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Noir Actors List


cigarjoe
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We touched upon this in another thread either in the Noir Alley or I just watched, the actor in question was Percy Helton. One poster questioned whether you could call him that. Another poster was kind enough to post a link to I think it was a Criterion article about unheralded Noir actors. The actor in that article wasn't Helton but the piece did mention him.

Here is a list of Noir Actors and the number of Noirs they appeared in parenthesis


Humphrey Bogart (15)
Richard Conte (15)
Raymond Burr (13)
Edmund O'Brien (13)
Elisha Cook Jr. (12)
Zachery Scott (12)
Barry Sullivan (12)
Edward G. Robinson (11)

Percy Helton (11)
Robert Ryan (11)
Howard Duff (10)
Dan Duryea (10)
Charles McGraw (10)
George Sanders (10)
Henry Morgan (9)
George Raft (9)


Wallace Ford (9)
Thomas Gomez (9)
Arthur Kennedy (8)
John Garfield (8)
Robert Mitchum (8)
Sterling Hayden (8)
Richard Widmark (8)
William Bendix (8)


Lee J. Cobb (8)
Joseph Cotten (8)
Broderick Crawford (8)
John Hodiak (8)
John McIntire (8)
Steve Cochran (7)
William Conrad (7)
Dane Clark (7)


Alan Ladd (7)
Steven McNally (7)
Lloyd Nolan (7)
Peter Lorry (7)
Howard daSilva (7)
Ted de Corsia (7)
Sydney Greenstreet (7)
Glen Ford (7)


Paul Stewart (7)
Albert Decker (7)
Regis Toomey (7)
Ed Begley (7)
John Hoyt (7)
Neville Brand (7)

Note, very prominent Noir actors Dana Andrews, Dick Powell, Burt Lancaster, Richard Basehart, Leo G. Carroll, Brian Donlevy, John Ireland, Frank Lovejoy, Victor Mature, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Art Smith, William Tallman, Joseph Calleia, and quite a few others have appeared in 6 or less films. Some of these films however, are rated as some of the best Film Noir ever produced.

 

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I am a fan of Percy Helton, especially for probably his most famous "noir" appearance in "Kiss Me Deadly" when Mike Hammer smashes his fingers. 

I think of him as what I would call supporting creeps in noir, usually physically smaller guys who like to talk tough until the hero knocks some sense into them. Elisha Cook Jr and Peter Lorre would also qualify. 

Looking at the list I was also struck by other supporting players in it, some of which I call supporting thugs, which are usually big burly guys who may not be too bright but use brute strength to get their points across. William Bendix, Ted de Corsia and Neville Brand would fit into this category.

What do you think of these types?

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6 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

We touched upon this in another thread either in the Noir Alley or I just watched, the actor in question was Percy Helton. One poster questioned whether you could call him that. Another poster was kind enough to post a link to I think it was a Criterion article about unheralded Noir actors. The actor in that article wasn't Helton but the piece did mention him.

Here is a list of Noir Actors and the number of Noirs they appeared in parenthesis


Humphrey Bogart (15)
Richard Conte (15)
Raymond Burr (13)
Edmund O'Brien (13)
Elisha Cook Jr. (12)
Zachery Scott (12)
Barry Sullivan (12)
Edward G. Robinson (11)

Percy Helton (11)
Robert Ryan (11)
Howard Duff (10)
Dan Duryea (10)
Charles McGraw (10)
George Sanders (10)
Henry Morgan (9)
George Raft (9)


Wallace Ford (9)
Thomas Gomez (9)
Arthur Kennedy (8)
John Garfield (8)
Robert Mitchum (8)
Sterling Hayden (8)
Richard Widmark (8)
William Bendix (8)


Lee J. Cobb (8)
Joseph Cotten (8)
Broderick Crawford (8)
John Hodiak (8)
John McIntire (8)
Steve Cochran (7)
William Conrad (7)
Dane Clark (7)


Alan Ladd (7)
Steven McNally (7)
Lloyd Nolan (7)
Peter Lorry (7)
Howard daSilva (7)
Ted de Corsia (7)
Sydney Greenstreet (7)
Glen Ford (7)


Paul Stewart (7)
Albert Decker (7)
Regis Toomey (7)
Ed Begley (7)
John Hoyt (7)
Neville Brand (7)

Note, very prominent Noir actors Dana Andrews, Dick Powell, Burt Lancaster, Richard Basehart, Leo G. Carroll, Brian Donlevy, John Ireland, Frank Lovejoy, Victor Mature, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Art Smith, William Tallman, Joseph Calleia, and quite a few others have appeared in 6 or less films. Some of these films however, are rated as some of the best Film Noir ever produced.

 

Is the criteria here just in the fact that such actors have appeared in a film noted as being noir, or do they have to have other qualifications? I mean, Anne Baxter has been in a film with a noirish outlook but I don't usually think of her as demonstrative of the genre in general.

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8 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

I am a fan of Percy Helton, especially for probably his most famous "noir" appearance in "Kiss Me Deadly" when Mike Hammer smashes his fingers. 

I think of him as what I would call supporting creeps in noir, usually physically smaller guys who like to talk tough until the hero knocks some sense into them. Elisha Cook Jr and Peter Lorre would also qualify. 

Looking at the list I was also struck by other supporting players in it, some of which I call supporting thugs, which are usually big burly guys who may not be too bright but use brute strength to get their points across. William Bendix, Ted de Corsia and Neville Brand would fit into this category.

What do you think of these types?

Agree most definitely. To the big burly guys add Mike Mazurki, Jack Lambert and William Conrad.

