Film Noir Guide: 745 Films of the Classic Era 1940-1959

by FilmCuckoo | created - 21 Nov 2017 | updated - 01 Jan 2018 | Public

This is a complete list of all the titles listed in the book "Film Noir Guide - 745 Films of the Classic Era, 1940-1959" by Michael F. Keaney. This book is by far one of the most useful and well thought out book in the subject of Film Noir movies ever published. I Haven't come across another encyclopedic type of film book, which would offer such a wide and extremely useful way of categorizing Film Noir titles under various themes and "sub genres" - which I have to say is a brilliant idea! -However, it must be pointed out that, although IMDb doesn't recognize all of the movies listed in Keaney's book as "Film Noir" - it is most imperative to remember just how difficult task it is to categorize what is film noir and what isn't. In any case, I would still recommend this book unreserved to anyone interested of Film Noir.

All the movies are listed here by default in the year of release according to the book. However, there are several clear errors with dates in the book, which you can easily correct by choosing "Release Date (US)" as sorting order.

Finally, selecting "IMDb Rating" as sorting order, reveals few unexpected results, which are very very interesting, which in turn reveals yet again the incomprehensible way, how IMDb ratings are "calculated" using a formula which uses meaningless values such as "Popularity".

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1. Angels Over Broadway (1940)

Passed | 79 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

A cuckolded embezzler on the verge of suicide is helped by a tout, an alcoholic playwright, and a pick-up girl to reimburse the money with a gambling sting.

Directors: Ben Hecht, Lee Garmes | Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Rita Hayworth, Thomas Mitchell, John Qualen

Votes: 817

2. City for Conquest (1940)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, Music, Sport

Danny is a content truck driver, but his girl Peggy shows potential as a dancer and hopes he too can show ambition. Danny acquiesces and pursues boxing to please her, but the two begin to spend more time working than time together.

Directors: Anatole Litvak, Jean Negulesco | Stars: James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Frank Craven, Donald Crisp

Votes: 1,945

3. The Letter (1940)

Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, Frieda Inescort

Votes: 10,456

4. Rebecca (1940)

Not Rated | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidated by his first wife's spectral presence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Votes: 112,005 | Gross: $4.36M

5. 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: 3,205

6. They Drive by Night (1940)

Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When one of 2 truck driving brothers loses an arm, they both join a transport company where later, the other is falsely charged as an accessory in the murder of the owner.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: George Raft, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino

Votes: 6,500

7. Among the Living (1941)

Approved | 67 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A mentally unstable man, who has been kept in isolation for years, escapes and causes trouble for his identical twin brother.

Director: Stuart Heisler | Stars: Albert Dekker, Susan Hayward, Frances Farmer, Harry Carey

Votes: 388

8. Blues in the Night (1941)

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

"Jigger' Lane forms a band that includes singer Ginger 'Character' Powell, wife of the trumpeter Leo Powell, and Nickie Haroyen and Peppi. All of them dedicate themselves to work as a unit ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Priscilla Lane, Betty Field, Richard Whorf, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 867

9. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

100 Metascore

Following the death of publishing tycoon, Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; 'Rosebud'.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 367,446 | Gross: $1.59M

10. The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

Passed | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A nineteenth-century New Hampshire farmer who makes a pact with Satan for economic success enlists Daniel Webster to extract him from his contract.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Edward Arnold, Walter Huston, Jane Darwell, Simone Simon

Votes: 4,128

11. High Sierra (1941)

Passed | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

After being released from prison, notorious thief Roy Earle is hired by his old boss to help a group of inexperienced criminals plan and carry out the robbery of a California resort.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Curtis, Arthur Kennedy

Votes: 13,770

12. Highway West (1941)

Passed | 64 min | Action, Crime, Drama

ClaIre Foster (Brenda Marshall) discovers that her respectable-businessman husband George Foster (Arthur Kennedy) isn't respectable and isn't a businessman, but a gunman in this remake-version of "Heat Lightning".

Director: William C. McGann | Stars: Brenda Marshall, Arthur Kennedy, William Lundigan, Olympe Bradna

Votes: 54

13. I Wake Up Screaming (1941)

Passed | 82 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Why is Inspector Ed Cornell trying to railroad Frankie Christopher for the murder of model Vicky Lynn?

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone | Stars: Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Laird Cregar

Votes: 3,353

14. Ladies in Retirement (1941)

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

The housekeeper to a retired actress tries at the same time to look after her own two emotionally disturbed sisters, with dramatic results.

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Ida Lupino, Louis Hayward, Evelyn Keyes, Elsa Lanchester

Votes: 876

15. 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: 141,602 | Gross: $2.11M

16. Out of the Fog (1941)

Approved | 85 min | Crime, Drama

In Brooklyn, fishing is the hobby of the workers Jonah Goodwin and Olaf Johnson and they use to fish every night in their old boat. Jonah's daughter is the twenty-one year-old telephone ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Ida Lupino, John Garfield, Thomas Mitchell, Eddie Albert

Votes: 1,197

17. Rage in Heaven (1941)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Thriller

Old friends Ward and Phillip both become smitten with Phillip's mother's attractive young secretary Stella. But Stella marries Phillip and stands by him as his behavior becomes more and ... See full summary »

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Robert B. Sinclair, Richard Thorpe | Stars: Robert Montgomery, Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders, Lucile Watson

Votes: 918

18. Sealed Lips (1942)

Passed | 62 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A detective begins to suspect that a man may be in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Director: George Waggner | Stars: William Gargan, June Clyde, John Litel, Anne Nagel

Votes: 45

19. The Shanghai Gesture (1941)

Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

In Shanghai, dragon-lady 'Mother' Gin Sling operates a gambling house for wealthy patrons but she clashes with influential land developer Sir Guy Charteris who wants to put her out-of-business.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Victor Mature, Ona Munson

Votes: 2,347

20. Suspicion (1941)

Not Rated | 99 min | Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce

Votes: 29,325 | Gross: $4.50M

21. A Woman's Face (1941)

Passed | 106 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

A female blackmailer with a disfiguring facial scar meets a plastic surgeon who offers her the possibility of looking like a normal woman.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas, Conrad Veidt, Osa Massen

Votes: 2,411

22. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 481,917 | Gross: $1.02M

23. Cat People (1942)

Not Rated | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph

Votes: 17,613 | Gross: $4.00M

24. Crossroads (1942)

Passed | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Diplomat is blackmailed for crimes he committed before he had amnesia.

