Kiss Them Deadly: Get Cool & Sweaty with the Great Femmes Fatales of Noir

Sunday Features (O!) GRANT BUTLER in The Oregonian:

In the opening minutes of 1944’s film noir classic Double Indemnity, sultry Barbara Stanwyck crosses her shapely legs and in one sexy move sends poor Fred MacMurray careening toward his inevitable doom.

A small ankle bracelet has caught his eye, and the mere sight of the bauble is enough for him to toss whatever good sense he has into the heart of the black widow’s web.

“That’s a honey of an anklet you’re wearing,” he growls lasciviously.

Stanwyck demurely tussles the hem of her blue dress, covering the jewelry. But it’s too late. MacMurray’s trapped, a willing pawn who will obey every treacherous word as she hatches a plot to kill her abusive husband, then make his death appear an accident so she can cash in on a secret life insurance policy. She has MacMurray by the neck –or an anatomical ZIP code a bit farther south –and in the nasty game of premeditated murder, there’s no letting go.

Moments later, he inquires whether she’ll be at home the next time he comes calling: “Same chair, same perfume, same anklet?”

“I wonder if I know what you mean,” she answers with feigned innocence.

“I wonder if you wonder.”

He might as well turn himself over to the coppers. He’s a goner.

All because of an anklet.

Raging tension

Double Indemnity - Femme Fatale and Sucker

That bit of raging sexual tension is just one of the terrific moments that makes Double Indemnity easily one of the best American movies ever made. With its taut script co-written by Raymond Chandler and director Billy Wilder (based on the potboiler novel by James M. Cain), and a career-topping supporting performance by Edward G. Robinson, there’s not a second that’s anything less than perfection.

The film is just one of the delicious high points of the Northwest Film Center’s “Killer Ladies” series, which begins Friday at the Whitsell Auditorium of the Portland Art Museum. Running four consecutive weekends, it’s a showcase of 10 must-sees from the golden age of film noir, all of them featuring femmes fatales the likes of which should send men both brave and cowardly running in the opposite direction.

With the exception of Fritz Lang’s obscure Woman in the Window, all of the films are readily available on DVD. But seeing these moody black-and-white gems on the big screen is a rare treat. With noir, demons lurk in shadows and shades of mysterious gray that even the finest home theater systems can’t distinguish.

And there are shades of feminine deceit you may pick up only by catching these movies side by side.

Double-header

Take the opening weekend double-header of Mildred Pierce and The Manchurian Candidate. At once, they have nothing and everything to do with each other. 1945’s “Pierce” stars Joan Crawford, who won an Oscar for her performance as a working woman who will do anything for her spoiled daughter. “Candidate” from 1962, is a political thriller about a secret assassination plot involving brainwashed Korean War veterans.

What makes the two films kindred spirits is their portrayal of warped motherhood. In “Candidate,” Angela Lansbury is a scheming harridan with a lust for power so intense she makes Lady Macbeth seem as threatening as a meadow of petunias.

“We have come almost to the end,” Lansbury says to her patsy son as she sends him off on a bloody assignment. “One last step. And then when I take power, they will be pulled down and ground into dirt for what they did to you. And what they did in so contemptuously underestimating me.

Mildred Pierce

Compare those viper’s fangs with Crawford’s tortured martyr complex in “Pierce.” She’s a total doormat for her daughter Veda, and one of Mildred’s chums doesn’t like what she sees: “Personally, Veda’s convinced me that alligators have the right idea. They eat their young.”

Yet when gunfire erupts, Mildred shows that no one should underestimate her, either.

A repeat victim

Moms aren’t the only women with a deadly streak in this series. Home wreckers, hussies and harlots also prove lethal, with Robert Mitchum a repeat victim. In 1947’s Out of the Past, a gangster’s mistress sends him careening out of control. Then in 1952’s Angel Face, lives hang in the balance because of Mitchum’s obsession with a young woman.

The art of seduction takes a lot more than a pretty face. In many of these films, the femme fatale is dressed in wildly elaborate gowns just as the pistol is drawn, juxtaposing the brutality of the gun with the beauty of beads and spangles. It’s as if the director has taken the movie’s costume designer aside: “This is when she pulls a gun. That dress you have her in? Make it 10 times more gaudy!”

