Best film noir

Should I even write a preface? This genre that flourished just after World War II accepted the city as a dangerous but beautiful place, demanded that women play on the same field as men so long as they were dangerous, and boasted some of the most sumptuous photography in film. I place John Huston’s first because it’s one of few formative movie experiences that hold up. Ah, the falcon…

1. The Maltese Falcon, dir. John Huston
2. Laura, dir. Otto Preminger
3. Out of the Past, dir. Jacques Tourneur
4. The Big Heat, dir. Fritz Lang
5. They Live by Night, dir. Nicholas Ray
6. Double Indemnity, dir. Billy Wilder
7. Chinatown, dir. Roman Polanski
8. The Third Man, dir. Carol Reed
9. The Long Goodbye, dir. Robert Altman
10. The Late Show, dir. Robert Benton
11. Touch of Evil, dir. Orson Welles
12. Fallen Angel, dir. Otto Preminger
13. The Killers, dir. Robert Siodmark
14. Pickup on South Street, dir. Samuel Fuller
15. The Grifters, dir. Stephen Frears
16. Night in the City, dir. Jules Dassin
17. Force of Evil, dir. Abraham Polonski
18. Diabolique, dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot
19. Stray Dog, dir. Akira Kurosawa
20. Elevator to the Gallows, dir. Louis Malle
21. Night Moves, dir. Arthur Penn
22. The Limey, dir. Steven Soderbergh
23. Devil in a Blue Dress, dir. Carl Franklin
24. Point Blank, dir. John Boorman
25. The Big Knife, dir. Robert Aldrich

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3 Responses to Best film noir

  1. My favorites on your list are Double Indemnity and A Touch of Evil

  2. Great list…hard to argue with anything on it, but what about “This Gun for Hire” or “The Glass Key”?

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