The Cinema Cafe

Serving Cinema's Tastiest Treasures

Plundering the Genre: Film Noir

Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

From the dawn of cinema, it was 40+ years for what came to be known as film noir (or "black film") to appear on the scene. In the U.S. these types of crime films were not purposely made and it took some French film critics in the mid-1940s to first identify and define their collective traits. Since then there have been limitless essays, books, lectures, academic and online courses, Facebook chat-rooms, and noir festivals devoted to the subject, not to mention the more contemporary films that have emulated their style. All of these combined endeavors have failed to curb the countless individuals, scholarly or otherwise, who still ask, debate, and ponder, exactly what film noir really is!  

 

 

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

My approach to the question is somewhat different from those who define pronounced characteristics or a combination thereof, as definitive examples of films noir i.e. German expressionism, minimal lighting, abstract imagery, flashback narratives, a predominant use of shadows, cold urban surroundings, and duplicitous or corrupt characters including femme-fatales. Other hallmarks frequently mentioned are wrongly accused protagonists or those involved in circumstances they don’t fully recall or comprehend, alienation, crime novels used as source material, and the ending of the war with the enlisted men returning to an unfamiliar peacetime environment and economy. Finally, there are traits of life's existential uncertainty, an overriding sense of cynicism and bleak futuristic outlook. These are all factors that make strong contributions to this genre but no single element previously mentioned (or combination thereof) is necessary to fulfil its precise definition. Therefore, I would propose that these ingredients only subordinate a greater truth about what really lies at the heart of noir: The focus on the dark psychology of its principal characters. This "noir" element the French were referring to was the "blacker" side of human consciousness. It's this exploration of the criminals' thought processes or the criminally minded, individuals wrongly accused or those tasked to investigate the perpetration of wrongdoing that is noir’s key defining feature and common denominator. That is why it transcends the story's setting and can cross over into other genres. It supplies or at the very least, greatly enhances motive. Noir's deeper psychological exploration constitutes the primary difference from the predominate crime films of the 30s where the characters' simple, fearless quest for money and power would constitute enough reason for their criminal pursuits. Even a U.S. film produced in the classic noir timeline from 1940 to 1959 having many of the factors previously mentioned, might be noirish but wouldn’t be noir if its primary focus is not on the psychologies of its subjects considering or involved in some sort of nefarious activity.

 

 

Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Murder, My Sweet (1944)

In films noir, we are practically bombarded with what the characters are thinking and how they are responding. Their plans, aspirations, especially the ‘why’ behind it all, fill in the best of these noir stories with a more human fallibility and compulsory nature, providing its subject’s unique dimension, that transfixes us, making it impossible to turn away. These added insights into the thoughts and feelings of those typically caught up in extraordinary circumstances give these films their magnetic drawing power and keep them vivid in our memory long after their stories have concluded.

 

 

Double Indemnity (1944)

Double Indemnity (1944)

Though the situations may be far fetched compared to our own lives, there is a consequential value in witnessing the wild circumstances these noir protagonists experience: Our empathy with the elevated feelings they produce. Noir stories are fascinating. They are full of real people responding to difficult, often life-threatening situations. Compared to the previous decades of crime or gangster films where the drama tends to confine itself within established parameters, internal conflicts typically arise within noir’s greater dramatic premise. This results in the characters’ added dimensionality and makes their behaviour less predictable.

 

 

Out of the Past (1947)

Out of the Past (1947)

In many of the 30s gangster films we’re routinely reminded of who’s good versus bad, but noir acts like sulfuric acid on lines that separate right from wrong creating a more urgent and impactful narrative. Noir’s populace may have brought these undesirable conditions upon themselves with dreams of a better life or less dismal future, or they may respond to occurrences in an unconventionally immoral way. Nevertheless, the arts have a duty to explore all forms of human endeavour even the “left-handed” ones, to probe deeper into the human psyche including the shadowy, less-conscious areas. Besides, dreams and those who live them are what great storytelling is about and what helps make noir so damn exciting and special.

 

 

 

 

Too Late for Tears (1949)

Too Late for Tears (1949)

I have prepared a list featuring U.S. Produced films noir in the 1940s and 1950s completing noir's classic timeline. It is intended to be all inclusive meaning that if any so called “expert” in the field has identified a film as noir that I’m aware of, it will be listed regardless if I agree. This will be a work in progress. Examples, where noir has successfully infiltrated other genres (or vice-versa), have been included plus additional entries will be added as they are discovered. Some outstanding examples from other countries, notable pre, and post-noir films will be listed separately in time. Noir aficionados and students may wish to bookmark this page for future reference and please feel free to e-mail me (arthur@thecinemacafe.com) with any suggestions for additional titles I may have missed.

