- Double Indemnity (1944)
My favorite film noir with my favorite female character Phyllis Dietrichson played by Barbara Stanwyck. Edgar G. Robinson and Fred MacMurray were also great in this.
- Chinatown (1974)
Jack's best movie and that's saying something. Great acting and a great story in this neo-noir mystery.
- Out of the Past (1947)
Great film noir with Kurt Douglas and Robert Mitchum. Also had one of the best of all the great noir lines: "Baby, I don't care." Jane Greer was one of the best femme fatales in this movie. Jeff knew he was being taken, but he just didn't care.
- The Maltese Falcon (1941)
A great ensemble cast done with great style. How good were Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet in this? Often referred to as the first noir.
- Sunset Boulevard (1950)
A great Billy Wilder movie. William Holden was good but Gloria Swanson stole the show.
- The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
Frank Chambers (John Garfield) sees Cora Smith (Lana Turner) and it's all over. Her husband's days, and his are numbered. A great story in one of the classic film noirs.
- Angel Face (1952)
Jean Simmons made a great, great femme fatale. Robert Mitchum was also great in his typical understated way. The music was also really good. I never saw the ending coming. She was going to drag him down no matter what the cost.
- Blade Runner (1982)
Science Fiction neo-noir with a robot as the one of the lead characters. And imagine, our poor hero Deckard, being dragged down by a femme fatale robot.
- Body Heat (1981)
Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner) is one of the great all time femme fatales in this neo-noir thriller. We slowly begin to see that Ned Racine(William Hurt) is being played, and watch as Ned slowly begins to see it too. But Ned is so taken with Matty that he can never quite believe it and falls further and further in to her trap. A great twisted ending to a really good movie.
- Scarlet Street (1945)
Edgar G gets dragged down by a woman (Joan Bennet) that is using him. First American movie in the post-code era where someone gets away with murder. Dan Duryea was also really good in this. Remake of the 1931 La Chienne by the great Jean Renoir.
- The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Orson Welles pulls out all the noir tricks, as Micharl O'Hara (Welles) falls for Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth) and then it's just a matter of who is going to get killed so Elsa gets the dough. Great scene in the aquarium with the sharks and in the funhouse with the mirrors, where you never know who you are seeing.
- The Conversation (1974)
Gene Hackman, who I think is a tremendous actor, in his best role. One of the five movies John Cazale appeared in, all of which were nominated for Best Picture Oscar.
- The Third Man (1949)
Orson Welles dominated this film even though he was only on the screen for a very short time.
- The Big Sleep (1946)
Who knows what is going on with the plot, but the dialogue was as sharp as it gets. Bogart and Bacall fall in love in the midst of the carnage. A great movie with great style.
- The Killers (1946)
A dark pessimistic movie at the close of WWII. Charles McGraw and William Conrad play contract killers who come to a diner looking for the Swede. They finally get him in his room. This was Burt Lancaster's first role and he was dragged down by femme fatale Kitty, played by Ava Gardner. One look at her and he left behind his neighborhood girlfriend and his old life. Classic flashback telling of the story really works.
- Le Samourai (1967)
A movie that is really done with great style. Alan Deleon doesn't have much to say, but the is perfect in this role about a killer.
- Laura (1944)
A very stylish murder mystery / love story. Detective falls in love with murdered woman and then things start to get strange.
- Rebecca (1940)
Watching Olivier is always great but Joan Fontaine was also really good in this great murder/mystery. Mrs. Danvers was also a great character.
- Kiss of Death (1947)
Had one of my all time favorite characters - Tommy Udo, played by Richard Widmark. Victor Mature was also great in this movie.
- Pickup on South Street (1953)
Richard Widmark was a great anti-hero in this movie. He really didn't care about anything including his country, yet still comes off as a character we are interested in.
- Criss Cross (1949)
In this Richard Siodmak noir we find Steve (Burt Lancaster) pining for his ex-wife Anna (Yvonne De Carlo), who is now married to gangster Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea). When Slim finds out they having been seeing each other, Steve says it is because he has a plan: a plan to rob the armored car he guards and he will be the inside man.
