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The A – Z of Film Noir Movies

14 Hours (Fox 1951) Paul Douglas, Richard Basehart, Barbara Bel Geddes, Debra Paget, Agnes Moorehead, Robert Keith, Howard Da Silva.
Three Steps to the Gallows (1953) Directed by John Gilling. With Scott Brady, Mary Castle, Gabrielle Brune.


Ace In The Hole – (1951, Billy Wilder) (Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Richard Benedict)
Accused of Murder (1956) Director: Joseph Kane David Brian, Vera Ralston, Sidney Blackmer, Virginia Grey
Act of Violence – (1948, Fred Zinnemann) (Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh, Mary Astor)
Angel Face – (1952, Otto Preminger) (Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman)
Angels With Dirty Faces – (1938, Michael Curtiz) (James Cagney, Pat O’Brien, Humphrey Bogart)
Appointment with Crime (1946) Directed by John Harlow. With William Hartnell, Raymond Lovell, Robert Beatty.

Appointment with Murder (1948) Stars: John Calvert as The Falcon, Catherine Craig, Jack Reitzen, Lyle Talbot.
Argyle Secrets (1948) Directed by Cy Endfield. With William Gargan, Marjorie Lord, Ralph Byrd.

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt – (1956, Fritz Lang) (Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer)
Big Clock (1948) Directed by John Farrow. With Ray Milland, Charles Laughton, Maureen O’Sullivan.

Big Combo – (1955, Joseph H. Lewis) (Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Brian Donlevy, Jean Wallace)

Big Sleep – (1946, Howard Hawks) (Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely)
Blackmail (1947) Directed by Lesley Selander. With William Marshall, Adele Mara, Ricardo Cortez.
Blonde Ice (1948) Directed by Jack Bernhard. With Robert Paige, Leslie Brooks, Russ Vincent. 
Body And Soul – (1947, Robert Rossen) (John Garfield, Lilli Palmer, William Conrad)
Boomerang! (1947) Directed by Elia Kazan. With Dana Andrews, Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb.
Border Incident – (1949, Anthony Mann) (Pablo Rodriguez, Jack Bearnes, Howard Da Silva)
Checkered Coat (1948) Directed by Edward L. Cahn. With Tom Conway, Noreen Nash, Hurd Hatfield.
Clash by Night – (1952, Fritz Lang) (Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan, Marilyn Monroe)
Criss Cross – (1949, Robert Siodmak) (Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Stephen McNally)
Crossfire – (1947, Edward Dmytryk) (Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame)
Cry of the City – (1948, Robert Siodmak) (Victor Mature, Richard Conte, Shelley Winters)
Cry Danger (1951) Directed by Robert Parrish. With Dick Powell, Rhonda Fleming, Richard Erdman.
Cry Terror! (1958) Directed by Andrew L. Stone. With James Mason, Inger Stevens, Rod Steiger. 
D.O.A. – (1950, Rudolph Maté) (Edmond O’Brien, Pamela Britton, Beverly Garland)
Frank Bigelow: "I want to report a murder." Homicide Captain: "Where was this murder committed?" Frank Bigelow: "San Francisco, last night." Homicide Captain: "Who was murdered?" Frank Bigelow: "I was."

It must be the dream of all directors to open a film with a scene or line which carries great impact and remains in the memory. The opening line in D.O.A must rank among the most dramatically effective and intriguing lines that has ever opened a movie. This is the quintessential film noir. Edmond O’Brien as the tough, hard drinking businessman who has grown tired of the normalcy of his life and the clinging Paula. His holiday in San Francisco is an opportunity to break the shackels. The premise that the hero has been given a slow poison for which there is no cure, and only a day or so to solve his own murder before he dies, is exceptional. We also have an array of sultry "bad girls", a seedy villain and a manic hitman. Rudoph Mate directs brilliantly, not missing a moment to twist and turn the action at a fast pace with no dull moments. Scenes of O’Brien running through city streets after he has learned his fate are superb with incredibly realistic wide shots. The fact that his direction is so effective makes one wonder how he could have allowed the lapses of ridiculous canned "wolf whistles" whenever the hero passed a good looking girl in the early scenes. Although these "wolf whistles" are really out of place and very annoying, the film is so effective that we can forgive the indiscretion. This is a classic example of a brilliant plot superbly told in a way that is still gripping 50 years after it was made. D.O.A. defines Film Noir.