 

 

The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Abandoned (Abandoned Woman) 1949
Accomplice 1946
The Accused 1948
Accused of Murder 1956 C
*Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival) 1951
Across the Pacific 1942 (E)
An Act of Murder 1948
*Act of Violence 1949
Affair in Havana 1957
Affair in Reno 1957
Affair in Trinidad 1952
*Al Capone 1959 (NG)
Alias Nick Beal (The Contact Man) 1949 (F)
Alimony 1949
All My Sons 1948
*All the King’s Men 1949
All Through the Night 1941 (C-P, E)
Allotment Wives 1945
The Amazing Mr X (The Spiritualist) 1948 (SU)
Among the Living 1941
*Anatomy of a Murder 1959
*Angel Face 1953
Angela 1954
Angels Over Broadway 1940
Another Man’s Poison 1952
Apology for Murder 1945
Appointment with a Shadow 1958
Appointment with Danger 1951
Arch of Triumph 1948 (WA)
The Argyle Secrets 1948 (E)
*Armored Car Robbery 1950
The Arnelo Affair 1947
*Arsenic and Old Lace 1944 (C-P)
Arson for Hire 1959
Arson, Inc. 1949
*The Asphalt Jungle 1950
Assigned to Danger 1948
*Attack! 1956 (WA)
Autumn Leaves 1956

The Big Heat (1953)

The Big Heat (1953)

*Baby Face Nelson 1957 (NG)
*Backfire 1950
Backlash 1947
The Bad and the Beautiful 1952
*Bad Day at Black Rock 1955 C (WE)
Bad for Each Other 1953
The Bad Seed 1956 (H)
The Badlanders 1958 C (WE)
Bait 1954
The Band Wagon 1953 C (M)
The Beast with Five Fingers 1946 (H)
The Beat Generation 1959
Beat the Devil 1953 (C-P)
Bedlam 1946 (H)
Behave Yourself! 1951 (C-P)
Behind Green Lights 1946
Behind Locked Doors 1948
Behind the High Wall 1956
Below the Deadline 1946
Berlin Express 1948
*The Best Years of Our Lives 1946
Betrayal from the East 1945  
*Betrayed (When Strangers Marry) 1944
Betrayed 1954 C
Betrayed Women 1955
Between Midnight and Dawn 1950
Beware, My Lovely 1952
Bewitched 1945
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt 1956
Beyond the Forest 1949
The Big Bluff 1955
The Big Boodle 1957
The Big Caper 1957
*The Big Clock 1948
*The Big Combo 1955
*The Big Heat 1953
*Big House, U.S.A. 1955
Big Jim McLain 1952
*The Big Knife 1955
The Big Night 1951
The Big Operator (Anatomy of the Syndicate) 1959
The Big Punch 1948
The Big Shot 1942
*The Big Sleep 1946
*The Big Steal 1949
The Big Tip Off 1955
Big Town (Guilty Assignment) 1947
The Bigamist 1953
*Black Angel 1946
*The Black Book (Reign of Terror) 1949 (P, WA)
*Black Hand 1950 (P)
Black Friday 1940 (H)
Black Magic 1949 (P)
Black Market Babies 1945
Black Patch 1957 (WE)
*Black Tuesday 1954
Black Widow 1954 C
Blackmail 1947
Blind Spot 1947
Blonde Alibi 1946
The Blonde Bandit 1950
Blonde Ice 1948
*Blood on the Moon 1948 (WE)
Blood on the Sun 1945
Blowing Wild 1953
*The Blue Dahlia 1946
The Blue Gardenia 1953
Bluebeard 1944
A Blueprint for Murder 1953
Blues in the Night 1941
*Body and Soul 1947
The Body Snatcher 1945 (H, P)
Bodyguard 1948
The Bonnie Parker Story 1956 (NG)
Boomerang! 1947
*Border Incident 1949
Borderline 1950 (C-P)
*Born to be Bad 1950
*Born to Kill (Deadlier than the Male) 1947
The Boss 1956
The Brasher Doubloon 1947
The Bravados 1958 C (WE)
Breakdown 1952
*The Breaking Point 1950
*The Bribe 1949
The Brighton Strangler 1945
*The Brothers Rico 1957
Brute Force 1947
The Brute Man 1946 (H)
A Bullet for Joey 1955
Bullet Scars 1942
Bunco Squad 1950
*The Burglar 1957
Bury Me Dead 1947

Cry Danger (1951)

Cry Danger (1951)