Another recurring theme is the feline analogy. In several films, house cats pop up symbolically to hint at conniving games of cat and mouse. It’s never more overt than in 1955’s gripping Kiss Me Deadly, a hard-boiled detective story played out against the paranoid canvas of the Cold War. Cats are everywhere – on a secretary’s desk, sleeping on top of a telephone operator’s panel, in an old maid’s apartment.

“You have the feline perceptions that all women have,” one bad guy barks at a murderous gal, before learning that there are also claws that go with those perceptions.

A wild bobcat

If Kiss Me Deadly’s femme fatale is a housecat, Gun Crazy‘s Annie Starr is a wild bobcat. She’s a carnival sharpshooter whose bullets are so accurate they can light a cigarette held in an assistant’s clenched teeth. When she meets a man who’s just as good a shot, a Bonnie and Clyde-like crime spree ensues. First they’re knocking off gas stations and liquor stores, but their targets get progressively bigger. It’s a rampage out of control but rooted in a fella’s lust for a cute lady in a cowgirl suit.

Through history, men have committed crimes for far less. The ancients went to war over stolen glances. Empires have fallen because of whispers in the night. Who wouldn’t go over the edge because of a cowgirl hat tilted just the right way?

Or a golden anklet on a golden gam?

It did Fred MacMurray in. Don’t let it be your undoing.”

LA NOIR

HOLLYWOOD DOESN’T PAINT MORE DARKLY THAN IT DOES WITH L.A. NOIR
From APPLAUSE 19 April 2007 Steven Uhles Column
Augusta Chronicle

Dark streets, femme fatales and the quick crack of gunfire make film noir an easy genre to identify.

Nobody channel-surfs over to one of the eternal broadcasts of The Maltese Falcon and wonders what romantic comedy they have stumbled across. Still, some of the most popular noirs don’t take place in the grit and grime of a Middle American metropolis, but near the sun- soaked sands and endless freeway tangle of the left coast.

Blame it on Raymond Chandler, the creator of Philip Marlowe, the City of Angels’ favorite private dick. The sprawl of Los Angeles is the setting for a variety of noirish tales – despite its trench- coat-resistant climate. In fact, Los Angeles noir is a site- specific genre unto itself. Here are a few favorites.

Sunset Boulevard

SUNSET BLVD. (1950): Opening with the protagonist doing a face- first float in an aging star’s swimming pool, this darkly comic tale of love, death and obsession in Hollywood stars William Holden as a failing screenwriter looking for an easy score, and silent- film star Gloria Swanson as the aging actress who proves his undoing. A near-perfect jab at the studio system.

Chinatown

CHINATOWN (1974): One of, if not the, greatest screenplays ever written, this tale of an L.A. private eye who gets caught up in political intrigue and the darkest of family secrets stars Jack Nicholson as sad sack P.I. Jake Gittes and John Huston in a towering performance as a SoCal politico who might or might not have it in for him. Complex and compelling.

La Confidential

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997): A masterpiece of cinematic adaptation, L.A. manages to squeeze the juice out of James Ellroy’s epic novel, refining it into a stunning film. Though much has been made of the inspired performances turned in by Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Kim Basinger, the film’s real success is in communicating a sense of time, place and peril. An oft-overlooked film well worth checking out.

The Big Sleep

THE BIG SLEEP (1946): No overview of L.A. noir would be complete without acknowledging the father of the genre, Raymond Chandler. Though many actors have played Los Angeles investigator Philip Marlowe, the role will forever be owned by the great Humphrey Bogart. Like his Sam Spade a few years earlier, his take on this tough, taciturn, hard-bitten hero defines what the great noir protagonist is all about.

BLADE RUNNER (1982): Set in the not too distant future, Blade Runner transforms sunny Southern California into an ecological nightmare, perpetually soaked in poison rain and overcrowded with lost souls looking for a way out. Sounds pretty noir already, doesn’t it? Harrison Ford plays a burned-out cop tasked with hunting down and assassinating a small cadre of escaped androids. The spiritual descendant of the Marlowe tales, this movie understands that noir is all about the atmosphere.

Film Noir Classic DVD Collection Vol4 Out July 31

Press Release 16 April:

BURBANK, Calif. – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Warner Home Video (WHV) doubles the stakes in The Film Noir Classic Collection Vol. 4, debuting July 31, with legendary Hollywood tough guys and femme fatales once again colliding, this time in ten smoldering suspense classics, all new to DVD. Titles include Act of Violence/Mystery Street; Crime Wave/Decoy; Illegal/The Big Steal; They Live By Night/Side Street; and Where Danger Lives/Tension.