During the robbery, Slim and his men turn on Steve, and they shoot it out. Anna gets away with the money, but she wants no part of the wounded Steve who will slow her down. Slim then enters and finishes them both off.
- White Heat (1949)
Cody Jarrett is one of the all time great characters.
- Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
This B fim noir was not too smooth but I think it is a lot of fun to watch. Really different.
- Murder My Sweet (1944)
Dick Powell made a great Phillip Marlowe and Claire Trevor made a great femme fatale.
- Taxi Driver (1976)
Early DeNiro is great in this disturbing character study.
- Classe Tous Risques(1950)
A great French movie with Lino Ventura and Jean-Paul Belmondo. Abel is a gangster on the run and calls some old friends, who he has always helped, for some assistance. They are reluctant to get involved and Abel is not happy. Dark movie that is really well done.
- The Street With No Name (1948)
Shot in a documentary style this movie supposedly based on a real FBI case is an ancestor of The Departed. Each side has an informer inside the other group. Richard Widmark is just as good as Nicholson was.
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer star in this comedy that pokes fun at and pays tribute to film noir. The film has a plot that twists and turns and is really hard to follow, just like any good noir movie should be. Harry (Downey) pushes the limit of voice over as he talks to the audience about the movie.
The movie is divided in to segments names after Raymond Chandler stories : 1. "Trouble is My Business", 2. "The Lady in the Lake", 3. "The Little Sister", 4. "The Simple Art of Murder", and Epilogue: "Farewell, My Lovely".
- Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
I really enjoyed this movie, particularly the surprise twist at the end. Charles Laughton was as usual - great.
- Memento (2000)
Christopher Nolan takes a stab at neo-noir and comes up with a disturbing story about Leonard who is investigating the death of his wife but has short term memory and can't remember things from one day to the next. Nolan draws us in to Leonard's world, as we only know what he knows. We don't know who is lying to Leonard or telling him the truth. It took a while to figure out but the black and white tells the story in chronological order, while the interspersed color segments tell the story in reverse. A really good movie.
- The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
Watching the great actors would have made this movie well worth watching but it also has a great noir story with twists and turns and shadows. No one place evil like Barbara Stanwyck, unless it is Judith Anderson. Throw in Lizabeth Scott, Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas' first role and you have the makings for a great movie, which rhis is.
Walter O'Neil : "You're insane. You're out of your mind. Me too. You see, Sam, how close we really are to each other. Don't break up our happy home."
Miller's Crossing (1990)
This movie had a great sense of style and some great acting. This and Fargo are my favorite Coen brothers' movies.
- The Killing (1956)
A great Kubrick film. One thing that made it especially interesting was the focus on Elisha Cook, a minor character, who was dragged down in the noir tradition, by his cheating wife.
- Diabolique (1955)
A great little adventure/ thriller (shown with subtitles). Probably the most surprised I've been by a movie's ending.
- In a Lonely Place (1950)
Reminded me of Suspicion but I enjoyed this more. Bogart was really good and so was Gloria Grahame. It is a bit of a stretch to call this noir. The "victim" was really not dragged down by circumstances, I think he really was crazy.
- Gilda (1948)
Rita Hayworth was never lovelier than in this movie where she drives Glenn Ford crazy. Great dance scene where Rita dances to "Put the Blame on Mame". Could have been better, but they tacked on the Hollywood ending.
- L.A. Confidential (1997)
Period piece neo-noir done with great style. Three cops, one is just greedy, another is motivated by seeing his mother get beat to death and the other had a police father who was shot and killed, and the murderer was never found. They all did their job in different ways, in corrupt 1950's Los Angeles.
- Gun Crazy (1949)
Gun Crazy was an inspiration for Bonnie and Clyde and a lot of other movies from this gangster / film noir genre. Great movie.
Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins) plays a girl who shoots in a carnival show. She meets Barton Tare (John Dahl) who loves guns even more than she does. Barton falls hard, but Annie is crazy. She likes guns, money and action. She tells Barton she will leave him if he doesn't join her in some hold ups.
There is a great one continuous shot of a bank hold up, filmed from the back of the car.
Great ending, with Barton shooting Annie, to save some of his childhood friends, and then getting gunned down himself.