C-Man 1949
Caged 1950
Calcutta 1947
Call Northside 777 1948
Calling Dr. Death 1943
Calling Homicide 1956
Canon City 1948
Captive City 1952
The Capture 1950
Cargo to Capetown 1950
Carmen Jones 1954 C (M)
Carousel 1956 C (M)
Casablanca 1942
Casbah 1948
The Case Against Brooklyn 1958
Castle on the Hudson 1940
*Cat People 1942 (H)
*Caught 1949
Cause for Alarm 1951
Cell 2455, Death Row 1955
Chain of Evidence 1957
*Champion 1949
*The Chase 1946
Chicago Confidential 1957
Chicago Deadline 1949
Chicago Syndicate 1955
Chinatown at Midnight 1949
*Christmas Holiday 1944
Circumstantial Evidence 1945
City Across the River 1949
City for Conquest 1941
City of Chance 1940
*City of Fear 1959
City of Shadows 1955
City that Never Sleeps 1953
*Clash by Night 1952
*The Clay Pigeon 1949
Cloak and Dagger 1946 (E)
Code Two 1953
*Colorado Territory 1948 (WE)
Come Back Little Sheba 1952
Come Fill the Cup 1951
The Come-On 1956
The Company She Keeps 1951
*Compulsion 1959
Confidential Agent 1945 (E)
*Conflict 1945
The Conspirators 1944 (WA)
Convicted 1950
Cop Hater 1958
*Cornered 1945
Coroner Creek 1948 C (WE)
Count the Hours 1953
Cover Up 1949
*Crack-Up 1946
*Crashout 1955
Crime Against Joe 1956
Crime and Punishment U.S.A. 1959
Crime in the Streets 1956 (JD)
Crime of Passion 1957
*Crime Wave 1954
Criminal Court 1946
*The Crimson Kimono 1959
Crisis 1950
*Criss Cross 1949
The Crooked Circle 1957
The Crooked Way 1949
The Crooked Web 1955
*Crossfire 1947
Crossroads 1942
The Cruel Tower 1956
The Cry Baby Killer 1958 (JD)
*Cry Danger 1951
A Cry in the Night 1956
*Cry of the City 1948
*Cry of the Hunted 1953
Cry Terror! 1958
Cry Tough 1959
*Cry Vengeance 1954
*Cry Wolf 1947
*The Curse of the Cat People 1944 (H)

Dark Passage (1947)

Dark Passage (1947)

*Daisy Kenyon 1947
*The Damned Don’t Cry 1950
Danger Signal 1945
Danger Zone 1951
*Dangerous Crossing 1953
Dangerous Intruder 1945
Dangerous Mission 1954 C 3-D
Dangerous Passage 1944
A Dangerous Profession 1949
Dangerous Years 1947 (JD)
*Dark City 1950
*The Dark Corner 1946
The Dark Mirror 1946
*Dark Passage 1947
The Dark Past 1948
Dark Waters 1944
Date with Death 1959
*Day of the Outlaw 1959 (WE)
*The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951 (SF)
The Day the World Ended (1955) (H, SF)
*Dead Reckoning 1947
*Deadline at Dawn 1946
*Deadline - U.S.A. 1952
Death in Small Doses 1957
Death of a Salesman 1951
Death of a Scoundrel 1956
*Deception 1946
Decision Before Dawn 1951 (WA)
*Decoy 1946
Deep Valley 1947
Dementia (Daughter of Horror) 1953 (H)
*Desert Fury 1947 C
*Desperate 1947
*Desperate Hours 1955
Destination Murder 1950
Destiny 1944
Detective Story 1951
*Detour 1945
*The Devil and Daniel Webster 1941 (F, P) 
*The Devil Thumbs a Ride 1947
Devil's Cargo 1948
*Devil’s Doorway 1950 (WE)
The Devil’s Sleep 1949
Dial M for Murder 1954 C
Dial 1119 1950
Dial Red O 1955
*Dillinger 1945 (NG)
Dishonored Lady 1947
*D.O.A. 1950
*Don’t Bother to Knock 1952
Don’t Gamble with Strangers 1946
Doorway to Suspicion 1954
Double Deal 1950
*Double Indemnity 1944
Double Jeopardy 1955
*A Double Life 1948
Down Three Dark Streets 1954
Dr. Broadway 1942 (C-P)
*Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941 (H, P)
*Dragonwyck 1946 (H, P)
*Drive a Crooked Road 1954
Duel in the Sun 1946 C (WE)
Duffy of San Quentin 1954

The Enforcer (1951)

The Enforcer (1951)

East of the River 1940
Edge of Doom 1950
Edge of Fury 1958
Edge of the City 1957
End of the Road 1944
*The Enforcer (Murder, Inc) 1951
Escape 1948
Escape from Crime 1942
Escape in the Fog 1945
Experiment Alcatraz 1950
Experiment Perilous 1944 (P)

The File on Thelma Jordan (1950)

The File on Thelma Jordan (1950)

