Earliest Film-Noir Feature Films


1. Underworld (1927)

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

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Arthur Rosson | Stars: George Bancroft, Clive Brook, Evelyn Brent, Fred Kohler

Votes: 2,064 | Gross: $0.75M

2. The Docks of New York (1928)

Not Rated | 76 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova, Clyde Cook

Votes: 3,330

3. The Racket (1928)

Passed | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An honest police captain vows to bring down a powerful bootlegger who is protected by corrupt politicians and judges.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim, Marie Prevost, G. Pat Collins

Votes: 867

4. Thunderbolt (1929)

Passed | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Moran, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt's girl. ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: George Bancroft, Fay Wray, Richard Arlen, Tully Marshall

Votes: 433

5. Paid (1930)

Approved | 86 min | Drama, Film-Noir

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Mary Turner goes up for three years on a crime she didn't commit. Once out she and former prison mates plan a scam in which old men can be sued for breach of promise - the "heart balm" ... See full summary »

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: Joan Crawford, Robert Armstrong, Marie Prevost, Douglass Montgomery

Votes: 469

6. The Maltese Falcon (1931)

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

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Bebe Daniels, Ricardo Cortez, Dudley Digges, Una Merkel

Votes: 2,476

7. City Streets (1931)

Passed | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Man joins a gang to free his girlfriend from prison.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Gary Cooper, Sylvia Sidney, Paul Lukas, William 'Stage' Boyd

Votes: 1,065

8. Grief Street (1931)

Passed | 64 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Alvin Merle, a womanizing Broadway matinée idol, is found strangled in his dressing room. The door is locked from the inside and there is no possible other way into the room. Merle is ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: Barbara Kent, John Holland, Dorothy Christy, Crauford Kent

Votes: 64

9. Scarface (1932)

PG | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An ambitious and nearly insane violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson | Stars: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley, Osgood Perkins

Votes: 22,227

10. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

Passed | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson, Noel Francis

Votes: 10,165

11. 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)

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

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Brash hoodlum Tom Connors enters Sing Sing cocksure of himself and disrespectful toward authority, but his tough but compassionate warden changes him.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Arthur Byron, Lyle Talbot

Votes: 2,032

12. The Beast of the City (1932)

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

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Police Chief Jim Fitzpatrick ruthlessly goes after organized crime and is prepared to use brutal and violent methods to fight it.

Director: Charles Brabin | Stars: Walter Huston, Jean Harlow, Wallace Ford, Jean Hersholt

Votes: 918 | Gross: $0.41M

13. Night Court (1932)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Judge and his mistress are investigated on suspicions of corruption.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: Phillips Holmes, Walter Huston, Anita Page, Lewis Stone

Votes: 273

14. Blood Money (1933)

Passed | 65 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bill Bailey is a Los Angeles bail bondsman who lives in a world of complete, casual corruption, where all he has to do is pick up the phone to get the charges against a client dismissed. He... See full summary »

Director: Rowland Brown | Stars: George Bancroft, Judith Anderson, Frances Dee, Chick Chandler

Votes: 258

15. Midnight (1934)

Not Rated | 76 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The foreman of a jury asks questions that send a woman to the electric chair for a murder committed in the heat of passion. On the night of the execution, his actions come back to haunt him.

Director: Chester Erskine | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Sidney Fox, O.P. Heggie, Henry Hull

Votes: 662

16. 'G' Men (1935)

Approved | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Ann Dvorak, Robert Armstrong

Votes: 3,077

17. The Petrified Forest (1936)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Genevieve Tobin

Votes: 10,903

18. Fury (1936)

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

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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: 9,962

19. Great Guy (1936)

Approved | 66 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The adventures of an investigator (Cagney) for the Bureau of Weights and Measures.

Director: John G. Blystone | Stars: James Cagney, Mae Clarke, James Burke, Edward Brophy

Votes: 756

20. Bullets or Ballots (1936)

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

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell, Barton MacLane, Humphrey Bogart

Votes: 2,230

21. The General Died at Dawn (1936)

98 min | Adventure, Crime, Film-Noir

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Amid the anarchy of China, an American mercenary tangles with a ruthless warlord.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll, Akim Tamiroff, Dudley Digges

Votes: 908

22. You Only Live Once (1937)

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

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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: 4,712

23. Dead End (1937)

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

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The lives of a young man and woman, an infamous gangster and a group of street kids converge one day in a volatile New York City slum.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Joel McCrea, Humphrey Bogart, Wendy Barrie

Votes: 5,291

24. Black Legion (1937)

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

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a hard-working machinist loses a promotion to a Polish-born worker, he is seduced into joining the secretive Black Legion, which intimidates foreigners through violence.

Directors: Archie Mayo, Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Dick Foran, Erin O'Brien-Moore

Votes: 2,206

25. They Won't Forget (1937)

Passed | 95 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A politically ambitious district attorney, unscrupulous tabloid journalists, and regional prejudice combine to charge a teacher with the murder of his student.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Dickson, Edward Norris, Otto Kruger

Votes: 1,270

26. Marked Woman (1937)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crusading DA persuades a clip joint "party girl" to testify against her mobster boss after her innocent sister is accidentally murdered during one of his unsavory "parties".