Dark Passage – (1947, Delmer Daves) (Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Agnes Moorehead)
Dead Reckoning – (1947, John Cromwell) (Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky)
Desperate – (1947, Anthony Mann) (Steve Brodie, Audrey Long, Raymond Burr, Jason Robards Sr.)
Detour – (1945, Edgar G. Ulmer) (Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald)
Double Indemnity – (1944, Billy Wilder) (Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson)
Dark Passage – (1947, Delmer Daves) (Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Agnes Moorehead)
Dead Reckoning – (1947, John Cromwell) (Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky)
Desperate – (1947, Anthony Mann) (Steve Brodie, Audrey Long, Raymond Burr, Jason Robards Sr.)
Detour – (1945, Edgar G. Ulmer) (Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald)
Dial M for Murder (1954 Alfred Hitchcock) Starring: Ray Milland, Robert Cummings, Grace Kelly.
Double Indemnity – (1944, Billy Wilder) (Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson)
Fallen Angel – (1945, Otto Preminger) (Alice Faye, Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell, John Carradine)
Force Of Evil – (1948, Abraham Polonsky) (John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, Marie Windsor)
Fury – (1936, Fritz Lang) (Spencer Tracy, Sylvia Sidney, Walter Abel, Bruce Cabot)
Gilda – (1946, Charles Vidor) (Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready)
Glass Key (1942) Directed by Stuart Heisler. With Brian Donlevy, Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd. Gun Crazy (aka:
Deadly Is The Female) – (1950, Joseph H. Lewis) (Peggy Cummins, John Dall)
Hollow Triumph aka The Scar (1948, Steve Sekely) (Paul Henreid, Joan Bennett, Eduard Franz)
"The Scar aka Hollow Triumph" The Scar is somewhat underrated as a film noir but powerful performances by Joan Bennett and Paul Henreid as Johnny Muller, and stylish direction from Steve Sekely make this a gripping film with some very effective twists. All of the ingredients of Noir are present with the flawed characters, dark settings and the inevitable tragedies. Henreid sees a way of escaping from his troubles by stealing the identity of a psychiatrist. Ultimately, irony plays its part in the destiny of the leading characters. Although Johnny Muller appears as a highly intelligent criminal, he makes a fundamental blunder that could expose him. However, the vagaries of human nature allow him to succeed with his impersonation with only a charlady detecting him. Look out for a wonderful cameo from Alvin Hammer as Jerry, the garage attendant who dreams of becoming a famous ballroom dancer.

If you are a fan of Film Noir, I would recommend adding the film to your collection.

House Of Bamboo – (1955, Samuel Fuller) (Robert Ryan, Robert Stack, Shirley Yamaguchi)
House Of Strangers – (1949, Joseph L. Mankiewicz) (Edward G. Robinson, Susan Hayward)
Human Desire – (1954, Fritz Lang) (Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford)
I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang – (1932, Mervyn LeRoy) (Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Preston Foster)
Impact (1949) Directed by Arthur Lubin. With Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn.
In A Lonely Place – (1950, Nicholas Ray) (Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy)
Journey Into Fear – (1943, Norman Foster, Orson Welles) (Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Rio)
Kansas City Confidential – (1952, Phil Karlson) (John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster)
Key Largo – (1948, John Huston) (Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson)
Killing – (1956, Stanley Kubrick) (Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards)
Kiss Me Deadly – (1955, Robert Aldrich) (Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart)
Kiss Of Death – (1947, Henry Hathaway) (Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray, Richard Widmark)