The Face Behind the Mask 1941
*A Face in the Crowd 1957
Face of a Fugitive 1959 C (WE)
The Falcon in San Francisco 1945
The Falcon Takes Over 1942
Fall Guy 1947
*Fallen Angel 1946
The Fallen Sparrow 1943
The Fast and the Furious 1955
The Fat Man 1951
The Fatal Witness 1945
FBI Girl 1951
The FBI Story 1959 C
Fear 1946
*Fear in the Night 1947
The Fearmakers 1958
Female Jungle 1956
Female on the Beach 1955
The Fiend Who Walked the West 1958 (WE)
*The File on Thelma Jordan 1950
Finger Man 1955
Fingerprints Don’t Lie 1951
Fingers at the Window 1942
5 Against the House 1955
5 Steps to Danger 1956
Fixed Bayonets 1951 (WA)
The Flame 1947
*Flamingo Road 1949
Flaxy Martin 1949
Flesh and Fantasy 1943 (F)
Flesh and Fury 1952
Fly-By-Night 1942 (C-P)
*Follow Me Quietly 1949
Footsteps in the Night 1957
For You I Die 1948
Forbidden 1954
*Force of Evil 1948
*Foreign Correspondent 1940 (E)
Foreign Intrigue 1956 C
*Forty Guns 1957 (WE)
Four Boys and a Gun 1957
*Fourteen Hours 1951
*Framed 1947
The French Key 1946
From Hell to Texas 1958 C (WE)
The Fugitive 1947
The Furies 1950 (WE)

Gun Crazy (1950)

Gun Crazy (1950)

Gambling House 1951
Gang Busters (Gangbusters) 1955
Gangs Inc. (Paper Bullets) 1941
*The Gangster 1947
*The Garment Jungle 1957
*Gaslight 1944 (P)
The Get-Away 1941
*The Ghost Ship 1943 (H)
*Gilda 1946
Girl in 313 1940
The Girl in Black Stockings 1957
The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing 1955 C
The Girl on the Bridge 1951
The Glass Alibi 1946
*The Glass Key 1942
The Glass Wall 1953
The Glass Web 1953 3-D
Glory Alley 1952
Grand Central Murder 1942
The Great Flamarion 1945
*The Great Gatsby 1949
The Great Jewel Robber 1950
The Great Sinner 1949
The Green Buddha 1955
The Green Glove 1952
Guest in the House 1944
The Guilty 1947
Guilty Bystander 1950
*Gun Crazy (Deadly is the Female) 1950
The Gunfighter 1950 (WE)
*Gunman’s Walk 1958 C (WE)

He Walked by Night (1948)

He Walked by Night (1948)

Hail the Conquering Hero 1944 (C-P)
The Halliday Brand 1957 (WE)
*Hangmen Also Die! 1943 (WA)
*Hangover Square 1945 (H, P)
Hard Boiled Mahoney 1947 (C-P)
*The Harder they Fall 1956
A Hatful of Rain 1957
*He Ran All the Way 1951
*He Walked by Night 1948
Heartaches 1947
Hell Bound 1957
Hell on Frisco Bay 1955 C
Hell’s Half Acre 1954
Hell’s Island (South Sea Fury) 1955 C
Her Kind of Man 1946
Hidden Fear 1957
Hideout 1949
High-Jacked 1950
*High Noon 1952 (WE)
*High Sierra 1941 (NG)
High Tide 1947
*High Wall 1947
*Highway 301 1950
Highway Dragnet 1954
Highway West 1941
His Kind of Woman 1951
Hit and Run 1957
*The Hitch-Hiker 1953
Hitler's Children 1943
Hold Back Tomorrow 1955
*Hollow Triumph (The Scar) 1948
Hollywood Story 1951
Home of the Brave 1949 (WA)
Homicide 1949
Hong Kong Confidential 1949
The Hoodlum 1951
Hoodlum Empire 1952
Hot Cargo 1946
Hot Summer Night 1957
The House Across the Bay 1940
House by the River 1950
House of Bamboo 1955 C
House of Horrors 1946 (H)
House of Numbers 1957
*House of Strangers 1949
The House on 92nd Street 1945
*The House on Telegraph Hill 1951
The Houston Story 1952
*Human Desire 1954
The Human Jungle 1954
Humoresque 1947
Hunt the Man Down 1950
*The Hunted 1948

In a Lonely Place (1950)

In a Lonely Place (1950)

I Cheated the Law 1949
*I Confess 1953
I Cover the Underworld 1955
I Died a Thousand Times 1955 C
I, Jane Doe 1948
I Love Trouble 1948
I, Mobster 1958 (NG)
I Shot Jesse James 1949 (WE)
I, the Jury 1953 3-D
*I Wake Up Screaming 1941
*I Walk Alone 1948
*I Walked with a Zombie 1943 (H)
I Want to Live! 1958
I Want You 1951
I Was a Communist for the FBI 1951
I Was a Shoplifter 1950
I Was Framed 1942
I Wouldn’t Be In Your Shoes 1948
I’ll Cry Tomorrow 1955
*Illegal 1955
Illegal Entry 1949
*Impact 1949
*In a Lonely Place 1950
Incident 1948
*Inferno 1953 C 3-D
Inner Sanctum 1948
Inside Detroit 1956
Inside Job 1946
Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison 1951
Intrigue 1947
Invaders from Mars 1953 C (H, SF)
*Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956 (H, SF)
The Invisible Wall 1947
The Iron Curtain 1948 (E) 
Iron Man 1951
Island of Doomed Men 1940
Island Women (Island Woman) 1958
*Isle of the Dead 1945 (H)
*Ivy 1947