Director: Jack Conway | Stars: William Powell, Hedy Lamarr, Claire Trevor, Basil Rathbone

Votes: 983

25. Fly-By-Night (1942)

74 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

After being charged with the murder of a scientist, a young doctor must track down a Nazi spy ring to clear his name.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Richard Carlson, Nancy Kelly, Albert Bassermann, Miles Mander

Votes: 146

26. The Glass Key (1942)

Not Rated | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A crooked politician finds himself being accused of murder by a gangster from whom he refused help during a re-election campaign.

Director: Stuart Heisler | Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Brian Donlevy, Bonita Granville

Votes: 5,021

27. Hitler's Children (1943)

Approved | 82 min | Drama, Romance

This lurid exposé of the Hitler Youth follows the woes of an American girl declared legally German by the Nazi government.

Directors: Edward Dmytryk, Irving Reis | Stars: Tim Holt, Bonita Granville, Kent Smith, Otto Kruger

Votes: 786 | Gross: $3.36M

28. Johnny Eager (1941)

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

The step-daughter of a district attorney falls in love with a gangster on parole who her father originally imprisoned.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Edward Arnold, Van Heflin

Votes: 2,270

29. Journey Into Fear (1943)

Approved | 68 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

An American ballistics expert in Turkey finds himself targeted by Nazi agents. Safe passage home by ship is arranged for him, but he soon discovers that his pursuers are also on board.

Directors: Norman Foster, Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Rio, Ruth Warrick

Votes: 3,579

30. Keeper of the Flame (1942)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Mystery

Journalist Steve O'Malley wants to write a biography of a national hero who died when his car ran off a bridge. Steve receives conflicting reports and tales that make him question what the truth about the hero is.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Whorf, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 2,027

31. Lady Gangster (1942)

Passed | 62 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Dot Burton (Faye Emerson) has acted as a decoy in a bank robbery and fails to get away. Her arrest attracts the attention of Ken Phillips (Frank Wilcox), a former childhood sweetheart who ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Florey | Stars: Faye Emerson, Julie Bishop, Frank Wilcox, Roland Drew

Votes: 387

32. Moontide (1942)

Approved | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After a drunken binge on the San Pablo waterfront, longshoreman Bobo fears he may have killed a man. In his uncertainty, he takes a job on an isolated bait barge. That night, he rescues ... See full summary »

Directors: Archie Mayo, Fritz Lang | Stars: Jean Gabin, Ida Lupino, Thomas Mitchell, Claude Rains

Votes: 1,253

33. Ossessione (1943)

TV-14 | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Gino, a drifter, begins an affair with inn-owner Giovanna as they plan to get rid of her older husband.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Clara Calamai, Massimo Girotti, Dhia Cristiani, Elio Marcuzzo

Votes: 6,160

34. Street of Chance (1942)

Approved | 74 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

After an accident, a New York man with amnesia finds out the ugly truth about his real identity and past by interacting with people who seem to know him well.

Director: Jack Hively | Stars: Burgess Meredith, Claire Trevor, Louise Platt, Sheldon Leonard

Votes: 295

35. 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: 7,366

36. A Tragedy at Midnight (1942)

Passed | 68 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

This Republic murder mystery starts with a radio broadcast by Greg Sherman who solves cases on the air that the local police cannot solve. As he names the perpetrator of a recent murder we ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Santley | Stars: John Howard, Margaret Lindsay, Roscoe Karns, Mona Barrie

Votes: 112

37. Flesh and Fantasy (1943)

Approved | 94 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

An anthology of three loosely connected occult tales, with ironic and romantic twists.

Director: Julien Duvivier | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Charles Boyer, Barbara Stanwyck, Betty Field

Votes: 702

38. Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

After the Nazi administrator of Czechoslovakia is shot, his assassin tries to elude the Gestapo and struggles with his impulse to give himself up as hostages are executed.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Anna Lee, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 4,133

39. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

Approved | 69 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison, Edith Barrett

Votes: 9,853

40. The Leopard Man (1943)

Approved | 66 min | Horror, Thriller

A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy New Mexico town.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Margo, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell

Votes: 4,076

41. The Ox-Bow Incident (1942)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Western

When a posse captures three men suspected of killing a local farmer, they become strongly divided over whether or not to lynch the men.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn

Votes: 19,267 | Gross: $1.64M

42. The Seventh Victim (1943)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A woman in search of her missing sister uncovers a Satanic cult in New York's Greenwich Village, and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling's random disappearance.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Kim Hunter, Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell

Votes: 5,000

43. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

PG | 108 min | Thriller

94 Metascore

A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Henry Travers

Votes: 54,501

44. Whispering Footsteps (1943)

54 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A bank clerk in a small town returns home from a vacation in Indianapolis, and hears a story on the radio about a girl found murdered there. The description of the killer fits him exactly, ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Bretherton | Stars: John Hubbard, Rita Quigley, Joan Blair, Charles Halton

Votes: 99