Votes: 6,060

15. Faust (1926)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man's soul.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn, Frida Richard

Votes: 11,832

16. Rififi (1955)

Not Rated | 118 min | Crime, Thriller

97 Metascore

Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes...

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Janine Darcey

Votes: 21,257 | Gross: $0.06M

17. The Killers (1946)

Not Rated | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker

Votes: 15,825

18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Not Rated | 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: 20,070

19. 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 an insurance investigator's suspicions.

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

Votes: 117,253 | Gross: $5.72M

20. Night and the City (1950)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

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.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers, Hugh Marlowe

Votes: 9,646 | Gross: $3.60M

21. 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: 15,689 | Gross: $8.33M

22. The Narrow Margin (1952)

Not Rated | 71 min | Film-Noir, Thriller

A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White, Gordon Gebert

Votes: 5,770

23. Pickup on South Street (1953)

Approved | 80 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

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: 10,401

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: 5,774

25. 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: 26,904

26. 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: 2,241

27. This Gun for Hire (1942)

Passed | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

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.

Director: Frank Tuttle | Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Robert Preston, Laird Cregar

Votes: 6,794

28. Thieves' Highway (1949)

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

A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Lawrence

Votes: 4,213

29. Underworld U.S.A. (1961)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Fourteen-year-old Tolly Devlin sees four hoods beat his father to death. Twenty years later, the killers have risen to the top of the crime syndicate and Tolly has a plan for revenge.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Cliff Robertson, Dolores Dorn, Beatrice Kay, Paul Dubov

Votes: 2,042

30. 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: 15,637

31. 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: 2,096

32. 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: 19,005

33. Touch of Evil (1958)

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

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: 85,756 | Gross: $2.24M

34. The Harder They Fall (1956)

Not Rated | 109 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Sport

Down-on-his-luck ex-sportswriter Eddie Willis is hired by shady fight promoter Nick Benko to promote his latest find, an unknown but easily exploitable phenom from Argentina.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling, Mike Lane

Votes: 5,663

35. 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: 3,609

36. Brute Force (1947)

Not Rated | 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: 7,329

37. 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: 5,938

38. House of Strangers (1949)

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

After years in prison, Max promises revenge on his brothers for their betrayal. His lover Irene and memories of his past yield him a broader perspective.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Susan Hayward, Richard Conte, Luther Adler

Votes: 2,217