Johnny Eager (1942)

Johnny Eager (1942)

Jack Slade 1953 (WE)
Jail Bait 1954
Jealousy 1945
Jennifer 1953
*Jeopardy 1953
Jigsaw 1949
Joe MacBeth 1955
Johnny Allegro 1949
*Johnny Angel 1945
*Johnny Apollo 1940
*Johnny Eager 1942
*Johnny Guitar 1954 C (WE)
*Johnny O’Clock 1947
Johnny One-Eye 1950
Johnny Rocco 1958
Johnny Stool Pigeon 1949
Journey Into Fear 1943
The Judge 1949
Juke Girl 1942
Julie 1956

The Killers (1946)

The Killers (1946)

*Kansas City Confidential 1952
Keeper of the Flame 1942
*Key Largo 1948
*Key Witness 1947
*Kid Glove Killer 1942
Kill or Be Killed 1950
The Killer is Loose 1956
Killer McCoy 1947
The Killer That Stalked New York (Frightened City) 1950
*The Killers 1946
Killer’s Kiss 1955
*The Killing 1956
*Kind Lady 1951 (P)
*King Creole 1958
*King's Row 1942
A Kiss Before Dying 1956 C
*Kiss Me Deadly 1955
*Kiss of Death 1947
Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (The Unafraid) 1948
*Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye 1950
Knock on Any Door 1949

The Locket (1947)

The Locket (1947)

Ladies in Retirement 1941
Lady at Midnight 1948
The Lady Confesses 1945
*The Lady from Shanghai 1948
The Lady Gambles 1949
Lady Gangster 1942
Lady in the Death House (Satin in Skirts) 1944
Lady in the Lake 1947
Lady on a Train 1945 (C-P)
*A Lady Without Passport 1950
Larceny 1948
Larceny, Inc. 1942 (C-P)
Las Vegas Shakedown 1955
*The Las Vegas Story 1952
The Last Crooked Mile 1946
*The Last Mile 1959
*Laura 1944
The Lawless (The Dividing Line) 1950
*A Lawless Street 1955 C (WE)
*Leave Her To Heaven 1945 C
The Leopard Man 1943 (H)
*The Letter 1940
A Life at Stake 1954
*Lifeboat 1944 (WA)
*Lightning Strikes Twice 1951
*The Lineup 1958
Little Big Horn 1951 (WE)
Lizzie 1957
Loan Shark 1952
*The Locket 1947
The Lodger 1944 (H, P)
The Long Night 1947
The Long Wait 1954
Loophole 1954
The Lost Hours (The Big Frame) 1952
Lost, Lonely and Vicious 1958
The Lost Moment 1947
*The Lost Weekend 1945
Louisiana Hussy 1959
Love from a Stranger 1947
Love Letters 1945
*Love Me or Leave Me 1955 C
The Lucky Stiff 1949 (C-P)
Lure of the Swamp 1957
Lured (Personal Column) 1947
Lust for Gold 1949 (WE)

Mildred Pierce (1945)

Mildred Pierce (1945)

*M 1951
Macao 1952
*Macbeth 1948 (P, WA)
*The Macomber Affair 1947
Mad at the World 1955
The Madonna's Secret 1946
Main Street After Dark 1945
Make Haste to Live 1954
*The Maltese Falcon 1941
Man Afraid 1957
A Man Alone 1955 C (WE)
*The Man from Colorado 1948 C (WE)
*The Man from Laramie 1955 C (WE)
*Man Hunt 1941 (WA)
The Man I Love 1946
The Man in the Attic 1953 (P)
Man in the Dark 1953 3-D
Man in the Net 1959
Man in the Shadow 1957 (WE)
Man in the Vault 1956
The Man is Armed 1956
Man of Courage 1943
*Man of the West 1958 C (WE)
*The Man on the Eiffel Tower 1949 C
*The Man Who Cheated Himself 1951
The Man Who Dared 1946
The Man Who Died Twice 1958
The Man with a Cloak 1951 (P)
The Man with My Face 1951
The Man with the Golden Arm 1955
*Man with the Gun 1955 (WE)
Manhandled 1949
Manpower 1941
Mantrap 1943
The Mark of the Whistler 1944
The Mask of Diijon 1946
The Mask of Dimitrios 1944
Mask of the Dragons 1951
The Medium 1951 (SU)
The Men 1950
*Men in War 1957 (WA)
Miami Expose 1956
The Miami Story 1954
Midnight Manhunt 1945 (C-P)
The Midnight Story 1957
*Mildred Pierce 1945
Million Dollar Pursuit 1951
Ministry of Fear 1944
*The Miracle of Morgan's Creek 1944 (C-P)
The Missing Juror 1944
Missing Women 1951
*The Mob 1951
Money Madness 1948
Monsieur Verdoux 1947 (C-P)
The Monster and the Girl 1941 (H)
*Moonrise 1948
Moontide 1942
Moss Rose 1947 (P)
Mr. District Attorney 1947
The Mugger 1958
Murder by Contract 1958
Murder, He Says 1945 (C-P)
Murder is My Beat 1955
*Murder, My Sweet (Farewell My Lovely) 1944
Murder Without Tears 1953
My Cousin Rachel 1952 (P)
*My Darling Clementine 1946 (WE)
My Favorite Brunette 1947 (C-P)
My Forbidden Past 1951
My Gun is Quick 1957
*My Name is Julia Ross 1945
My Son John 1952
Mysterious Intruder 1946
The Mysterious Mr Valentine 1946
Mystery in Mexico 1948
*Mystery Street 1950