- Blast of Silence (1961)
The last real noir? Some say it ended with Touch of Evil, but I think it ended here. The lead actor, Allen Baron, (who also directed) only acted in one other movie, but he was very good in this. He was a physical cross between Lino Ventura and George C. Scott, and he directed himself very well.
Six years later Melville made a very similar film, Le Samurai, but he of course went without the voice over narration that was so prevalent in this film.
The narration was a little distracting to me, mainly because Lionel Stander's voice is so distinctive. I kept thinking of the character in Mr. Deeds Goes To Town.
The music was also really different. It never seemed to reflect the action that was going on. In downbeat moments the music was upbeat. In upbeat moments the music was downbeat. The music did a great job of keeping me in an unsettled state.
I'm not sure everything really worked, but the movie really took some chances and it is well worth seeing. It's hard to believe Allen Baron only directed one other film. This is a movie that very well may get better and better with each viewing.
- Sudden Fear (1952)
Joan Crawford marries a guy (Jack Palance) she once fired and it comes back to haunt her. Joan Crawford and Jack Palance were both nominated for Best Acor and Actress, but Gloria Grahame
- The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
Two guys out on a weekend fishing trip pick up a psychotic prison escapee who has been killing the people who have picked him up, and he tells the fisherman that they are next. A really good movie directed by Ida Lupino.
- Brick (2005)
A neo-noir set in a contemporary high school. Highly stylized with great dialogue. Twists and turns and a femme fatale. Doesn't seem like it should work, but it does.
- Kansas City Confidential (1952)
John Payne plays Joe Rolfe who is set up by armored car robbers. Wanting to clear his name, he goes after them. The mastermind picked three men and met them all while he wore a mask. Then they all wore masks when they met together. Joe kills one, and takes his playing card, and tries to take his place, but the guy behind the robbery knows it's not him. The other two thieves find out it's not him because he took the name of the dead man, who one of them had served time with. Then Joe tells them that he got his right to the share from Pete Harris, but then the cops knocked off Pete.
The mastermind is an embittered former police captain who was thrown off the force. He masterminds the robbery, and then sets up the robbers so he can get the reward money. He knows the robbery money is marked.
Wrong man in the wrong place noir. Great character actors with Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam.
- This Gun for Hire (1942)
Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake team up like they did in Blue Dahlia. Alan Ladd plays a hired killer. He's a natural as a villain.
- Ex Machina (2015)
Reminds me a lot of Body Heat, but in this case the femme fatale was a robot. When Ava walks out at the end she doesn't even think of looking back at Caleb. Really well done.
- Somewhere in the Night (1946)
George Taylor wakes up in an army hospital with no memory of his past. As he searches to find out who he is, he begins to feel uncomfortable with who he was.
"In about two minutes, a bouncer is coming back in here with no sense of humor. He's a foot bigger than you in all directions. That's what I think."
- The Big Clock (1948)
Charles Laughton and Ray Milland have a battle of wits in this murder/mystery. Later remade as No Way Out(1987), which was a really good movie, but the original was better.
- Strangers on a Train (1951)
A big twist in this one. Tennis pro is not dragged down by a femme fatal but by a crazed man who thinks he made a deal with him.
- The Woman in the Window (1945)
Edgar G again. Dan Duryea was also great in this. Classic noir in having man's life turned upside down. The twist at the end throws me every time I see it. Why do I rank it so low? I don't know. There are just so many good noirs.
- The Blue Dahlia (1946)
I really enjoyed Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake in this one. There are so many twists in this one that I don't remember the ending from one viewing to the next. (I wish Veronica Lake had been in more movies).
- Touch of Evil (1958)
Even though I nver really bought Charlton Heston as a Mexican, this movie has a great sense of doom hanging over it starting with the great opening scene.
- Born to Kill (1947)
Larence Tierney, who was so good in Reservoir Dogs, was a really cold blooded killer in this early noir.
Nightmare Alley (1947)
This is probably my favorite Tyrone Power movie (after Zorro). It is dark and more than a little creepy.
