Film Noir (1940-1960)

by jorgefsrocha | created - 03 Dec 2014 | updated - 01 Oct 2018 | Public
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1. On Dangerous Ground (1951)

Approved | 82 min | Drama, Film-Noir

Rough city cop Jim Wilson is disciplined by his captain and is sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Ida Lupino | Stars: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond, Charles Kemper

Votes: 5,726

2. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Not Rated | 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: 183,561

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: 131,147 | Gross: $5.72M

4. 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: 147,793 | Gross: $0.45M

5. 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. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn.

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

Votes: 25,253

6. 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: 142,308 | Gross: $2.11M

7. 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: 25,386 | Gross: $3.97M

8. 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: 93,684 | Gross: $2.24M

9. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Approved | 96 min | Drama, Film-Noir

100 Metascore

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner

Votes: 24,932

10. 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: 39,198 | Gross: $4.36M

11. Strangers on a Train (1951)

PG | 101 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

88 Metascore

A psychopath forces a tennis star to comply with his theory that two strangers can get away with murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll

Votes: 116,007 | Gross: $7.63M

12. Notorious (1946)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

100 Metascore

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern

Votes: 86,382 | Gross: $10.46M

13. 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: 76,414 | Gross: $0.65M

14. 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: 74,578 | Gross: $6.54M

15. 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: 29,642

16. The Killing (1956)

Not Rated | 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: 75,026

17. In a Lonely Place (1950)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid

Votes: 23,008

18. Mildred Pierce (1945)

Passed | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden

Votes: 20,713

19. The Big Heat (1953)

Not Rated | 89 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Alexander Scourby

Votes: 21,252

20. 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 Dassein | Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers, Hugh Marlowe

Votes: 10,775 | Gross: $3.60M

21. 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: 22,123

22. 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: 34,584

23. Scarlet Street (1945)

Approved | 102 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of the fortune they mistakenly assume he possesses.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea, Margaret Lindsay

Votes: 12,829

24. 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: 17,451

25. Gaslight (1944)

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

Years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. However, he has a secret that he will do anything to protect, even if it means driving his wife insane.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, May Whitty

Votes: 21,644

26. Pickup on South Street (1953)

Passed | 80 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter, Murvyn Vye

Votes: 11,656

27. Body and Soul (1947)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Sport

A talented boxer's young career hits difficult terrain when an unethical promoter takes interest in him.

Director: Robert Rossen | Stars: John Garfield, Lilli Palmer, Hazel Brooks, Anne Revere

Votes: 3,971

28. Odd Man Out (1947)

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

A wounded Irish nationalist leader attempts to evade police following a failed robbery in Belfast.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: James Mason, Robert Newton, Cyril Cusack, F.J. McCormick

Votes: 8,132

29. Gilda (1946)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A small-time gambler hired to work in a Buenos Aires casino learns that his ex-lover is married to his employer.

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 25,406

30. Nightmare Alley (1947)

Passed | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist whose lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, Helen Walker

Votes: 6,691

31. Caged (1950)

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

A naive nineteen year old widow becomes coarsened and cynical when she is sent to a woman's prison and is exposed to hardened criminals and sadistic guards.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby, Hope Emerson

Votes: 3,202

32. The Set-Up (1949)

Approved | 73 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Sport

Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias, Alan Baxter

Votes: 7,000

33. 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: 10,584

34. The Narrow Margin (1952)

Approved | 71 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White, Queenie Leonard

Votes: 6,433

35. Thieves' Highway (1949)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.

Director: Jules Dassein | Stars: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Lawrence

Votes: 4,843

36. 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: 10,371

37. Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A writer falls in love with a young socialite and they're soon married. But her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of them both, and everyone else around them.

Director: John M. Stahl | Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price

Votes: 9,870

38. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

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

Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders

Votes: 23,973 | Gross: $0.01M

39. 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 Dassein | Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart, Don Taylor

Votes: 10,964

40. Brute Force (1947)

Passed | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

At a tough penitentiary, prisoner Joe Collins plans to rebel against Captain Munsey, the power-mad chief guard.

Director: Jules Dassein | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo

Votes: 8,016

41. The Big Clock (1948)

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

After murdering someone, a magazine tycoon tries to frame an unknown, innocent man for the murder instead, while the innocent man tries to solve the murder himself.

Director: John Farrow | Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton, George Macready

Votes: 7,182

42. Green for Danger (1946)

Not Rated | 91 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

After the nurse who declares that a recent surgical death was a murder dies also, an enigmatic Scotland Yard inspector arrives to investigate.

Director: Sidney Gilliat | Stars: Alastair Sim, Sally Gray, Trevor Howard, Leo Genn

Votes: 3,869

43. Spellbound (1945)

Approved | 111 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance

A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll

Votes: 39,979 | Gross: $7.00M

44. Detective Story (1951)

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

On one day in the 21st Precinct squad room, assorted characters form a backdrop for the troubles of hard-nosed Detective Jim McLeod.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, William Bendix, Cathy O'Donnell

Votes: 6,418

45. They Live by Night (1948)

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

7.5