Niagara (1953)

Niagara (1953)

The Naked Alibi 1954
*The Naked City 1948
*The Naked Spur 1953 C (WE)
The Naked Street 1955
*The Narrow Margin 1952
Never Trust a Gambler 1951
New Orleans After Dark 1958
New Orleans Uncensored 1955
*New York Confidential 1955
*Niagara 1953 C
*Night and the City 1950
*Night Editor 1946
*Night Has a Thousand Eyes 1948 (SU)
The Night Holds Terror 1955
Night Into Morning 1951
*The Night of the Hunter 1955 (H)
The Night Runner 1957
Night Unto Night 1949
Night Without Sleep 1952
*Nightfall 1957
Nightmare 1956
*Nightmare Alley 1947
*99 River Street 1953
No Down Payment 1957
No Escape (City on a Hunt) 1953
*No Man of Her Own 1950
No Man’s Woman 1955
*No Name on the Bullet 1959 C (WE)
No Questions Asked 1951
No Time to Be Young 1957 (JD)
No Way Out 1950
*Nobody Lives Forever 1946
Nocturne 1946
*Nora Prentiss 1947
Not Wanted 1949
*Notorious 1946

On Dangerous Ground (1952)

On Dangerous Ground (1952)

*Odds Against Tomorrow 1959
*On Dangerous Ground 1952
*On the Waterfront 1954
Once a Thief 1950
One Way Street 1950
Open Secret 1948
The Other Woman 1954
Out of the Fog 1941
*Out of the Past (Build My Gallows High) 1947
The Outcasts of Poker Flat 1952 (WE)
Outrage 1950
Outside the Law 1956
Outside the Wall 1950
*Over-Exposed 1956
*The Ox-Bow Incident 1943 (WE)

Pitfall (1948)

Pitfall (1948)

Paid in Full 1950
*Panic in the Streets 1950
The Paradine Case 1947
Park Row 1952 (P)
Parole Fixer 1940
Parole Inc. 1948
*Party Girl 1958 C
Payment on Demand 1951
The People Against O’Hara 1951
Pete Kelly’s Blues 1955 C
Phantom Lady 1944
*The Phenix City Story 1955
Philo Vance's Gamble 1947
Pickup 1951
*Pickup on South Street 1953
*The Picture of Dorian Gray 1945 (F, H, P, SU)
*Pitfall 1948
A Place in the Sun 1951
Playgirl 1954
Please Murder Me 1956
Plunder Road 1957
Port of 40 Thieves 1944
Port of Hell 1954
Port of New York 1949
*Portland Expose 1957
Portrait of Jenny 1948
*Possessed 1947
Post Office Investigator 1949
*The Postman Always Rings Twice 1946
The Power of the Whistler 1945
The Pretender 1947
The Price of Fear 1956
Private Eyes 1953 (C-P)
*Private Hell 36 1954
*The Prowler 1951
*Pursued 1947 (WE)
*Pushover 1954

Quicksand (1950)

Quicksand (1950)

Queen Bee 1955
*Quicksand 1950
Quiet Please: Murder 1942

Rogue Cop (1954)

Rogue Cop (1954)

Race Street 1948
*The Racket 1951
Rage in Heaven 1941
The Raging Tide 1951
Railroaded 1947
*Ramrod 1947 (WE)
Rancho Notorious 1952 C (WE)
Ransom! 1956
*Raw Deal 1948
*Rawhide 1951 (WE)
*Rear Window 1954 C
Rebecca 1940
Rebel in Town 1956 (WE)
*The Reckless Moment 1949
Red, Hot and Blue 1949 (C-P)
The Red House 1947
*Red Light 1949
Red Menace 1949
Reform School Girl 1957 (JD)
Relentless 1948 C (WE)
Repeat Performance 1947
The Return of Frank James 1940 C (WE)
The Return of the Whistler 1948
Revolt in the Big House 1958
*Ride Lonesome 1959 C (WE)
*Ride the Pink Horse 1947
*Riffraff 1947
Rimfire 1949 (WE)
*Riot in Cell Block 11 1954
*Road House 1948
Road to the Big House 1947
*Roadblock 1951
*Rogue Cop 1954
Rope 1948 C
Rope of Sand 1949
Roughshod 1949 (WE)
Ruby Gentry 1952
*Run of the Arrow (Hot Lead) 1957 C (WE)
*Ruthless 1948