- Dark Passage (1947)
Humphrey Bogart gets plastic surgery after escaping from prison. He then tries to prove that he didn't kill his wife, and Lauren Bacall suddenly appears, for some reason, and decides to help Humphrey out. In the end they end up in Peru, drinking tropical drinks.
- Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney star in this classic noir. Andrews plays scarred Office Mark Dixon, whose father was a crooked cop. Andrews is an angry young man and likes to beat up crooks which ends up getting him in to a lot of trouble.
- 99 River Street (1953)
Ernie Driscoll (John Payne) is an ex-boxer whose wife is cheating on him because now he is just a taxi driver and she likes the high life. When her gangster boyfriend kills her he tries to pin it on Ernie. Ernie's friend Linda helps him out.
Ernie Driscoll: There are worse things than murder. You can kill someone an inch at a time.
Blonde Ice (1948)
Classic noir with reporter Claire marrying men for their money and then getting rid of them when they find her out. When her husband of a week finds out he is being two-timed he walks out on her. Claire kills him him and sets it up to look like suicide. She establishes herself as being out of town but unfortunately there are no fingerprints on the gun and no gunpowder on her ex-husbands hand. The police want to rule out suicide. I really liked one of Claire's lines. "That's the frame. You're the picture in that frame.", as she described to her next victim the beautiful life she saw before them. But in reality, this guy was going to be framed for her ex-husband's murder. As the frame closes on Les, Claire begins to move on to her next victim. She also says "They say the female of the species is deadlier than the male."
Claire was evil but she was too obvious. The movie would have been much better if she was more subtle.
I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
A very early film noir, which may be the first one, with Victor Mature, Carole Landis and Betty Grable. A murder mystery where it doesn't seem like any one knows what is going on. The dueling background music "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and "Street Scenes" didn't really work for me.
But the bit players really helped this movie. Elijah Cook, Alan Mowbray, and Laird Cregar were all really good. Overall, a very good movie.
Had most of the elements of a noir, with Victor Mature against a metal screen shadow, and he is caught in a trap that he had nothing to do with. But Frankie wasn't weak, and he didn't really make any mistakes and there was no femme fatale. More of a murder mystery, but it did have some of the noir style.
Brian Donlevy was really good as a man whose wife tries to kill him for his money. When she fails, Donlevy plays dead when she gets arrested. The movie started out really good, but didn't end as well.
The Big Combo (1955)
Ricard Conte was really good in a role that probably led to his role as Barzini in The Godfather
- The Set-Up (1947)
Robert Ryan was really good in what must have been an inspiration for the Bruce Willis character in Pulp Fiction
- Night and the City (1950)
Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney in a very good noir where no one drags gambler Harry Fabian down but himself.
- The Stranger on the Third Floor(1940)
Some people say this was the film noir. Peter Lorre was excellent as usual. Also had a great dream sequence.
- The Phenix City Story (1955)
A movie in a documentary style that tells the true story of Phenix City, where organized crime ran the town. When a reformer, Albert Patterson, ran for office he was gunned down. A really good movie with a really good story.
- A Blueprint for Murder (1953)
Joseph Cotten starts investigating the mysterious deaths of his brother and his niece. Will his nephew be next? His sister-in-law stands to inherit a lot of money if his nephew dies too. Interesting twist at the end when Joseph Cotten poisons her and she continues bluffing.
- The Dark Corner (1946)
Clifton Webb plays a rich art collector who has a younger wife who now has a new beau, Tony Jardine. Bradford Galt is a detective who is just out of jail after being framed by his partner Jardine, and Lucy is his secretary. William Bendix works for Webb. Webb sets up Galt to take the fall after Bendix kills Jardine. Galt is in a jam but Lucy is determined to help her guy.
- The Sniper (1952)
A good movie about a damaged man, who didn't like his mother. He burns his hand on purpose, and then begins to shoot down blondes. The police are doing everything they can do to catch him. The death total becomes 4, and they still don't have him.
