I count Film Noir as one of my favorite movie genres. I have viewed quite a few, but I know that there are so many more films for me to see in this genre. Considering that I really became a fan of this genre about eight years ago I have some catching up to do. That being said, in honor of Noirvember, here is a list of my favorite Film Noir movies.
Blade Runner (1982) – A movie that I have seen countless times since 1982, yet to this day I still see new and different things with repeated viewing. A sci-fi film that is noir to the core. Rick Deckard is one of Harrison Ford’s greatest movie characters.
Out Of The Past (1947) – “Why don’t you break his head Jeff?” One of the many great lines uttered by the lovely Kathie Moffat. Robert Mitchum, the second coolest actor in old time Hollywood, after Humphrey Bogart, is the doomed protagonist. If someone asked me, “What is film noir?” I would show them this fantastic movie.
Dead Reckoning (1947) – Allegedly Bogart wanted Lauren Bacall for this movie. Bacall was a far better actress than Lizabeth Scott, however Scott was better suited for this femme fatale role.
In A Lonely Place (1950) – Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame have great chemistry here. As a viewer you really want their relationship to work out……but this is a film noir. Is it fate or just bad timing that rules in the end? Bogart plays Dixon Steele, a nice, likable guy, when he’s not being cynical, sarcastic, hot tempered, paranoid, reckless and violent.
Double Indemnity (1944) – “I was thinking about that dame upstairs and the way she looked at me.” Walter Neff’s words after meeting Phyllis Dietrichson, one of noir’s great femme fatales. Little did he know where that fateful meeting would lead him. Contains some of the best dialogue of any film noir movie that I have seen.
Dark Passage (1947) – Bogie and Bacall together for the third time. A prison break, plastic surgery and a quest for justice. As outlandish as it is, I love premise of this film. Bogie and Bacall are great together, once again.
Conflict (1945) – There’s that man again, yes another noir featuring Humphrey Bogart. Sydney Greenstreet and Alexis Smith costar. One of Bogart’s lesser known movies, it features a great story, great performances and great production.
The Big Combo (1955) A great cast, great dialogue and fantastic,(in some cases iconic), visuals. Richard Conte is incredibly ruthless and sadistic portraying crime boss Mr. Brown. A surprisingly gritty and brutal film for 1955. Special mention must be made in regards to Ted de Corsia and Helene Stanton, both great in supporting roles.
T- Men (1947) A compelling story, a great cast and fantastic characters. Charles McGraw is great as one of the movie’s main tough guys, Moxie. Many great noir visuals and one of the most heartbreaking scenes in film noir.
The Asphalt Jungle (1950) – Fantastic cast, great story. One of the best film noirs around. As in many noirs fate wins in the end.
Detour (1945) – A fantastic B-Movie and one of the best examples of what film noir is about. If educating someone new to noir I would show them Out Of The Past and then Detour.