Scarlet Street (1945)

Scarlet Street (1945)

*Saboteur 1942
Saigon 1948
*San Quentin 1946
*Scandal Sheet 1952
The Scarf 1951
The Scarlet Hour 1956
*Scarlet Street 1945
Scene of the Crime 1949
Screaming Mimi 1958
Sealed Lips 1942
Second Chance 1947
Second Chance 1953 C 3-D
The Second Face 1950
The Second Woman 1951
Secret Behind the Door 1948
Secret Enemies 1942
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947 C (C-P)
The Secret Fury 1950
The Secret of Convict Lake 1951 (WE)
The Secret of the Whistler 1946
Secret Service Investigator 1948
*The Sellout 1952
Serenade 1956 C
*The Set-Up 1949
*711 Ocean Drive 1950
*The Seventh Victim 1943 (H)
Shack Out on 101 1955
*Shadow of a Doubt 1943
Shadow of a Woman 1946
Shadow of Fear (Before I Wake) 1956
Shadow on the Wall 1950
Shadow on the Window 1957
Shadowed 1946
Shakedown 1950
The Shanghai Gesture 1941
Shed No Tears 1948
Shield for Murder 1954
Shock 1946
*Shockproof 1949
Shoot to Kill 1947
Short Cut to Hell 1957
The Showdown 1950 (WE)
*Side Street 1950
The Sign of the Ram 1948
Silver Lode 1954 C (WE)
Singapore 1947
Sirocco 1951
Slander 1957
Slattery's Hurricane 1949
Slaughter on Tenth Avenue 1957
Sleep, My Love 1948
The Sleeping City 1950
Slightly Scarlet 1956 C
Smart Girls Don’t Talk 1948
Smash-Up, The Story of a Woman 1947
Smooth as Silk 1946
The Snake Pit 1948
*The Sniper 1952
So Dark the Night 1946
So Evil My Love 1949
*Somewhere in the Night 1946
Song of the Thin Man 1947 (C-P)
*Sorry, Wrong Number 1948
*Southside 1-1000 1950
Special Agent 1949
Specter of the Rose 1946
Spellbound 1945
The Spider 1945
The Spiral Staircase 1946
*Split Second 1953
Spy Hunt 1950 (E)
St. Benny the Dip 1951 (C-P)
Stakeout on Dope Street 1958
*Station West 1948 (WE)
The Steel Helmet 1951 (WA)
The Steel Jungle 1956
*The Steel Trap 1952
Step by Step 1946
Step Down to Terror 1958
Stolen Identity 1953
A Stolen Life 1946
Storm Fear 1956
Storm Warning 1950
The Story of Molly X 1949
The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry 1945
Strange Alibi 1941
Strange Bargain 1949
Strange Fascination 1952
Strange Illusion (Out of the Night) 1945
Strange Impersonation 1946
Strange Intruder 1956
*The Strange Love of Martha Ivers 1946
The Strange Mr. Gregory 1945
Strange Triangle (Strange Alibi) 1946
The Strange Woman 1946
*The Stranger 1946
Stranger on the Prowl 1953
*Stranger on the Third Floor 1940
Strangers in the Night 1944
*Strangers on a Train 1951
Street of Chance 1942
Street of Darkness 1958
*The Street With No Name 1948
The Strip 1951
Sudden Danger (Calculated Risk) 1955
Sudden Fear 1952
Suddenly 1954
The Sun Sets at Dawn 1950
*Sunset Boulevard 1950
The Suspect 1945
*Suspense 1946
Suspicion 1941
Swamp Fire 1946
*Sweet Smell of Success 1957
The System 1953

They Won't Believe Me (1947)

They Won't Believe Me (1947)