The Prowler (1951)
Van Heflin takes on the role of the Webb Garwood, and flips the role of the femme fatale. He is a police officer who drags down the unhappily married Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes). Webb gets rid of the husband but then they have a another problem. A baby is on the way, but is coming too early and will reveal their illicit romance. They head off to the desert to have the baby in secret. Susan finally realizes how bad Webb is and he says "So what? So I'm no good. But I'm no worse than anybody else. You work in a store you knock down on the cash register. A big boss, the income tax. The ward heeler, you sell votes. The lawyer, you take bribes. I was a cop, I used use a gun. But whatever I did I did for you."
Not really, Webb did it for the money.
- Blood Simple (1984)
Great acting and a twisting, turning twisting plot by the Coen brothers.
- The Last Seduction (1994)
A neo-noir with a vicious femme fatale who plays a small town hick like a fiddle. Lots of twists and turns, but I thought the film's weakness was that Bridget was always so nasty, I could never see how Mike fell for her.
- Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950)
James Cagney was great as an escaped convict who shakes down crooked cops, steals from the mob and disrupts and corrupts the life of everyone he comes in contact with. He gets shot in the end as Barbara Payton tells him to Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, but he brought a lot of people down with him.
- You Only Live Once (1937)
The movie was really good but the ending was awful. Having Father Dolan calling to Eddie and telling him the gates were open made no sense.
Eddie was a cheap crook who ruined the lives of everyone he came in contact with. Everyone around him was trying to help him but when things didn't go his way his true nature showed up.
When the trucking boss wouldn't give him his job back he punched him and insinuated that he couldn't go straight now. When Joan wouldn't get him the gun in prison he wouldn't talk to her and later blamed her for the position he found himself in. When Father Dolan wouldn't open the gate and moved closer to him, he shot him.
Eddie was always looking for someone to blame for the position he found himself in. But he was the one who had committed those earlier crimes, so it was up to him to work harder to overcome his past. But he wanted things handed to him and when they weren't he blamed everyone for the position he found himself in.
Eddie may have been innocent of the crime he was convicted of, but when he was cleared he still wouldn't believe the people around him who were trying to help.
This movie is a great example of an early film with noir style. In this movie the good woman was dragged down by a homme fatale, the counterpart to the femme fatale. Her fatal flaw was that she loved him too much.
Fritz Lang was a great director, but I think someone made him tack that Hollywood ending on to the film.
- Brute Force (1947)
Hume Cronyn plays a prison guard who is driving inmate Burt Lancaster crazy. Hume seems to have a lot in common with Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and he was just as evil as she was. Charles Bickford joins Burt in an escape plan.
- Death of a Cyclist (1955)
A French movie, about a cheating couple who run down a cyclist and then leave him to die. They then worry about whether they will get caught. Starts off as a drama, but then the femme fatale bares her claws. Rather than being taken down by her lover, who wants to come clean to cleanse their guilt, she runs him down. She then hurries home to meet her rich husband but she swerves to miss a cyclist, and over the bridge she goes.
- Nobody Lives Forever (1946)
John Garfield plays a racketeer returning from the war who gets involved in a plan to separate a young widow from some of her dough, but he falls for her. The interesting thing about this noir is that Garfield gets dragged down by the femme fatale, but in this case she is the good one, and he is the schemer. But because he can't go through with the plan his gangster friends want to take him out. But the movie takes a non-noir turn at the end, and even though one of Garfield's good friends gets killed, he and his girl end up together at the end. It could have been better.
- Pushover (1954)
If there had been no Double Indemnity. I would have rated this much higher. This movie, also starring Fred McMurray, follows the Double Indemnity formula pretty closely. A bank heist yields $210,000. Paul Sheridan is a cop who is following Lona McLane (Kim Noval in her film debut), girlfriend of one of the robbers. Paul falls for her and his life is beginning to go on a downward spiral, as they go after the boyfriend's money.
One of the elements that is most like Double Indemnity is that Paul and his boss, here played by E.G. Marshall, discuss the very case that Paul is so deeply involved in.
A very good movie, perhaps made even more interesting by its parallels to Double Indemnity.
- The Brothers Rico (1957)
Reformed Mafia member, Eddie Rico, agrees to help his old gang buddies track down his brother. His wife wants him to leave his old ways behind as they are trying to adapt a baby but Eddie can't abandon his family. Eddie's two brothers took part in a bank robbery and are now wanted by the police and the Mafia. The Mafia thinks that one of the brothers is going to turn on the mob. The movie stars Richard Conte, who was later so good in The Godfather as Don Barzini and James Darren. In this movie it is Eddie Rico who the gang won't let escape from its clutches. Good gangster/noir mix.