The new movies, which have all been digitally remastered for this collection, star film noir icons Robert Mitchum, Edward G. Robinson, Robert Ryan, Van Heflin, Ricardo Montalban, Claude Rains and Farley Granger, among others. The five-disc collection will be available for $59.92 SRP and single titles will sell for $20.97 SRP.

Mystery Street

Act of Violence/Mystery Street

This melodrama stars Van Heflin as former World War II pilot Frank Enley, a respected contractor and family man, whose wife is played by Janet Leigh. When his troubled, crippled bombardier (Robert Ryan) shows up with a gun and a score to settle, it becomes apparent that perhaps neither man is what he seems to be.

Murder lives on Mystery Street. John Sturges directs a revealing film about a Boston cop (Ricardo Montalban) called upon to solve the mystery surrounding a skeleton found on a Cape Cod beach with the help of a Harvard forensic expert (Bruce Bennett).

Crime Wave

Crime Wave/Decoy

Legendary director Andre de Toth was at the helm of this outstanding, but little-known L.A. noir about three escaped convicts from San Quentin who rob a gas station and kill a motorcycle cop. The hardboiled cop heading the manhunt is Sterling Hayden.

Decoy – Drop-dead gorgeous dame Margo Shelby (Jean Gille) revives her gangster boyfriend after he dies in the gas chamber, not because she’s so fond of him, but because he knows where the loot is buried.

Illegal/The Big Steal

When his career as a D.A. unexpectedly collapses, tenacious Victor Scott turns to defending criminal lowlifes. Edward G. Robinson plays Scott in this snappy remake of The Mouthpiece.

illegal.jpg

Out of the Past’s Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer reteam in The Big Steal, speeding along Mexican roadways in pursuit of a grifter who has a suitcase that may be stuffed with cash.

bigsteal.jpg

They Live By Night/Side Street

Young escaped convict Bowie (Farley Granger) and Keechie (Cathy O’Donnell) just want to let their new love blossom. But thugs like Chicamaw ‘One-Eye’ Mobley (Howard da Silva) have other ideas, forcing Bowie to be their accomplice.

In Side Street, Granger and O’Donnell team again as struggling marrieds in an unforgiving Manhattan. In a moment of weakness, the letter carrier gives in to temptation and steals what he thinks is a few hundred dollars. But it’s $30,000, tied to some ruthless blackmailers, and Granger’s attempt to return it puts him in deeper peril.

Where Danger Lives/Tension

Robert Mitchum plays a doctor smitten with desire for a beautiful patient (Faith Domergue) who’s brought in after an attempted suicide. The would-be lovebirds go on the lam. Ahead is Mexico, miles back is the husband’s (Claude Rains) corpse.

Noir favorite Audrey Totter leaves her mousy but devoted spouse (Richard Basehart) for another man, and the Tension mounts as he plots revenge, then sees his plan take an unexpected turn.

The Observer Recommends: Leave Her To Heaven (1945)

LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945)

“Stylish study of an all- American bitch (rather like a character from Greek tragedy) relentlessly destroying the lives of all those around her, both during her life and posthumously. Gene Tierney, fresh from Laura and a major figure in film noir, received her only Academy Award nomination. This was that rare thing, a noir melodrama in colour, and was largely shot on rural locations by Leon Shamroy, who here won the third of his four well-deserved Oscars.”

Killer Ladies

From an article in The Oregian by MacrMohan on The Northwest Film Center’s series “Killer Ladies: Film Noir” in April:

“The femme fatale is an indispensable staple of noir, and three of the most memorable are served up this weekend. Perhaps least known is Angel Face, Otto Preminger’s 1953 thriller starring Robert Mitchum at his sleepiest. He’s a working-class ambulance driver who becomes ensnared by the beautiful, wealthy and (it almost goes without saying) deadly Diane Tremayne (Jean Simmons). Diane, in addition to boasting a fantastic noir name, is a paragon of obsessive love, and the movie has one of the all-time great final scenes (just watch Mitchum’s face as they pull out of the driveway). It’s hard to say which is the bigger cult classic, Joseph H Lewis’ 1950 Gun Crazy or Robert Aldrich’s 1955 Kiss Me Deadly, but a chance to see both on the big screen and decide for yourself shouldn’t be passed up. The former is a tale of doomed love between a mild-mannered firearm aficionado and the carnival sharpshooter who shares his fascination. The latter is often dubbed the last classic film noir, a burst of feverish atomic- age madness and sadism that could only come from the mind of Mickey Spillane. Both are full of the dark, quasi-intentional subtext that make the best noir films so arresting even today.”

