Film Noir

by jmasalle | created - 07 Jan 2017 | updated - 07 Jan 2017 | Public

Essential list for a Noir Film enthusiast.

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1. 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: 20,736

Top-form Noir film AND Top-form Heist film.

2. 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: 11,669

3. Decoy (1946)

Approved | 76 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A mortally wounded female gangster recounts how she and her gang revived an executed killer from the gas chamber, to try and find out where he buried a fortune in cash.

Director: Jack Bernhard | Stars: Jean Gillie, Edward Norris, Robert Armstrong, Herbert Rudley

Votes: 1,275

4. D.O.A. (1949)

Approved | 83 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

Frank Bigelow, told he's been poisoned and has only a few days to live, tries to find out who killed him and why.

Director: Rudolph Maté | Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler, Beverly Garland

Votes: 9,186

5. The Killers (1946)

Passed | 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: 16,264

6. 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: 70,989

7. The Woman in the Window (1944)

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

When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey, Edmund Breon

Votes: 11,272

8. Scarlet Street (1945)

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

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal 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: 11,948

9. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script, only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship.

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

Votes: 170,960

10. 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: 16,210 | Gross: $8.33M

11. 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: 121,215 | Gross: $5.72M

12. Pickup on South Street (1953)

Passed | 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: 10,708

13. 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: 5,970

14. 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: 9,724

15. 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: 10,026 | Gross: $3.60M

16. 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: 6,124

17. The Naked City (1948)

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

Two New York City detectives investigate the death of an attractive young woman. The apparent suicide turns out to be murder.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart, Don Taylor

Votes: 10,295

18. He Walked by Night (1948)

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

This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop.

Directors: Alfred L. Werker, Anthony Mann | Stars: Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, Roy Roberts, Whit Bissell

Votes: 3,963

19. They Live by Night (1948)

Passed | 95 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Romance

An escaped convict, injured during a robbery, falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Cathy O'Donnell, Farley Granger, Howard Da Silva, Jay C. Flippen

Votes: 5,689

20. The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

Approved | 71 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

Two fishermen pick up a psychotic escaped convict who tells them that he intends to murder them when the ride is over.

Director: Ida Lupino | Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman, José Torvay

Votes: 5,289

21. The Dark Corner (1946)

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

Secretary tries to help her boss, who is framed for a murder.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: Lucille Ball, Clifton Webb, William Bendix, Mark Stevens

Votes: 3,464

22. Kansas City Confidential (1952)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An ex-con trying to go straight is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits.

Director: Phil Karlson | Stars: John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster, Neville Brand

Votes: 4,837

23. 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: 4,926

24. Impact (1949)

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

A unfaithful wife plots with her lover to kill her husband, but the lover is accidentally killed instead. The husband stays in hiding, and lets his wife be charged with conspiracy.

Director: Arthur Lubin | Stars: Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn, Helen Walker

Votes: 2,383

25. Suddenly (1954)

Unrated | 77 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

In the city of Suddenly, three gangsters trap the Benson family in their own house, on the top of a hill nearby the railroad station, with the intention of killing the president of the USA.

Director: Lewis Allen | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleason, Nancy Gates

Votes: 5,228 | Gross: $1.40M

26. Nightmare Alley (1947)

Passed | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist whose lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, Helen Walker

Votes: 6,052

27. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono, Wesley Addy

Votes: 43,367

28. Tension (1949)

Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A meek pharmacist creates an alternate identity under which he plans to murder the bullying liquor salesman who has become his wife's lover.

Director: John Berry | Stars: Richard Basehart, Audrey Totter, Cyd Charisse, Barry Sullivan

Votes: 2,090

29. The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated | 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: 29,377 | Gross: $9.46M

Not conventionally categorized as Noir, but I think it has the mood.

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: 16,099

31. Killer's Kiss (1955)

Not Rated | 67 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Ready to catch a train to his hometown, a washed up boxer tells us about the strange and twisty events that happened to him the past couple of days.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith, Jerry Jarrett

Votes: 18,400

32. 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: 26,714 | Gross: $24.06M

33. My Name Is Julia Ross (1945)

Approved | 65 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Julia Ross secures employment, through a rather nosy employment agency, with a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hughes, and goes to live at her house. 2 days later, she awakens - in a different house, ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph H. Lewis | Stars: Nina Foch, May Whitty, George Macready, Roland Varno

Votes: 1,515

34. 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: 71,740

35. 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: 255,941 | Gross: $29.20M

36. 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: 16,099

37. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script, only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship.

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

Votes: 170,960

38. 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 $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

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

Votes: 73,010

39. 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: 2,589

40. 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: 10,226

41. A Place in the Sun (1951)

Passed | 122 min | Drama, Romance

A poor boy gets a job working for his rich uncle and ends up falling in love with two women.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Anne Revere

Votes: 17,446

42. The Blue Dahlia (1946)

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

An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 6,480 | Gross: $2.70M

43. Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

Approved | 89 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

While on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and attempts to prevent it.

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards, Wendell Corey

Votes: 8,406

44. 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: 12,825



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