- The Big Heat (1947)
Glen Ford was really good in this great film by Fritz Lang, but it was more of a crime movie than noir. There were some pretty good noir lines, however, "But I'm not Lugana. With you dead the big heat falls. The big heat for Lugana, for Stone, for all the rest of the lice."
- Nightfall (1957)
Two friends go to the aid of a car crash and are held up. Both are left for dead, but one revives and takes the money bag that the bank robbers inadvertently left behind. But James (Aldo Ray) has been framed in the killing and is now wanted by the police. He is assisted by Anne Bancroft, who originally had helped turn him back over to the crooks.
- House by the River (1950)
A dark brooding movie by Fritz Lang, has creep Stephen Byrne, played by Louis Hayword accidentally strangling his maid. He drags his poor brother John in to the cover up. When the body is discovered it is John that becomes the main suspect, and the evil Stephen actually seems to enjoy it all. Really unusual noir in that the victim is dragged down by his brother here, not by a woman.
A really good, little known movie. Fritz Lang was a great director.
- Cry of the City (1948)
Victor Mature (Lt. Candella) and Richard Conte (Marty), who would later play Barzini in The Godfather, were childhood friends. Lt. Cabdella is now a cop and Marty is a hood. Marty's brother Tony idolizes him. Lt. Candella and Marty's mother would both like to save Tony. When Marty breaks out of the hospital after killing a cop, it is up to Lt. Candella to track him down.
- Shield for Murder (1954)
A different kind of noir. Edmond O'Brien plays a crooked cop who kills and robs a bookie's runner because he wants to provide better for his girl. What's different is that the girl isn't in it for the money. She just wants to save her man.
- The Lineup (1945)
The movie opens with two police inspectors standing over the dead body of a cop who had been run over by a cab. The cop got one shot off and killed the person driving the cab.
They find in the can a suitcase with a statue filled with heroin in it. Someone planted the heroin on a tourist, who brings the drugs in, and then they steal the luggage.
We then meet three crooks : a psycho (Eli Wallach) named Dancer, his boss Julian and their driver (who likes to drink). They have to pick up the other heroin shipments that were hidden on other tourists.
One of the shipments was hidden on a woman and her young daughter. Somehow Dancer talks the woman in to letting him and Julian back to her apartment. They look for the heroin but it's not in the doll. The little girl tells them she used the powder she found to powder the doll's face. Dancer wants to knock them off, but Julian talks him out of it. They need them to tell their boss what happened. When they tell him, he doesn't understand, so Dancer kicks him and his wheelchair off the balcony and on to the skating rink. Never tell a psycho "You're dead".
Eli Wallach is really good in this story where the mother was the innocent victim. The mistake she made? Letting the two men come with her and daughter back to her apartment.
- Sleep, My Love (1948)
Richard (Don Ameche) has a girl friend, Barby, and a wife, Alison (Claudette Colbert). Richard is doing his best to drive her crazy. He would like her to jump from the building and get her money. Bruce (Robert Cummings) is a bachelor who meets Alison and begins to fall for her. Barby is putting pressure on Richard to get rid of Alison.
A femme fatale playing the weak husband like a fiddle, a person living a confused, disoriented life, a husband and girlfriend plotting to kill the wife for her money, shadows, winding staircases, trains - a pretty good film noir.
- Cornered (1945)
Dick Powell plays a Canadian flyer who chases down the Vichy collaborator who was responsible for the death of his French wife. His search leads him to Argentina. Walter Slezak gives him the run around when he gets there.
- The Enforcer (1951)
Humphrey Bogart keeps some of his anti-hero qualities as he joins the good guys in trying to bring down Murder, Inc.
Daisy Kenyon (1947)
It's always fun to watch Dana Andrews, Henry Fonda and Joan Crawford. The story started really good but kind of morphed out of noir to melodrama, but it was still good.
