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The Greatest Film Noir Movies 2

Lady in the Lake – (1947, Robert Montgomery) (Robert Montgomery, Audrey Totter, Lloyd Nolan)

Laura – (1944, Otto Preminger) (Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price)
Leave Her To Heaven – (1945, John M. Stahl) (Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Vincent Price)
M – (1931, Fritz Lang) (Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke)
Maltese Falcon – (1941, John Huston) (Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor)
Mildred Pierce – (1945, Michael Curtiz) (Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Eve Arden)
Murder, My Sweet – (1944, Edward Dmytryk) (Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley)
Mystery Street – (1950, John Sturges) (Ricardo Montalban, Sally Forrest, Bruce Bennett)
Niagara – (1953, Henry Hathaway) (Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, Max Showalter)
Night And The City – (1950, Jules Dassin) (Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Herbert Lom)
Night Of The Hunter – (1955, Charles Laughton) (Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish)
Nightmare Alley – (1947, Edmund Goulding) (Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray)
Notorious – (1946, Alfred Hitchcock) (Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern)
Odds Against Tomorrow – (1959, Robert Wise) (Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Shelley Winters)
On Dangerous Ground – (1952, Nicholas Ray) (Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond)
Ossessione – (1943, Luchino Visconti) (Clara Calamai, Massimo Girotti, Dhia Cristiani)
Out Of The Past – (1947, Jacques Tourneur) (Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming)
Panic In The Streets – (1950, Elia Kazan) (Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes)
Party Girl – (1958, Nicholas Ray) (Robert Taylor, Cyd Charisse, Lee J. Cobb, John Ireland)
Phantom Lady – (1944, Robert Siodmak) (Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis)
Pickup On South Street – (1953, Samuel Fuller) (Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter)
Pitfall – (1948, André De Toth) (Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt, Raymond Burr)
Possessed – (1947, Curtis Bernhardt) (Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, Raymond Massey)
Postman Always Rings Twice, The (1946) Directed by Tay Garnett. With Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway.
Raw Deal – (1948, Anthony Mann) (Dennis O’Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt, John Ireland)
Rififi – (1955, Jules Dassin) (Jean Servais, Carl MÖhner, Robert Manuel, Janine Darcey)
Roadblock – (1951, Harold Daniels) (Charles McGraw, Joan Dixon, Lowell Gilmore, Louis Jean Heydt)
Scandal Sheet – (1952, Phil Karlson) (Broderick Crawford, Donna Reed, John Derek, Harry Morgan)
Scarface – (1932, Howard Hawks) (Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, George Raft, Boris Karloff)
Scarlet Street – (1945, Fritz Lang) (Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea)
Shadow Of A Doubt – (1943, Alfred Hitchcock) (Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey)
Side Street – (1950, Anthony Mann) (Joe Norson, Ellen Norson, James Craig)
Stranger On The Third Floor – (1940, Boris Ingster) (Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet)
An interesting film noir with Peter Lorre in more of a cameo as the mysterious villain than a starring role. He appears briefly, lurking darkly as he attempts to avoid a confrontation with the hero, not saying a word until the final ten minutes of the film. With a fairly nondescript cast, Lorre received top billing for what must have been a fairly easy few days’ work. The film runs for just 64 minutes and is not unlike one of the Hitchcock tele plays in prime-time television in the 50s. Boris Ingster includes some creative moments with the dream scenes impressive. I particularly liked the angular images of the prison bars with the gruesome shadow of the electric chair. The ending is a little glib for my liking and the plot fits into place just a little too easily resulting in a fairly banal ending to what could have been a more complex psychological thriller – I thought for a while the hero had actually committed the two murders and that may have been a more interesting development than the more obvious ending. This film was shown on ABC television as part of a series of Film Noir and I was impressed with the superb quality of the print.
Strangers On A Train – (1951, Alfred Hitchcock) (Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker)
Sudden Fear – (1952, ) (Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame, Mike Connors)
Sunset Boulevard – (1950, Billy Wilder) (Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich von Stroheim)
Sweet Smell of Success – (1957, Alexander Mackendrick) (Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Martin Milner)
The Asphalt Jungle – (1950, John Huston) (Sterling Hayden, Marilyn Monroe, James Whitmore)
The Big Heat – (1953, Fritz Lang) (Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin)
The Big Knife – (1955, Robert Aldrich) (Jack Palance, Ida Lupino, Rod Steiger, Shelley Winters)
The Blue Dahlia – (1946, George Marshall) (Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Howard Da Silva)
The Brasher Doubloon – (1947, John Brahm)
(George Montgomery, Nancy Guild, Conrad Janis)
The File On Thelma Jordon – (1950, Robert Siodmak) (Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell Corey, Paul Kelly)
The Lady from Shanghai – (1947, Orson Welles) (Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane)
The Lost Weekend – (1945, Billy Wilder) (Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry)
The Naked City – (1948, Jules Dassin) (Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart)
The Postman Always Rings Twice – (1946, Tay Garnett) (Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway)
The Set-Up – (1949, Robert Wise) (Robert Ryan,
Audrey Totter, George Tobias, Alan Baxter)
The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers – (1946, L. Milestone) (Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Kirk Douglas)
The Stranger – (1946, Orson Welles) (Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, Orson Welles)
The Street With No Name – (1948, William Keighley) (Mark Stevens, Richard Widmark, Lloyd Nolan)
The Third Man – (1949, Carol Reed) (Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard, Alida Valli)
The Two Mrs. Carrolls – (1947, Peter Godfrey) (Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Alexis Smith)
The Verdict (1946) Directed by Don Siegel Stars: Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre
It is sad that Sydney Greenstreet’s career in film was relatively brief – albeit marked by memorable performances in some truly great movies. He may well have had a successful life on the stage in the bulk of his acting life but his roles in film, in a brief eight year period, are all that is preserved from a long and distinguished career. We can only guess at the performances of a young and perhaps thinner Sydney Greenstreet. Despite all this he made his debut in The Maltese Falcon and then a few films later co-starred in Casablanca, more than making up for the delay in the transition to the big screen. The Verdict sees Greenstreet at his finest as the wizened superintendent whose career has been forever marred by an error of judgment that costs a man his life. This is a perfect whodunit/noir/murder mystery that is still gripping and tight despite the slightly melodramatic ending where revenge is possibly carried a little too close to the wire. Lorre is his usual sinister self, fascinated at the thought of exhuming a dead body and Colouris appropriate as the inept detective. Highly recommended.