*T-Men 1948
Take One False Step 1949
Talk About a Stranger 1952
*The Tall T 1957 C (WE)
*The Tall Target 1951 (P)
The Tattered Dress 1957
The Tattooed Stranger 1950
Teenage Doll 1957 (JD)
Temptation 1946
*Tension 1949
*Tension at Table Rock 1956 C (WE)
Terror at Midnight 1956
Terror in a Texas Town 1958 (WE)
*Them! 1954 (H, SF) 
They Drive by Night 1940
*They Live by Night 1949
They Made Me a Killer 1946
*They Won’t Believe Me 1947
The Thief 1952
Thieves’ Highway 1949
13 Rue Madeleine 1947 (WA)
The Thirteenth Hour 1947
*The Thirteenth Letter 1951
*This Gun For Hire 1942
This Side of the Law 1950
This Woman is Dangerous 1952
*The Threat 1949
Three Bad Sisters 1956
Three Hours to Kill 1954 C (WE)
Three Steps North 1951
*Three Strangers 1946
*3:10 to Yuma 1957 (WE)
Thunder Road 1958
Tight Spot 1955
The Tijuana Story 1957
Time Table 1956
Time to Kill 1942
Tip on a Dead Jockey 1957
To Have and Have Not 1944
To the Ends of the Earth 1948
Tokyo File 212 1951
*Tomorrow is Another Day 1951
Tomorrow is Forever 1946
Tomorrow We Live 1942
*Too Late For Tears (Killer Bait) 1949
*Touch of Evil 1958
Tough Assignment 1949
The Toughest Man Alive 1955
Track of the Cat 1954 C (WE)
Train to Alcatraz 1948
The Trap 1959 C
Trapped 1949
*The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 1948 (A)
Truck Busters 1943
*Try and Get Me! (The Sound of Fury) 1950
The Turning Point 1952
Two Dollar Bettor 1951
The Two Mrs. Carrolls 1947
Two O’Clock Courage 1945
*Two of a Kind 1951
Two Smart People 1946

The Unsuspected (1947)

The Unsuspected (1947)

Under the Gun 1950
Undercover Girl 1950
The Undercover Man 1949
Undercurrent 1946
Undertow 1949
*The Underworld Story (The Whipped) 1950
*The Unfaithful 1947
Unfaithfully Yours 1948 (C-P)
The Unguarded Moment 1956
The Unholy Wife 1957 C
*Union Station 1950
*The Unknown Man 1951
Unmasked 1950
The Unseen 1945
*The Unsuspected 1947
The Unwritten Code 1944 (WA)

Violent Saturday (1955)

Violent Saturday (1955)

Valerie 1957 (WE)
The Velvet Touch 1948
*The Verdict (P) 1946
*Vertigo 1958 C
Vice Squad 1953
The Vicious Circle (Woman in Brown) 1948
Vicki 1953
Violated 1953
Violence 1947
*The Violent Men 1955 C (WE)
*Violent Saturday 1955 C
Voice in the Wind 1944
Voice of the Whistler 1945

Woman on the Run (1950)

Woman on the Run (1950)

Walk a Crooked Mile 1948
Walk East on Beacon! (The Crime of the Century) 1952
Walk Softly, Stranger 1950
Walk the Dark Street 1956
The Walking Hills 1949 (WE)
The Walls Came Tumbling Down 1946
Waterfront at Midnight 1948
We Were Strangers 1949
The Web 1947
*The Well 1951
Wetbacks 1956 C
When Gangland Strikes 1956
*Where Danger Lives 1950
*Where the Sidewalk Ends 1950
*While the City Sleeps 1956
The Whip Hand 1951
Whiplash 1948
Whirlpool 1949
Whispering City 1947
Whispering Footsteps 1943
Whispering Smith 1948 C (WE)
Whistle Stop 1946
The Whistler 1944
Whistling in the Dark 1941 (C-P)
*White Heat 1949 (NG)
Wicked Woman 1954
Wife Wanted 1946
The Wild One 1953
*Winchester ’73 1950 (WE)
The Window 1949
Without Honor 1949
Without Warning 1952
Witness to Murder 1954
The Woman from Tangier 1948
Woman in Hiding 1949
*The Woman in the Window 1944
The Woman in White 1948
The Woman on Pier 13 (I Married a Communist!) 1949
The Woman on the Beach 1947
*Woman on the Run 1950
A Woman’s Devotion (Battle Shock) 1956 C
A Woman’s Face 1941
A Woman’s Secret 1949
A Woman’s Vengeance 1948
Women in the Night 1948
Women's Prison 1955
Wonder Man 1945 (C-P)
World for Ransom 1954
The Wrong Man 1956

Yellow Sky (1949)

Yellow Sky (1949)

*Yellow Sky 1949 (WE)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Personally recommended as great cinematic storytelling including, but not limited to, noteworthy contributions to noir.

Legend

C: Color Noir
3-D: Photographed for Presentation in 3 Dimension

(A: Adventure Noir)
(C-P: Light Comedy or Parody Noir)
(E: Espionage Noir)
(F: Fantasy Noir)
(H: Horror Noir)
(JD: Juvenile Delinquency Noir)
(M: Musical Noir)
(NG: Notorious Gangster Noir)
(P: Period Noir)
(SF: Science Fiction Noir)
(SU: Supernatural Noir)
(WA: War Noir)
(WE: Western Noir)

A.G.