- Act of Violence (1948)
Robert Ryan and Van Heflin return from the war as enemies.
- Decoy (1946)
This movie had a really evil femme fatale. It also had a plot that was a little far fetched. But this was really noir. Really dark. The femme laughed after she pumped bullets into he poor victim.
- The Dark Corner (1946)
Mark Stevens was really good in this and it had a really good cast with Clifton Webb, Lucille Ball, and William Bendix. Stevens plays Bradford Galt who is almost set up twice.
- The Ice Harvest (2005)
Noir isn't supposed to have color or comic relief, but this had both and was still a very good neo-noir movie.
Phantom Lady (1944)
A guy goes to prison for killing his wife, who he was ready to divorce. He had gone out for a night to get away from her, and went to a show with a lady, but when his wife ends up dead he can't find the lady, but his faithful secretary eventually does.
Fallen Angel (1945)
Dana Andrews and Linda Darnell were really good in this twisting noir, but the movie was different than most noirs. Darnell was dragging the flawed Andrews down but than she got knocked off.
Andrews then goes with good girl June (Alice Fay), who he married and was using for her money, and then he begins to fall for her.
Ending really surprised me. Another really good noir by Otto Preminger (Laura, Angel Face, Where the Sidewalk Ends).
- Too Late for Tears(1949)
Lizbeth Scott drags down her husband and even manages to drag down swindler Dan Duryea, which is hard to do. She shoots her husband and then poisons Dan. Lizbeth was all about the money in this one. Pretty good.
- Dead Reckoning (1947)
Humphrey Bogart an Lizabeth Scott were good and the story was OK, but the writing really hurt. Great voice over dialogue in the beginning was hurt by poor direction at the end. And Geronimo?
- Framed (1947)
Femme fatale Janis Carter has a wrench in a moving car and can't decide whether to wack Glen Ford or Barry Sullivan. Great scene, good movie.
- Boomerang! (1947)
There was a very interesting court room scene that was very reminiscent of the one in My Cousin Vinny, although this one was not played for laughs. Dana Andrews was good in this movie based on a real case in Bridgeport, Ct.
- Dark City (1950)
Charlton Heston in his film debut, plays a gambler who cheats a man out of $5000 playing card. When the man hangs himself, his psychotic brother tries to kill those involved in the scam. The movie had a great cast with Harry Morgan, Jack Webb, who would be together on Dragnet, and Lizabeth Scott and Ed Begley. The movie started really strong, but didn't end as well.
- Deadline at Dawn (1946)
Susan Hayward stars in a movie about a sailor who may have killed a woman while he was drunk. Twisting and turning Susan and the sailor try to find out the truth before dawn.
- The Glass Key (1942)
The plot was really convoluted, contrived and hard to follow, but Alan Ladd, Brian Donlevy, Veronica Lake and William Bendix were great and make it well worth watching.
Classic noir, with good guy detective, Joe Peters (Charls McGraw), being dragged down by his love of a greedy women.
Human Desire (1954)
A remake of Jean Renoir's 1938 "La bete Humaine" which had starred Jean Gabin. This movie stars Broderick Crawford who was really good as the murdering, jealous husband. Glen Ford plays the good guy who is ready to be dragged down by Crawford's wife, played by Gloria Grahame. Directed by Fritz Lang.
- Crime Wave (1954)
The lead, Gene Nelson was OK but I enjoyed Sterling Hayden's over the top role as Lt. Sims. Charles Bronson also had an early role as a gangster. Plot was just OK. More a crime movie than noir. Shouldn't have happy endings in noir.
Many elements in this reminds me of Hitchcock. Gene Tierney is very good.
Black Angel (1946)
Dan Duryea was always perfect for noir and Broderick Crawford and Peter Lorre joined in to make this a really interesting noir/mystery. It had a really good femme fatale in Mavis Marlowe even though she was only on the screen for a short time.
Raw Deal (1948)
Dennis O'Keefe is doing prison time for Raymond Burr, but wants to get out. Burr is afraid he will talk, so he arranges a prison break thinking he will get killed but he doesn't. Two girls, Clair Trevor and Marsha Hunt help him out. In this one the guy is the one dragging the girls down.