The Wrong Man – (1956, Alfred Hitchcock) (Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle)
They Won’t Believe Me (1947) Directed by Irving Pichel. With Susan Hayward, Robert Young, Jane Greer.
This Gun For Hire – (1942, Frank Tuttle)
(Veronica Lake, Robert Preston, Alan Ladd)
Alan Ladd as a youthful hitman who blows away everyone who crosses his path, Laird Gregar brilliant as an oily, overweight, camp villain, Veronica Lake sultry, blonde and devastatingly beautiful, raise this seedy film to an interesting noir that has been regarded by critics as a "classic".

This Gun for Hire is a typically B Grade feature with a slightly implausible plot featuring Lake as a performer who blends music with magic before becoming a spy. Ladd is the "likeable" perhaps misunderstood killer/hero who is kind to animals and children but slaps chamber maids and kills cops routinely. Advertising posters for this title featured some of the classic graphic art of the film noir and as such has raised the profile of the film to a higher level than it deserves. That aside, the film is still well worth seeing – great cast and classic noir.

T-Men – (1947, Anthony Mann) (Dennis O’Keefe, Mary Meade, Alfred Ryder, June Lockhart)
Touch Of Evil – (1958, Orson Welles) (Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles, Dennis Weaver)
Undercurrent – (1946, Vincente Minnelli) (Katharine Hepburn, Robert Taylor, Robert Mitchum)
Where Danger Lives – (1950, John Farrow) (Robert Mitchum, Claude Rains, Maureen O’Sullivan)
Where The Sidewalk Ends – (1950, Otto Preminger) (Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill)
While The City Sleeps – (1956, Fritz Lang) (Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders)
Whirlpool – (1949, Otto Preminger) (Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, José Ferrer)
White Heat – (1949, Raoul Walsh) (James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O’Brien, Steve Cochran)
Woman in the Window – (1944, Fritz Lang) (Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey)
You Only Live Once – (1937, Fritz Lang) (Henry Fonda, Sylvia Sidney, Barton MacLane)