Best Noir Movies?

This topic is locked from further discussion.

#1 Posted by Thrillhouse87 (221 posts) -

I love the film noir style, but have never actually seen a full movie. what are some of the best noir movies out there? (and Im only talking about black and white crime dramas from the 40s and 50s, no film noir inspired films like blade runner)

#2 Edited by Yummylee (20585 posts) -

The Untouchables is a favourite of mine, though I haven't seen all that many. 1974's Chinatown is regarded as one of the greatest in cinema, as well  so that'd be worth checking out.

EDIT: Whoops, just remembered there's already a pretty substantial thread here about Noir movies to help get in the mood for L.A Noire. So along with Chinatown, you should give that a look :P

#3 Posted by litrock (173 posts) -

The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and Double Indemnity. Good trio to get you started.

#4 Posted by sagesebas (2003 posts) -

The Killing is really good, it was directed by Stanley Kubrick and is one of his most underrated movies.

#5 Posted by GetEveryone (4454 posts) -
@Abyssfull: Dunno if I'd call The Untouchables noir... Chinatown is a great shout, though.

Find 'Kiss Me Deadly' if you can. The 1955 version, not the abortion from a couple of years ago.
#6 Edited by Veektarius (4148 posts) -

Well, not all film noir is from that period.  Noir just means black and refers to a style.  But you don't want to hear about LA Confidential and Chinatown.  Got it.  Arguably the best noir film ever made is Touch of Evil, starring and directed by Orson Wells, with Charlton Heston playing a Mexican.    Another Orson Welles favorite is The Third Man (he only starred in this one, didn't direct).  There's quite a few cookie-cutter noirs starring Humphrey Bogart, the most famous of which is  The Maltese Falcon.  Cookie cutter doesn't mean bad, especially in that case, but some others, like the Big Sleep, spend so much time with the hard-boiled nonchalance versus the sassy femme fatale dialogue that the plot seems too incidental to care about.    Strangers on a Train was a decent Hitchcock film that's a little different in that it isn't a mystery.  I'm not an expert, but have seen all of those one.


Edit: Just to temper your expectations, I think when I was introduced to noir I was put off by how many "Golden age of Hollywood conventions" survive even the comparatively darker tone of noir from that period.  You shouldn't expect an early version of Training Day to be hidden in the proverbial rough, people just didn't want to see such cynical things on screen back then. 
#7 Posted by Yummylee (20585 posts) -
@GetEveryone said:
@Abyssfull: Dunno if I'd call The Untouchables noir... Chinatown is a great shout, though.

Find 'Kiss Me Deadly' if you can. The 1955 version, not the abortion from a couple of years ago.
I'm most likely wrong in that assumption. I'm no film scholar, and I'm not an expert in... anything... but I've always kinda saw Noir movies based around a hardboiled cop/PI, simultaneously fighting against his or her inner demons as well as the outer ones. I guess it primarily focuses on a character who solos a lot it, with a most often female companion, though, so I guess Untouchables is more of a Noir inspiration than a Noir movie.
#8 Posted by MjHealy (1738 posts) -

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown".

#9 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6077 posts) -

Usual Suspects, The Big Sleep, Maltese Falcon, The Third Man, LA Confidential. 



#10 Posted by Rudeboy217 (1760 posts) -
@sagesebas said:
The Killing is really good, it was directed by Stanley Kubrick and is one of his most underrated movies.
THIS.
#11 Posted by Cabbage_TheMan (240 posts) -

LA Noir is basically LA Confidential The Game, right?

#12 Posted by Rhaknar (5940 posts) -

if you want to get in the mood for LA Nire just watch LA Confidential, its basically the same thing (i mean that in a good way, its one of my favorite movies ever)

Blade Runner is considered noir believe it or not, sci fi noir but still

#13 Posted by JoshyLee (169 posts) -

Brick is a really good movie that play with the noir trappings.

#14 Posted by mfpantst (2574 posts) -

I think LA confidential will work for ya.  I watched that over the weekend, and comparing to the footage available through promo material and leaked video, the color art style is pretty comparable between the two as well as the level of violence present.

#15 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

The Maltese Falcon is generally considered to be one of the best noir films ever made. It's brilliant.

#16 Posted by Yummylee (20585 posts) -

Come to think of it... doesn't Tim Burton's two Batman movies kinda count as Noir movies in some senses?

#17 Posted by sagesebas (2003 posts) -

Also The Third Man is pretty good.