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It is what fits. 

It's a factor, if they (actors/actresses) have had a lot of memorable noir characters. 

And it's partially a gut call, especially if you've seen enough noir to get addicted to it, you tune to it, the right combination of elements gives you a Noir "buzz." 

If you don't you just need to see more until you do.

Don't over ****-ize it, wink.

 

And speaking of actresses....

The Women

Ida Lupino 16
Shelley Winters 11
Joan Crawford 10
Claire Trevor 10


Gloria Grahame 9
Barbara Stanwyck 9
Audrey Totter 9
Jan Sterling 8
Evelyn Keyes 7
Dorothy Malone 7
Lizabeth Scott 7


Nina Foch 6
Joan Fontaine 6
Agnes Moorehead 6

Ester Howard 6
Marie Windsor 5
Linda Darnell 5
Rhonda Fleming 5
Susan Hayward 5
Elsa Lanchester 5
Hope Emerson 4

Ingrid Bergman 4
Mercedes McCambridge 4
Ann Sheridan 4
Gene Tierney 4

Thelma Ritter 4
Joan Bennett 4 
Anne Bancroft 4

Anne Baxter 4


Rita Hayworth 3
Belita 3
Marsha Hunt 3
Lauren Bacall 3
Hillary Brooke 3
Peggie Castle 3
Jean Peters 3
Arlene Dahl 2
Barbara Payton 2
Wanda Hendrix 2

 

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18 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Lizabeth Scott 7

I'm surprised,  based on how you define 'noir' that you only list 7 Liz Scott films.    So I'm curious which of the following 8 films don't qualify:

Strange Loves of Martha Ivers,  Dead Reckoning, Desert Fury,  I Walk Alone,  Pitfall, Too Late for Tears, Dark City, The Racket.    There is also Stolen Face,  but that is a British release also with Paul Henried.

Now I assume the film is Desert Fury,  since that is a color film with many outdoor scene,  but the plot has many noir elements especially the hold Hodiak has over Corey.  

Also,  many people view Scott as queen of the femme fatales but she only played that role in Dead Reckoning and Too Late for Tears.   

 

 

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5 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I'm surprised,  based on how you define 'noir' that you only list 7 Liz Scott films.    So I'm curious which of the following 8 films don't qualify:

Strange Loves of Martha Ivers,  Dead Reckoning, Desert Fury,  I Walk Alone,  Pitfall, Too Late for Tears, Dark City, The Racket.    There is also Stolen Face,  but that is a British release also with Paul Henried.

Now I assume the film is Desert Fury,  since that is a color film with many outdoor scene,  but the plot has many noir elements especially the hold Hodiak has over Corey.  

Also,  many people view Scott as queen of the femme fatales but she only played that role in Dead Reckoning and Too Late for Tears.   

 

 

Interesting...

I compiled the list from Shelby's Dark City, so he lists Dead Reckoning, I Walk Alone, Pitfall, Too Late For Tears, The Racket, The Strange Loves Of Martha Ivers, and Two Of A Kind

He leaves out Desert Fury which I'd include, and Stolen Face but includes Two Of a Kind.

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51 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Interesting...

I compiled the list from Shelby's Dark City, so he lists Dead Reckoning, I Walk Alone, Pitfall, Too Late For Tears, The Racket, The Strange Loves Of Martha Ivers, and Two Of A Kind

He leaves out Desert Fury which I'd include, and Stolen Face but includes Two Of a Kind.

I'd also would include Two Of a Kind;  maybe I didn't because I only saw the last half of the film the last time TCM showed it.    Dark City is included in the book Film Noir (Ward\Silver),  but I don't find a lot of 'noir' in it.   

 

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Thanks for listing my fave actor of all time, RICHARD CONTE!

not only was he BORN for black and white movies, he just about originated the role of the bad guy/suave charming guy villain in SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT.

He totally re-did the image of Italian-Americans in films with his career.

A fun tribute (IMHO, it's a "tribute") to Richard is the "style" of Kevin Spacey's character in L. A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997), appropriately, a Neo-Noir. THIS is the way Richard Conte dressed in his movies....

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On 1/22/2019 at 5:54 PM, cigarjoe said:

It is what fits. 

It's a factor, if they (actors/actresses) have had a lot of memorable noir characters. 

And it's partially a gut call, especially if you've seen enough noir to get addicted to it, you tune to it, the right combination of elements gives you a Noir "buzz." 

If you don't you just need to see more until you do.

Don't over ****-ize it, wink.

 

And speaking of actresses....

The Women

Ida Lupino 16
Shelley Winters 11
Joan Crawford 10
Claire Trevor 10


Gloria Grahame 9
Barbara Stanwyck 9
Audrey Totter 9
Jan Sterling 8
Evelyn Keyes 7
Dorothy Malone 7
Lizabeth Scott 7


Nina Foch 6
Joan Fontaine 6
Agnes Moorehead 6

Ester Howard 6
Marie Windsor 5
Linda Darnell 5
Rhonda Fleming 5
Susan Hayward 5
Elsa Lanchester 5
Hope Emerson 4

Ingrid Bergman 4
Mercedes McCambridge 4
Ann Sheridan 4
Gene Tierney 4
Joan Bennett 4
Anne Bancroft 4

Anne Baxter 4


Rita Hayworth 3
Belita 3
Marsha Hunt (3)
Lauren Bacall 3
Hillary Brooke 3
Peggie Castle 3
Jean Peters 3
Arlene Dahl 2
Barbara Payton 2
Wanda Hendrix 2

 

For sure, Gloria Grahame lived a noir life on screen and off screen.

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