Check out BFI’s new list of Top 10 American Film Noir. Some true classics!
Man in the Attic – Free – Jack Palance as Jack the Ripper! (1954)
Parole, Inc. – Free – Parole officers fight against gangsters trying to infiltrate the parole system. (1948)
Please Murder Me – Free – Lawyer Raymond Burr brilliantly defends Angela Lansbury in 1950s noir film. (1956)
Port of New York – Free – Two narcotics agents go after a gang of murderous drug dealers who use ships docking at the New York harbor to smuggle in their contraband. First film in which Yul Brynner appeared. (1949)
Quicksand – Free – Peter Lorre and Mickey Rooney star in a story about a garage mechanic’s descent into crime. (1950)
Scarlet Street – Free – Directed by Fritz Lang with Edward G. Robinson. A film noir great. (1945)
Shock – Free –This film noir tells the story of psychiatrist Dr. Cross (Vincent Price), who is treating Janet Stewart (Anabel Shaw), a young woman who is in a catatonic state. The coma was brought on when she heard loud arguing, went to her window, and saw a man strike his wife with a candlestick and kill her. Alternate version found here. (1946)
Shoot to Kill – Free – Gangster framed by crooked DA. Wife and newspaper reporter team up. (1947)
Strange Illusion – Free – B-movie update of “Hamlet” has troubled teen Jimmy Lydon doubting smooth-talker Warren Williams who is wooing his mother. (1945)
Suddenly – Free – Buy DVD – Noir film with Frank Sinatra and James Gleason. The story line influenced The Manchurian Candidate, which again starred Sinatra. (1954)
The Amazing Mr. X – Free – Noir film directed by Bernard Vorhaus with cinematography by John Alton. The film tells the story of a phony spiritualist racket. (1948).
The Basketball Fix – Free – A college basketball star collaborates with organized crime and becomes involved in ‘point shaving.’ A sportswriter tries to get him back on the right track. (1951)
The Big Combo – Free – Directed by Joseph Lewis, this film is today considered a noir classic. Critics like to focus on cinematography of John Alton, a noir icon. (1955)
The Capture – Free – Lew Ayres is an oil man who guns down a thief who may have been innocent. Alternate version here. (1950)
The Chase – Free – An American noir film directed by Arthur Ripley, based on the Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear.
The File on Thelma Jordan – Free – This noir directed by Robert Siodmak features Barbara Stanwyck and Wendell Corey. At the time Variety said, “Thelma Jordon unfolds as an interesting, femme-slanted melodrama, told with a lot of restrained excitement.” (1950)
The Great Flamarion – Free – Vaudeville star Erich von Stroheim entangled with married assistant. Directed by Anthony Mann. (1945)
The Green Glove – Free – A World War II veteran in France, played by Glen Ford, gets mixed up in murder while investigating a stolen treasure. Directed by Rudolph Maté. Alternate version on YouTube available here. (1952)
The Hitch-Hiker – Free – Buy DVD – The first noir film made by a woman noir director, Ida Lupino. (1953)
The Hoodlum – Free – Lawrence Tierney (“Reservoir Dogs”) plays an unreformed, hardened criminal who has just been released from prison. While working at his brother’s gas station, he becomes very interested in the armored car that makes regular stops at the bank across the street. (1951)
The Limping Man – Free – Stars Lloyd Bridges and Moira Lister. A WWII veteran goes back to England after the war only to discover that his wartime sweetheart has got mixed up with a dangerous spy ring. (1953)
The Man Who Cheated Himself – Free – Some call it “an under-appreciated and little known gem.” Stars Lee J. Cobb, John Dall, Jane Wyatt, and Lisa Howard. YouTube version here. (1951)
The Naked Kiss – Free – Constance Towers is a prostitute trying to start a new life in a small town. Directed by Sam Fuller. (1964)
The Payoff – Free – Directed by Robert Florey. James Dunn (known for his role in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) plays a newspaper reporter promoted to the sports desk, but saddled with a wife whose spending habits drive her into a relationship with a blackmailing racketeer. (1935)
The Red House – Free – Old house deep in the woods holds fearful secret for E.G. Robinson. (1947)
The Saint Louis Bank Robbery – Free – Steve McQueen stars in a “gritty, downbeat, and sometimes savage heist movie.” (1959)