1angelface2.jpg gunc.jpg Kiss Me Deadly

Act of Violence (1948) DVD Review

Act of Violence (1948)

Act of Violence

The New York Times Review 6 May 2007 by Charles Taylor:

“This trim, tense, little-known 1948 noir, one of 10 included in the Warner Brothers set ”Film Noir, Volume 4,” is an anomaly among the more prestigious pictures directed by Fred Zinnemann (whose best and best known include ”From Here to Eternity” and ”The Nun’s Story”). In the wordless sequences when the lead, Van Heflin (right, with Mary Astor), wanders deserted Los Angeles alleys and back streets, the shadows and seemingly abandoned buildings hovering over him (the movie was shot by Robert Surtees), ”Act of Violence” becomes a distillation of noir itself.

Even if Mr. Heflin were the last man on earth, he’d still be pursued by his own guilt. This fine, underrated actor plays a family man, successful building contractor and decorated war pilot who spent a year in a German prison camp. His life, the picture of middle-class success, begins to crumble when a tall, limping stranger (the great Robert Ryan, evoking terror and pity in the way only he could) shows up in his small California town. The man was Mr. Heflin’s closest Army buddy, and the possessor of the secret that gives the lie to his model-citizen persona.

Mr. Zinnemann’s precise, pointed direction suggests that postwar boosterism was the mask for the unspeakable things the war had taught veterans about themselves, about humanity. Hiding behind drawn curtains in his darkened suburban home, Mr. Heflin is a man who, at least in his head, has traded one prison camp for another. (Warner Brothers, July 31, US$59.92; also available on a double-feature disc with ”Mystery Street,” July 31, US$20.97) “

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The Complete IMDB List of Films Noir

13th Letter, The (1951) 6.1/10 (40 votes)

5 Against the House (1955) 5.9/10 (66 votes)

711 Ocean Drive (1950) 6.8/10 (69 votes)

99 River Street (1953) 7.2/10 (134 votes)
…aka Crosstown (1953)

Abandoned (1949) 6.3/10 (25 votes)
…aka Abandoned Woman (1949)

Accused, The (1949) 6.9/10 (148 votes)

Ace in the Hole (1951) 8.3/10 (1840 votes)
…aka Big Carnival, The (1951) (USA: new title)

Act of Violence (1948) 7.3/10 (443 votes)

Affair in Havana (1957) 5.3/10 (25 votes)

Affair in Trinidad (1952) 6.3/10 (235 votes)

Amantes, Los (1951) 6.0/10 (6 votes)
…aka Lovers, The (1951) (International: English title)

Among the Living (1941) 6.7/10 (49 votes)

Angel Face (1952) 7.3/10 (844 votes)

Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) 7.9/10 (4151 votes)

Apology for Murder (1945) 6.2/10 (16 votes)

Appointment with Danger (1951) 6.7/10 (98 votes)

Armored Car Robbery (1950) 6.8/10 (285 votes)
…aka Armoured Car Robbery (1950) (UK)

Asphalt Jungle, The (1950) 7.8/10 (4436 votes)

Assigned to Danger (1948) 6.8/10 (6 votes)

Baby Face Nelson (1957) 6.2/10 (87 votes)

Backfire (1950) 6.0/10 (37 votes)

Backlash (1947) 6.3/10 (19 votes)

Beast of the City, The (1932) 7.1/10 (173 votes)

Behind Locked Doors (1948) 6.2/10 (102 votes)
…aka Hinter verschlossenen Türen (1948)
…aka Human Gorilla, The (1948) (USA: reissue title)

Berlin Express (1948) 6.9/10 (349 votes)

Between Midnight and Dawn (1950) 6.3/10 (44 votes)

Beware, My Lovely (1952) 6.3/10 (271 votes)

Bewitched (1945) 5.5/10 (99 votes)

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) 6.8/10 (548 votes)

Beyond the Forest (1949) 6.7/10 (436 votes)