The Chase (1946)
Chuck Scott (Robert Montgomery) finds a wallet and returns it back to tough guy Eddie Roman , who has Peter Lorre as one of his assistants. He gets a job as his chauffeur and then gets mixed up with Eddie's wife, Lorna. Before you know it she is offering Chuck $1000 to taker her to Cuba.
Next thing you know Lorna is dead and the police in Havana are questioning Chuck. Chuck is then talking to a an army officer doctor and Chuck tells him that it happened again. We then see Lorna with her husband. The movie is jumping all over the place. Chuck is again with the doctor trying to remember what happened.
Interesting movie told in a non-linear way which adds to the unsettling noir story. It doesn't all work but it was an interesting attempt.
Johnny O'Clock (1947)
Dick Powell is good as a gambler who always keeps his head above the trouble, but an old girlfriend who is now married to his partner does her best to bring him down. Not too good.
Woman on the Run (1947)
Frank Johnson witnesses a murder and then runs from police not wanting to become a target. The police, a reporter, and his alienated wife Eleanor (Ann Sheridan) try to find him before the murderer can. Eleanor learns a lot about her husband during the search and accidentally leads the murderer to him.
They Won't Believe Me (1947)
Robert Young, Rita Haywoth and Janet Greer make for a great cast. Young is a heel who gets what he deserves in the end. Pretty good movie but ending ruined it for me.
Secret Beyond the Door (1947)
Fritz Lang had a pretty good movie going with an interesting idea about recreations of rooms where famous murders took place but he lost it in the end as the movie fell in to Freudian nonsense. Joan Bennett saved herself from being murdered and also saved her marriage because she figured out it wasn't Redgrave's mother who locked the door on him.
- Two of a Kind (1951)
Edmond O'Brien gets pulls in to a plot by a couple of grifters. Lizabeth Scott is great whenever she is on the screen, but the story is just OK. It had the potential to be dark but it decided to be sweet, ruining what could have been a good noir.
Murder by Contract (1958)
Vince Edwards, who would go on to play Ben Casey on TV, plays a cold hearted hit man named Claude. Minimalistic, realistic with a great guitar soundtrack. It wasn't money that dragged Claude down, it was the love of money. Great tone and style.
Easy Living (1949)
Victor Mature and the great Lizabeth Scott star in this movie about a football star who risks death to keep playing to support his greedy wife. The Hollywood ending (even though he did slap her a few times) ruined it for me. Should have never taken her back.
Against All Odds (1984)
Jeff Bridges, James Woods and Raquel Ward star in this remake of Out of the Past. Probably not a bad movie on it's own merits, but it pales in comparison to the original. Jane Greer, who was so good in the original, appears as the mother here. A great song though.
I Walk Alone (1948)
Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Lizabeth Scott : this should have been much better. The movie was actually pretty slow and the story line was too simplistic. No mystery, no femme fatale - disappointing.
Where Danger Lives (1950)
Robert Mitchum was good but his co-star Faith Domergue just couldn't act (although she looked good). Story was just OK.
City of Fear (1959)
A prisoner escapes from jail and steals what he thinks is heroin, but is really Cobalt-60, a radioactive element that is slowly killing him and is dangerous enough to blow up LA. The plot was just OK, but Vince Edwards who went on to be Ben Casey on TV, made a really good gangster.
Clash by Night (1952)
Barbara Stanwyck plays Mae Doyle, who returns home to her small fishing village after being away for ten years. She marries Jerry (Paul Douglas) for comfort, but cheats on him with his friend Earl (Robert Ryan). Marilyn Monroe has her first major role in this film. Directed by Fritz Lang, the film has Jerry taking the cheating Mae back at the end of movie, which was really different for the Code era. It also really hurt the movie. It would have been much better without the happy ending.
Audrey Totter is a real good femme fatale when she just stands and looks. When she starts talking and acting she is not so good. Richard Baseheart's character Warren Quimby would do anything for his wife, but she is just no good. When she leaves him for a new guy he decides to establish a new identity and then have that person kill the boyfriend but he can't go through with the murder. But she does, and comes back to him. Then she tries to frame him but the cops are too smart.