The Second Woman – Free – Directed by James Kern and starring Betsy Drake, this lesser known noir film gets some good reviews. (1951)
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers – Free – Noir film starting Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas. Entered into 1947 Cannes Film Festival. (1946)
The Strange Woman – Free – Part of Edgar G. Ulmer’s ‘trilogy’ of femme fatale ‘heroine’ pictures made in 1946, along with Gilda and Decoy. (1946)
The Stranger – Free – Buy DVD – Directed by Orson Welles with Edward G. Robinson. One of Welles’s major commercial successes. (1946)
They Made Me a Criminal – Free – Boxer John Garfield flees believing he has committed a murder while he was drunk. Pursued by Claude Rains, he meets up with the Dead End Kids. (1939)
They Made Me a Killer – Free – A fugitive receives help from a victim’s sister (Barbara Britton) as he tries to clear his name of robbery and murder charges. (1946)
Three Steps North – Free – After a prison sentence an American GI stationed in Italy (Lloyd Bridges) discovers that his hidden loot has disappeared and goes searching for it. Directed by W. Lee Wilder. (1951)
Time Table – Free – After the theft of $500,000 in a carefully executed train robbery, an insurance investigator (Mark Stevens, who also doubled as director and producer) is forced to cancel a planned vacation with his wife to assist a railroad detective in identifying the culprits and recovering the money. Alternate version here. (1956)
Too Late for Tears – Free – Directed by Byron Haskin and based on a novel by Roy Huggins, Too Late for Tears is pure noir. (1949)
Trapped – Free – Starring Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Payton, the plot of this B noir film turns around a counterfeiting ring. (1949)
Walk The Dark Street – Free – An Army officer and a hunter engage in a simulated manhunt with one using real bullets in Los Angeles. (1956)
Whispering City – Free – A Canadian noir, directed by Fyodor Otsep, starring Paul Lukas and Mary Anderson. (1947)
Whistle Stop – Free – Buy DVD – A noir flic with Ava Gardner. Love triangle leads to murder. (1946)
Woman on the Run – Free – After Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott) is the sole witness to a gangland murder, he goes into hiding and is trailed by Police Inspector Ferris (Robert Keith), his wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan), and newspaperman, Danny Leggett (Dennis O’Keefe). YouTube version here. (1950)
A Life at Stake – Free – Directed by Paul Guilfoyle, this American noir film stars Angela Lansbury and Keith Andes. (1954)Beat the Devil – Free – Directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, the film is something of a comic and dramatic spoof of the film noir tradition. (1953)
Behind Green Lights – Free – Stars Carole Landis, John Ireland. Police lieutenant Sam Carson investigates a political murder after the victim is dumped at the door of police headquarters. (1946)
Big Bluff – Free – Directed by W. Lee Wilder. When a scheming fortune hunter finds his rich wife is not going to die as expected, he and his lover make other plans to get her millions. (1950)
Blonde Ice – Free – A society reporter keeps herself in the headlines by marrying a series of wealthy men. They all die mysteriously afterwards though. (1948)
Borderline – Free – Fred MacMurray and Claire Trevor are caught in Mexican dope-smuggling ring, fearing each other is involved, but both undercover agents. Alternate version. (1950)
Club Paradise – Free – The film, also known as Sensation Hunters, was directed by Christy Cabanne. The story: a touching story of girl who like many others makes the wrong choice in life – and pays for it. (1945)
Convict’s Code – Free – An ex-con is employed by the man who framed him for bank robbery. Directed by Lambert Hillyer. Starring Robert Kent and Anne Nage. (1939)
Dementia – Free – Also called Daughter of Horror, this film by John Parker incorporated elements of horror film, film noir and expressionist film. About the film, Cahiers du cinema wrote “To what degree this film is a work of art, we are not certain but, in any case, it is strong stuff.” (1955)
Detour – Free – Edgar Ulmer’s cult classic noir film shot in 6 days. (1945)