Big Clock, The (1948) 7.8/10 (1021 votes)

Big Combo, The (1955) 7.5/10 (766 votes)

Big Heat, The (1953) 7.9/10 (2944 votes)

Big Knife, The (1955) 7.0/10 (440 votes)

Big Night, The (1951) 6.2/10 (58 votes)

Big Sleep, The (1946) 8.3/10 (15886 votes)

Big Steal, The (1949) 7.1/10 (538 votes)

Black Angel (1946) 7.1/10 (355 votes)
…aka Black Angel, The (1946) (USA: copyright title)

Black Hand (1950) 5.8/10 (158 votes)

Black Tuesday (1954) 7.3/10 (41 votes)

Blackmail (1947) 6.5/10 (13 votes)

Blind Spot (1947) 7.0/10 (18 votes)

Blonde Ice (1948) 6.2/10 (70 votes)

Blue Dahlia, The (1946) 7.3/10 (891 votes)

Blue Gardenia, The (1953) 6.8/10 (615 votes)

Blueprint for Murder, A (1953) 6.5/10 (95 votes)

Body and Soul (1947) 8.0/10 (803 votes)
…aka Affair of the Heart, An (1947)

Bodyguard (1948) 6.2/10 (100 votes)

Bonnie Parker Story, The (1958) 5.4/10 (86 votes)

Boomerang! (1947) 7.6/10 (389 votes)

Border Incident (1949) 7.0/10 (267 votes)

Bordertown (1935) 6.8/10 (326 votes)

Born to Be Bad (1950) 6.3/10 (255 votes)

Born to Kill (1947) 7.3/10 (617 votes)
…aka Lady of Deceit (1947) (UK)

Brasher Doubloon, The (1947) 7.1/10 (58 votes)
…aka High Window, The (1947) (UK)

Breakdown (1952) 7.5/10 (5 votes)

Breaking Point, The (1950) 7.4/10 (192 votes)

Bribe, The (1949) 6.4/10 (202 votes)

Brothers Rico, The (1957) 6.7/10 (40 votes)

Brute Force (1947) 7.7/10 (713 votes)

Bullet for Joey, A (1955) 5.7/10 (95 votes)

Burglar, The (1957) 7.0/10 (77 votes)

C-Man (1949) 6.3/10 (20 votes)

Calcutta (1947) 6.8/10 (55 votes)

Call Northside 777 (1948) 7.4/10 (1368 votes)
…aka Calling Northside 777 (1948)

Captive City, The (1952) 6.7/10 (71 votes)

Caught (1949) 7.2/10 (399 votes)

Cause for Alarm! (1951) 6.3/10 (283 votes)

Champion (1949) 7.6/10 (635 votes)

Chase, The (1946) 6.6/10 (112 votes)

Chicago Confidential (1957) 6.3/10 (53 votes)

Chicago Deadline (1949) 5.7/10 (40 votes)

Christmas Holiday (1944) 6.6/10 (148 votes)

City for Conquest (1940) 7.3/10 (342 votes)

City of Chance (1940)

City Streets (1931) 7.0/10 (104 votes)

City That Never Sleeps (1953) 6.7/10 (97 votes)

Clash by Night (1952) 7.0/10 (974 votes)

Clay Pigeon, The (1949) 6.5/10 (84 votes)

Conflict (1945) 6.9/10 (375 votes)

Convicted (1950) 6.8/10 (52 votes)

Cornered (1945) 6.6/10 (192 votes)

Crack-Up (1946) 6.3/10 (191 votes)

Crashout (1955) 6.5/10 (40 votes)

Crime Against Joe (1956) 6.0/10 (10 votes)

Crime of Passion (1957) 6.3/10 (200 votes)

Crime Wave (1954) 7.5/10 (123 votes)
…aka City Is Dark, The (1954) (UK)

Criss Cross (1949) 7.4/10 (843 votes)

Crooked Way, The (1949) 7.6/10 (44 votes)

Crossfire (1947) 7.5/10 (1113 votes)

Cry Danger (1951) 7.1/10 (218 votes)

Cry in the Night, A (1956) 5.8/10 (40 votes)

Cry of the City (1948) 7.1/10 (193 votes)

Cry of the Hunted (1953) 6.6/10 (33 votes)

Cry Terror! (1958) 6.4/10 (199 votes)

Cry Vengeance (1954) 6.9/10 (25 votes)

