Jump to content

Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Your top ten favorite noirs.

Recommended Posts

Well, that goes to my point.  The parameters of film noir for most people is much too vague and amorphous.  For me, a film noir has to have a corrosive thread of existential fatalism running through it. Pickup on South Street violates this rule because of its insistence of dancing itself offstage with a fake happy ending.  Not that it isn't a good movie; it is. It's very good, but as film noir, it's deficient.  The Big Sleep, because of the nature of the characters and the core relationship it focuses on, can't, to my mind, be film noir.  You need a Brigid O'Shaugnessy or a Jeff Bailey for that.  And it's just not moody enough.  It's an upbeat movie, whatever the tangential topics it includes. A film noir is a subgenre of tragedy.


At this forum you will find that most people define noir in very specific terms.   e.g.  the movie can  NOT be color.  So a film like Leave Her to Heaven isn't 'noir' because it is in color (as well as having too  many outdoor scenes).


While Pickup on South Street does have an imposed happy ending the film is full of tragedy.   e.g. the killing of the Ritter character.  


I don't agree that for a film to be noir it can't have a non tragic ending.   Not all noirs need to end like Out of the Past or Angel Face.   So I find that POV too limiting but of course it all relates to the quest for a 'true' noir  (a fun by needless quest in my view).


While I do find discussing 'what is noir' interesting,  at the end what is important is if I enjoy a film or not and find the film interesting.  


I enjoy all of the films you listed since it is one fine list of noir movies.   But I'm surprised you didn't include Sunset Boulevard.     That film has a tragic beginning as well as ending and for two different characters!  

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, can;t do just 10... ;)


Sunset Boulevard

The Killers

The Lady from Shanghai

The Third Man

Murder My Sweet

Martin Roumagnac (I don't know if it's classified as a noir, but that's what it is, even though it takes place in a rural french village and not the big city and it's much better than rumor has it)

The Big Sleep

In a Lonely Place

The Letter (another that doesn;t take place in the city, but is no less a noir than any on this list)

The Big Heat

The Maltese Falcon

Scarlet Street

Double Indemnity

Leave Her to Heaven


And as a bonus, this is my favorite tribute video ever...


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

In no particular order:


The Maltese Falcon

Out of the Past

Double Indemnity

Murder, My Sweet

The Killers

Dead Reckoning

Phantom Lady

The Lady from Shanghai

The Letter (Bette Davis one)

This Gun for Hire



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

No particular order, although KMD is my favorite!

1. Kiss Me Deadly

2. Murder My Sweet

3. T-Men

4. The Line-Up

5. DOA

6. The Big Sleep

7. His Kind of Woman

8. Vertigo

9. Notorious

10. Breathless


  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

© 2019 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
  • Create New...