#18 Posted by mfpantst (2574 posts) -
@Abyssfull: Yeah but I'd say they're too modern to capture all the trappings of LA Noire- part of what "set in the 40's" type noir has going is the accents and backdrop.  Though if you want to go comic-booky dick Tracy works.
#19 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -
@Abyssfull said:
Come to think of it... doesn't Tim Burton's two Batman movies kinda count as Noir movies in some senses?
Kinda. I mean, if you think about it, every car in Tim Burton's Batman seems to be lifted straight from a 1940's noir movie. And the lighting of the movie, and the way steam rises up from the sewers adds that 'noir' feel to the film. You can tell that's what they were going for when you watch it.
#20 Posted by GetEveryone (4454 posts) -
@Abyssfull: Yeah, you've basically nailed it. They're just about cynical men who fuck cynical women, who are more often than not totally at fault.

I suppose The Untouchables satisfies at least a portion of that criteria, it's just... noir feels intrinsically different, if you know what I mean. I'm probably just babbling.
#21 Posted by Daveyo520 (6597 posts) -

Maltese Falcon is the 1st one that comes to mind.

#22 Edited by StudioErebus (41 posts) -
No Way Out starring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier.
Call Northside 777 starring Jimmy Stewart
Laura starring Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney
Nightmare Alley
starring Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell
D.O.A starring Edmund O'Brien
Detour starring Tom Neal and Ann Savage
The Big Sleep Starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
Out of the Past
starring Robert Michum and Kirk Douglas
The Asphalt Jungle starring Sterling Hayden and Marilyn Monroe
Murder My Sweet
starring Dick Powell (I like Powell's Marlowe here more than Bogart's)
There are literally too many great Noir films to list, but any list would be lacking if they did not contain a few films from Blacklisted Film Noir director Jules Dassin. The Naked City, Rififi and Night and the City are some of the best films of the Noir era.
If I remember correctly, "Film Noir" was a term coined by the french (after the classic noir period of the 1940s) to describe the films coming out of an America whose outlook had been changed by the horrors of World War II. The term speaks more to the "black" subject matter than the stark black and white compositions created by German expressionists escaping Germany and finding work in the American movie system. I'm sure there's more to it, but that's what I remember off the top of my head.
#23 Posted by mustachioeugene (483 posts) -
Kiss Me Deadly, The Third Man, Laura (1944 I think), and I've always thought that Blade Runner and 12 Monkeys were great examples of film noir with a sci fi/futuristic spin.

@GetEveryone said:
@Abyssfull: Dunno if I'd call The Untouchables noir... Chinatown is a great shout, though.

Find 'Kiss Me Deadly' if you can. The 1955 version, not the abortion from a couple of years ago.
1955's Kiss Me Deadly has a Criterion Blu ray coming soon-ish.
#24 Posted by GetEveryone (4454 posts) -
@mustachioeugene said:
Kiss Me Deadly, The Third Man, Laura (1944 I think), and I've always thought that Blade Runner and 12 Monkeys were great examples of film noir with a sci fi/futuristic spin.

@GetEveryone said:
@Abyssfull: Dunno if I'd call The Untouchables noir... Chinatown is a great shout, though.

Find 'Kiss Me Deadly' if you can. The 1955 version, not the abortion from a couple of years ago.
1955's Kiss Me Deadly has a Criterion Blu ray coming soon-ish.

That is actually fantastic news. You've made my night. Do you know if it'll have both endings on disc?


Blade Runner is definitely noir and Monkeys has that intangible quality that I'd associate with the genre, too.


@StudioErebus: ...and now I have plenty to watch in the coming days. Thank you, good sir.



#25 Posted by DetectiveSpecial (441 posts) -

As stated above, "Out of the Past" and "Laura" are two GREAT noir films that everyone interested in the genre should watch. 

"Laura" is especially good due to the presence of Vincent Price, who makes any film ten times better than it has any right to be.
#26 Posted by Yanngc33 (4496 posts) -

The untouchables is way up there and the Good German

#27 Posted by Extreme_Popcorn (842 posts) -

The Untouchables is in no way, shape or form a film noir. 


LA Confidential is a great film but you should really read the book too. It's amazing, so many twists and plots that were left out of the film.
#28 Posted by Sweep (8542 posts) -

Locking duplicate thread. Be sure to check the thread you are making doesn't already exist before you post.

Moderator

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.