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Film noir runneth over on the schedule lately


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Sounds good to me. After patronizing the more elegant places and Marie

has had a little too much to drink, she likes to go to the cheaper joints, so

we'll hit the Tip Top Club and the Dew Drop Inn, where the lights are low and

people mind their own business.

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Using my top 75 films noir as the criteria, and with a point system, here are my favorite years of film noir:


1. 1950 (9 films - Night and the City; In a Lonely Place; The Asphalt Jungle; Gun Crazy; Where the Sidewalk Ends; Mystery Street; D.O.A.; Dial 1119; Edge of Doom)


2. 1949 (6 - The Third Man; They Live by Night; The Set-Up; Criss Cross; White Heat; The Reckless Moment)


3. 1952 (8 - Clash by Night; On Dangerous Ground; Angel Face; The Narrow Margin; Kansas City Confidential; Don't Bother to Knock; Macao; Sudden Fear)


4. 1945 (7 - Scarlet Street; Fallen Angel; Leave Her to Heaven; Detour; Hangover Square; The Spiral Staircase; Cornered)


5. 1946 (7 - Gilda; Decoy; The Killers; The Big Sleep; The Stranger; Somewhere in the Night; The Blue Dahlia)


6. 1948 (8 - Raw Deal; The Lady from Shanghai; Secret Beyond the Door...; Act of Violence; Force of Evil; Sorry, Wrong Number; The Street with No Name; Inner Sanctum)


7. 1947 (6 - Out of the Past; Nightmare Alley; Born to Kill; T-Men; The Woman on the Beach; Crossfire)


8. 1953 (4 - Pickup on South Street; The Big Heat; 99 River Street; The Glass Wall)


9. 1955 (3 - Kiss Me Deadly; The Night of the Hunter; The Man with the Golden Arm)


10. 1944 (4 - Double Indemnity; Laura; The Woman in the Window; Murder, My Sweet)


11. 1941 (2 - The Maltese Falcon; I Wake Up Screaming)


12. 1954 (3 - Human Desire; Crime Wave; Pushover)


13. 1951 (3 - The Prowler; A Place in the Sun; His Kind of Woman)


14. 1956 (1 - The Killing)


15. 1958 (1 - Touch of Evil)


16. 1957 (1 - Sweet Smell of Success)


17. 1942 (1 - This Gun for Hire)


18. 1959 (1 - Odds Against Tomorrow)


The only two years not represented from the 40s and 50s are 1940 and 1943.

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Here's one day from my forthcoming programming challenge entry. Instead of naming favorites, as Frank did, I'm trying to put together a day of programming using only one premiere (which rules out Nightmare Alley). I've seen all but A Double Life and Railroaded. All the films have elements of noir even if they are not completely noir.


In 1947 Britain also offered Brighton Rock, Odd Man Out, and a couple I'd like to see, It Always Rains on Sunday and The October Man.


1947: Hollywood's Darkest Year?


6:00 am Born to Kill (1947) BW-94m. RKO. Lawrence Tierney, Claire Trevor. D: Robert Wise. p/s


7:45 am Crossfire (1947) BW-86m. RKO. Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan. D: Edward Dmytryk. p/s


9:15 am A Double Life (1947) BW-103m. Universal. Ronald Colman, Shelley Winters. D: George Cukor. p/s


11:00 am Out of the Past (1947) BW-97m. RKO. Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer. D: Jacques Tourneur. p/s


12:45 pm Nora Prentiss (1947) BW-111m. WB. Ann Sheridan, Kent Smith. D: Vincent Sherman. p/s


2:45 pm So Well Remembered (1947) BW-114m. RKO. John Mills, Martha Scott. D: Edward Dmytryk. p/s


4:45 pm Ivy (1947) BW-98. Universal. Joan Fontaine, Patric Knowles. D: Sam Wood. Premiere #2.


6:30 pm The Guilt of Janet Ames (1947) BW-81m. Columbia. Rosalind Russell, Melvyn Douglas. p/s


8:00 pm Deep Valley (1947) BW-103m. WB. Ida Lupino, Dane Clark. D: Jean Negulesco. p/s


9:45 pm The Long Night (1947) BW-101m. RKO. Henry Fonda, Barbara Bel Geddes. D: Anatole Litvak. p/s


11:30 pm Ride the Pink Horse (1947) BW-101m. Universal. Robert Montgomery, Wanda Hendrix. D: Robert Montgomery.


1:15 am Brute Force (1947) BW-98m. Universal. Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn. D: Jules Dassin. p/s


3:00 am Railroaded! (1947) BW-74m. Eagle-Lion. John Ireland, Sheila Ryan. D: Anthony Mann. p/s


4:15 am Kiss of Death (1947) BW-99m. Fox. Victor Mature, Richard Widmark. D: Henry Hathaway. p/s

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I think I've voted for you or Fedya in the last three Challenges, Kingrat. What you program matches me the best and Fedya's humor matches me best. The only problem for you when it comes to winning the Challenge is that I'm in the minority on this board. I view the board as mostly a "30s" board, who likes it light versus dark.


And, Finance, you are correct, my point system rewards the higher-ranking films noir on my favorites list. A particular year could have four films that rank 51-75 on my list, but that speaks to solid depth more so than greatness. That's why I like to place things in order. It gives people a better idea of what you value. If you provide a list of fifty items and don't place them in any kind of order, then number one and number fifty carry the same value. That's far less interesting to me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Caught ? If so, throw back. One of my favorite borrowed critical phrases

about a movie is "it doesn't jell." And this baby didn't. Got two or three or

more flicks swimming around in this one and they never seem to cohere into

a whole. It's a career girl movie, a girl marries a rich dude, hubby turns out to

be "insane," will the baby survive?, soap opera, etc. etc. I kinda thought Robby

would do the slow burn nutjob thing he is so good at, but it was more of a

millionaire's egotistical hissy fit instead. One twitching eye makes all the difference.

Barbara Bel Geddes was adequate, and I was hoping just the sound of James Mason's

wonderful voice would save it, but it can't. When Babs and Jim were sitting by the

kitchen window of the po folks home, I was hoping against hope that some IRA guy

would hand him a Kalashnikov and things would pick up a little, but no such luck.


The direction, except for a few scenes, was unremarkable, and a few nice

visuals can't really save a movie like this. I think the most generous way to put it

is this is nothing special, it never rises above the routine. How could Uncle Bob

say it was excellent? His collar must have been a little too tight last night. Oh well,

you never know until you see the movie for yourself. Give this baby a very generous

C. (Have to check this out later, but one of the women who was admiring the mink

coat that Barbara was modeling early in the flick looked like Barbara Billingsley)

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Yes that was Barbara Billingsley in that early scene, she caught my eye too, and a check of IMDB confirms it. She apparently was in a lot of films in the 40's and 50's, mostly uncredited. I tend to agree with your review of the film, maybe not quite as harsh. Nothing quite comes together, the total isn't as much as sum of the parts. But I would tend to comment like "Uncle Bob" about these things. Let the viewer make his/her own call. Robert Ryan has had better character roles to work with. P.S. I hope you caught "Mrs Howell" in the film, she must have always been a high society , miss manners type of gal.


Edited by: mrroberts on Mar 22, 2011 3:55 PM

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