Film noir 1941 - 1958

by dreaming_ossian | created - 5 months ago | updated - 5 days ago | Public

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1. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Passed | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore

Votes: 22,823

2. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Not Rated | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A veteran British barrister must defend his client in a murder trial that has surprise after surprise.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester

Votes: 99,849 | Gross: $8.18M

3. Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

95 Metascore

An insurance representative lets himself be talked by a seductive housewife into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses the suspicion of an insurance investigator.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Byron Barr

Votes: 135,268 | Gross: $5.72M

4. Laura (1944)

Passed | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A Police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 40,463 | Gross: $4.36M

5. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery

96 Metascore

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre

Votes: 144,478 | Gross: $2.11M

6. Panic in the Streets (1950)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A doctor and a policeman in New Orleans have only 48 hours to locate a killer infected with pneumonic plague.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes, Jack Palance

Votes: 6,695

7. T-Men (1947)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

Two US Treasury agents hunt a successful counterfeiting ring.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Wallace Ford, Alfred Ryder, Mary Meade

Votes: 2,969

8. The Naked City (1948)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Two New York City detectives investigate the death of an attractive young woman. The apparent suicide turns out to be murder.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart, Don Taylor

Votes: 11,280

9. The Big Sleep (1946)

Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers

Votes: 76,062 | Gross: $6.54M

10. Gun Crazy (1950)

Passed | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

74 Metascore

A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis | Stars: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger, Morris Carnovsky

Votes: 10,757

11. Touch of Evil (1958)

PG-13 | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 95,230 | Gross: $2.24M

12. The Killers (1946)

Passed | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker

Votes: 17,997

13. Call Northside 777 (1948)

Approved | 112 min | Drama, Film-Noir

Chicago reporter P.J. McNeal re-opens a ten year old murder case.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: James Stewart, Richard Conte, Lee J. Cobb, Helen Walker

Votes: 7,592

14. This Gun for Hire (1942)

Passed | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When assassin Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.

Director: Frank Tuttle | Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Robert Preston, Laird Cregar

Votes: 7,907

15. The Woman in the Window (1944)

Approved | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey, Edmund Breon

Votes: 12,922

16. White Heat (1949)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 27,922

17. Night and the City (1950)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers, Hugh Marlowe

Votes: 11,218 | Gross: $3.60M

18. The Third Man (1949)

Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 151,530 | Gross: $0.45M

19. Out of the Past (1947)

Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming

Votes: 30,697

20. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit".

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Juano Hernandez

Votes: 17,509

21. They Live by Night (1948)

Passed | 95 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Romance

An escaped convict, injured during a robbery, falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Cathy O'Donnell, Farley Granger, Howard Da Silva, Jay C. Flippen

Votes: 6,475

22. Ace in the Hole (1951)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Film-Noir

72 Metascore

A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to rekindle his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Porter Hall

Votes: 28,454 | Gross: $3.97M

23. Angel Face (1953)

Approved | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman, Herbert Marshall

Votes: 6,412

24. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Passed | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

A screenwriter develops a dangerous relationship with a faded film star determined to make a triumphant return.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

Votes: 189,487

25. 23 Paces to Baker Street (1956)

Approved | 103 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

A blind American writer living in London stumbles upon a criminal conspiracy involving kidnapping and extortion.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: Van Johnson, Vera Miles, Cecil Parker, Patricia Laffan

Votes: 1,812

26. Detour (1945)

Passed | 68 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Chance events trap hitch-hiker Al Roberts in a tightening net of film noir trouble.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald

Votes: 13,865 | Gross: $0.02M

27. Phantom Lady (1944)

Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A devoted secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn't murder his selfish wife.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis, Aurora Miranda

Votes: 4,015

28. The Big Combo (1955)

Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis | Stars: Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Jean Wallace, Brian Donlevy

Votes: 6,067

29. Key Largo (1948)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A man visits his war buddy's family hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore

Votes: 35,439

30. Ministry of Fear (1944)

Not Rated | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond, Hillary Brooke

Votes: 6,268

31. Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

Approved | 64 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An aspiring reporter is the key witness at the murder trial of a young man accused of cutting a café owner's throat and is soon accused of a similar crime himself.

Director: Boris Ingster | Stars: Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet, Charles Waldron

Votes: 3,392

32. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Director: Charles Laughton | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason

Votes: 77,995 | Gross: $0.65M

33. He Walked by Night (1948)

Approved | 79 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop.

Directors: Alfred L. Werker, Anthony Mann | Stars: Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, Roy Roberts, Whit Bissell

Votes: 4,577

34. Murder by Contract (1958)

Approved | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Claude is a ruthless and efficient contract killer - until he finds his next target is a woman.

Director: Irving Lerner | Stars: Vince Edwards, Phillip Pine, Herschel Bernardi, Caprice Toriel

Votes: 2,246

35. Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

Approved | 89 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

While on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and attempts to prevent it.

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards, Wendell Corey

Votes: 9,153

36. The Enforcer (1951)

Approved | 87 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

A crusading district attorney finally gets a chance to prosecute the organizer and boss of Murder Inc.

Directors: Bretaigne Windust, Raoul Walsh | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Zero Mostel, Ted de Corsia, Everett Sloane

Votes: 4,058

37. Kiss of Death (1947)

Approved | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Nick Bianco is caught during a botched jewellery heist. The prosecution offer him a more lenient sentence if he squeals on his accomplices but he doesn't roll over on them. Three years into the sentence an event changes his mind.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray, Richard Widmark

Votes: 6,850

38. The Spiral Staircase (1946)

Approved | 83 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

In 1916, a shadowy serial killer is targeting women with "afflictions"; one night during a thunderstorm, the mute Helen feels menaced.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Dorothy McGuire, George Brent, Ethel Barrymore, Kent Smith

Votes: 8,506

39. Little Caesar (1931)

Not Rated | 79 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A small-time criminal moves to a big city to seek bigger fortune.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell, William Collier Jr.

Votes: 11,359

40. The Killing (1956)

Approved | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Crook Johnny Clay assembles a five man team to plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen

Votes: 77,339

41. The Desperate Hours (1955)

Approved | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Three escaped convicts move in on and terrorize a suburban household.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Fredric March, Arthur Kennedy, Martha Scott

Votes: 8,324

42. The Public Enemy (1931)

Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell

Votes: 16,827

43. Invisible Stripes (1939)

Approved | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An ex-con who wants to go straight has difficulties trying to reintegrate into society while on parole.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: George Raft, Jane Bryan, William Holden, Humphrey Bogart

Votes: 1,293 | Gross: $0.11M



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