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, Michael Curtiz | Stars: Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Lola Lane, Isabel Jewell

Votes: 2,836

27. San Quentin (1937)

Approved | 70 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An army trainer becomes captain of the prison yard and in time, falls for the sister of a hardened inmate.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart, Barton MacLane

Votes: 1,495

28. The Shadow Strikes (1937)

Approved | 61 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

4.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Lamont Cranston assumes his secret identity as "The Shadow", to break up an attempted robbery at an attorney's office. When the police search the scene, Cranston must assume the identity of... See full summary »

Director: Lynn Shores | Stars: Rod La Rocque, Agnes Anderson, James Blakeley, Walter McGrail

Votes: 283

29. They Gave Him a Gun (1937)

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

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Jimmy is drafted and ends up in Fred's troop on his way to Europe. Jimmy becomes vicious with his gun, wins a medal, and weds Fred's nurse girlfriend, Rose. Back home years later, Rose ... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Gladys George, Franchot Tone, Edgar Dearing

Votes: 261

30. The Gold Racket (1937)

Approved | 66 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

At the request of the Mexican government, a federal agent and a lady reporter team up to catch a gang that has been smuggling gold from Mexico to the U.S. and then selling it to the U.S. government.

Directors: Louis J. Gasnier, Joseph H. Lewis | Stars: Conrad Nagel, Eleanor Hunt, Fuzzy Knight, Frank Milan

Votes: 47

31. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Passed | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan

Votes: 17,871

32. You and Me (1938)

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

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Sylvia Sidney, George Raft, Harry Carey, Barton MacLane

Votes: 869

33. Prison Nurse (1938)

Approved | 67 min | Drama, Film-Noir

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A state prison is threatened by approaching floods, an epidemic of typhoid fever breaks out among the inmates, the prison's only doctor falls sick, there are only three nurses to administer... See full summary »

Director: James Cruze | Stars: Henry Wilcoxon, Marian Marsh, Bernadene Hayes, Ben Welden

Votes: 44

34. Invisible Stripes (1939)

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

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An ex-con who wants to go straight has difficulties trying to reintegrate into society while on parole.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: George Raft, Jane Bryan, William Holden, Humphrey Bogart

Votes: 1,170 | Gross: $0.11M

35. The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Not Rated | 106 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane, Gladys George

Votes: 10,959

36. They Made Me a Criminal (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A boxer flees believing he has comitted a murder while he was drunk.

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: John Garfield, Claude Rains, The Dead End Kids, Ann Sheridan

Votes: 1,686

37. You Can't Get Away with Murder (1939)

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

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Youthful tough Johnny Stone has fallen under the influence of petty crook Frank Wilson, who involves him and robbery and murder using his sister's boyfriend's stolen gun.

Director: Lewis Seiler | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gale Page, Billy Halop, John Litel

Votes: 644

38. Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A corrupt D.A. with governatorial ambitions is annoyed by an investigative reporter's criticism of his criminal activities and decides to frame the reporter for manslaughter in order to silence him.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan, George Bancroft

Votes: 2,394

39. Dust Be My Destiny (1939)

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

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Embittered after serving time for a burglary he did not commit, Joe Bell is soon back in jail, on a prison farm. His love for the foreman's daughter leads to a fight between them, leading ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Seiler | Stars: John Garfield, Priscilla Lane, Alan Hale, Frank McHugh

Votes: 434

40. Blind Alley (1939)

Passed | 69 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Gangster Hal Wilson takes psychiatrist Dr. Shelby hostage. While captive, the doctor analyzes Wilson as though he were a patient.

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Chester Morris, Ralph Bellamy, Ann Dvorak, Joan Perry

Votes: 314

41. I Stole a Million (1939)

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

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A grizzled cabbie is scammed out of his life savings by a fake finance company. He tries to no avail to get police assistance.

Director: Frank Tuttle | Stars: George Raft, Claire Trevor, Dick Foran, Henry Armetta

Votes: 43

42. Convict's Code (1939)

62 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

5.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A man is framed and sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. When he is let out on limited parole, he sets out to clear his name and find the real criminals.

Director: Lambert Hillyer | Stars: Robert Kent, Anne Nagel, Sidney Blackmer, Victor Kilian

Votes: 90

43. Code of the Secret Service (1939)

Approved | 58 min | Action, Crime, Drama

4.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Brass is assigned to uncovering a counterfeiting ring that has stolen bona fide treasury plates and is converting $1 bills to $100 bills through a Mexican casino.

Director: Noel M. Smith | Stars: Ronald Reagan, Rosella Towne, Eddie Foy Jr., Moroni Olsen

Votes: 178

44. The Letter (1940)

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

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, Frieda Inescort

Votes: 9,966

45. They Drive by Night (1940)

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

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When one of 2 truck driving brothers loses an arm, they both join a transport company where later, the other is falsely charged as an accessory in the murder of the owner.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: George Raft, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino

Votes: 6,162

46. Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

Approved | 64 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An aspiring reporter is the key witness at the murder trial of a young man accused of cutting a café owner's throat and is soon accused of a similar crime himself.

Director: Boris Ingster | Stars: Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet, Charles Waldron

Votes: 3,092

47. Doomed to Die (1940)

Approved | 68 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Mr. Wong and a girl reporter investigate a shipping magnate's murder.

Director: William Nigh | Stars: Boris Karloff, Marjorie Reynolds, Grant Withers, William Stelling

Votes: 838

48. Johnny Apollo (1940)

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

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 940

49. The Saint's Double Trouble (1940)

Passed | 67 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An enigmatic gang leader known as "The Boss," who is a dead-ringer for Simon, puts "The Saint" under suspicion of murder.

Director: Jack Hively | Stars: George Sanders, Helene Reynolds, Jonathan Hale, Bela Lugosi

Votes: 616

50. Black Diamonds (1940)

60 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

5.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A reporter on a visit to his hometown hears of dangerous conditions at the local coal mine, and proceeds to investigate.

Director: Christy Cabanne | Stars: Richard Arlen, Andy Devine, Kathryn Adams, Paul Fix

Votes: 5



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