D.O.A. – Free – Rudolph Maté’s classic noir film. Called “one of the most accomplished, innovative, and downright twisted entrants to the film noir genre.” You can also watch the movie here. (1950)
Fear in the Night – Free – Low budget noir film directed by Maxwell Shane & starring Paul Kelly and DeForest Kelley. It is based on the Cornell Woolrich story “And So to Death”. (1947)
Five Minutes to Live – Free – Amazing bank heist movie stars Johnny Cash, Vic Tayback, Ron Howard, and country music great, Merle Travis. (1961)
Guest in the House – Free – Directed by John Brahm, the noir film stars Anne Baxter, Ralph Bellamy, Aline MacMahon. (1946)
He Walked by Night – Free – Film-noir drama, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal. This move became the basis for “Dragnet,” and stars Jack Webb. Archive.org version here. (1948)
Impact – Free – Arthur Lubin’s well reviewed noir flic. Considered a little known classic you need to watch. (1940)
Inner Sanctum – Free – A gripping noir film about “a murderer who is on the lam and hiding out in a small town. Unbeknownst to him, he is not only hiding in the same boarding house as the only witness to his crime, he is sharing the same room.” (1948)
Jigsaw – Free – Directed by Fletcher Markle, and starring Franchot Tone, Jean Wallace and Marc Lawrence, the film features cameo appearances by Marlene Dietrich and Henry Fonda. (1949)
Johnny O’Clock – Free – Directed by Robert Rossen, based on a story by Milton Holmes. The drama features Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes, and Lee J. Cobb, with Jeff Chandler making his film debut in a small role. (1947)
Kansas City Confidential – Free – A film noir gem that inspired Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.” (1953)
Key Lime Pie – Free – A zany animated film in the noir tradition. (2007)
Lady Gangster – Free – Warner Bros. B picture directed by Robert Florey based on the play Gangstress, or Women in Prison, by Dorothy Mackaye, Stars: Faye Emerson, Julie Bishop, Frank Wilcox, Roland Drew, and Jackie C. Gleason. (1942)
Infographic: What makes a film noir?…and which is the noirest film of all? BFI’s infographic is “dedicated to the shadowy world of one of classic Hollywood’s most beloved subgenres.”
Before it was a film, and before it became a classic television series, Dragnet started out as a long-running radio show, airing from June 3, 1949, to February 26, 1957. One of the most influential crime drama shows from the 50s, Dragnet was the brainchild of Jack Webb, the actor, director and screenwriter who played the lead role of Sergeant Joe Friday. We best remember Joe Friday imploring female informants to provide “Just the facts, ma’am.” But, in actual fact, he never uttered precisely those words. “All we want are the facts” is what he really said. But I digress. Thanks to Archive.org you can now travel back to the 50s and listen to 298 episodes of the show, which was known for its realistic depiction of police work — the boredom, the drudgery, the danger, the occasional acts of heroism, and everything in between.
Note: There were 314 episodes in total. And Archive.org does not house the very first episode called “Robbery,” which first aired on June 3, 1949. That’s available here.
FreeVintagePosters.com offers “hundreds of high quality printable posters in advertising, travel, food/drink, art, movies, westerns, military, magic and much more.” You may have an interest in all those facets of human experience, but we imagine you’ll find especially appealing the site’s selection of high-resolution film posters, suitable for printing at home or elsewhere and hanging on walls in need of cinephilic flair.
Though the site’s collection slants toward classic American films, it also has sheets used to advertise them abroad. Whatever your taste, if you decide to head out to the print shop and commission a paper version of any of these image files in a larger size than you can print at home, do consult StandardPosterSize.net, which, true to its name, provides all manner of information on the various sizings of U.S. standard posters, metric standard posters, U.S. movie posters, and U.K. movie posters. If that sounds like a little too much hassle, you could always just download your favorite poster and set it as your desktop background.
Get your noir on with @TCM starting at 8pm tomorrow night.
Flip on #TCM for noir all day until 8pm on January 11, 2013!