D.O.A. (1950) 7.4/10 (2147 votes)

Damned Don’t Cry, The (1950) 7.1/10 (299 votes)

Danger Signal (1945) 6.9/10 (99 votes)

Dark City (1950) 6.6/10 (184 votes)

Dark Corner, The (1946) 7.2/10 (535 votes)

Dark Mirror, The (1946) 7.0/10 (425 votes)

Dark Passage (1947) 7.4/10 (2730 votes)

Dark Past, The (1948) 6.5/10 (104 votes)

Dark Waters (1944) 6.3/10 (104 votes)

Dead Reckoning (1947) 7.1/10 (836 votes)

Deadline at Dawn (1946) 6.9/10 (163 votes)

Deadly Is the Female (1950) 7.8/10 (1424 votes)
…aka Gun Crazy (1950) (USA: new title)

Deception (1946) 7.2/10 (436 votes)

Decoy (1946) 7.7/10 (35 votes)

Desert Fury (1947) 7.0/10 (122 votes)

Desperate (1947) 6.9/10 (259 votes)

Desperate Hours, The (1955) 7.6/10 (1855 votes)

Destination Murder (1950) 5.5/10 (111 votes)

Detective Story (1951) 7.6/10 (971 votes)
…aka Detective Story, The (1951) (Australia: TV title)

Detour (1945) 7.3/10 (2085 votes)

Devil Thumbs a Ride, The (1947) 7.2/10 (162 votes)

Double Indemnity (1944) 8.5/10 (18894 votes)

Double Life, A (1947) 7.2/10 (584 votes)

Drive a Crooked Road (1954) 6.0/10 (67 votes)

Du rififi chez les hommes (1955) 8.3/10 (3520 votes)
…aka Rififi (1955) (UK) (USA)

Due verità, Le (1951) 5.5/10 (5 votes)
…aka Deux vérités, Les (1951) (France)
…aka Temptress, The (1951) (USA)
…aka Two Truths, The (1951) (International: English title: informal literal English title)

Edge of Doom (1950) 6.6/10 (48 votes)
…aka Stronger Than Fear (1950) (UK)

Edge of the City (1957) 7.0/10 (379 votes)
…aka Man Is Ten Feet Tall, A (1957) (UK)

Enforcer, The (1951) 7.4/10 (689 votes)
…aka Murder, Inc. (1951) (UK)

Escape in the Fog (1945) 6.1/10 (47 votes)

Fall Guy (1947) 6.7/10 (12 votes)

Fallen Angel (1945) 7.1/10 (413 votes)

Fallen Sparrow, The (1943) 6.6/10 (173 votes)

Fear (1946) 6.0/10 (42 votes)
…aka Black Tower (1950) (USA: reissue title)

Fear in the Night (1947) 6.8/10 (150 votes)

Female Jungle (1955) 5.1/10 (72 votes)
…aka Hangover, The (1955)

File on Thelma Jordon, The (1950) 7.1/10 (191 votes)
…aka Thelma Jordon (1950)

Finger Man (1955) 6.5/10 (29 votes)

Fingers at the Window (1942) 6.1/10 (101 votes)

Follow Me Quietly (1949) 6.5/10 (210 votes)

For You I Die (1947)

Force of Evil (1948) 7.5/10 (983 votes)

Fourteen Hours (1951) 7.3/10 (291 votes)

Framed (1947) 7.0/10 (71 votes)
…aka Paula (1947) (UK)

Gangster, The (1947) 6.1/10 (46 votes)
…aka Low Company (1951) (USA: reissue title)

Garment Jungle, The (1957) 6.6/10 (43 votes)

Ghost Ship, The (1943) 6.5/10 (510 votes)

Gilda (1946) 7.7/10 (4826 votes)

Girl in 313 (1940) 7.4/10 (9 votes)

Girl in Black Stockings, The (1957) 5.8/10 (86 votes)
…aka Black Stockings (1957) (USA)
…aka Wanton Murder (1957) (USA)

Glass Key, The (1935) 6.7/10 (50 votes)

Glass Key, The (1942) 7.3/10 (633 votes)

Grand Central Murder (1942) 6.5/10 (142 votes)

Guest in the House (1944) 6.2/10 (52 votes)
…aka Satan in Skirts (1952) (USA: reissue title)

Guilty Bystander (1950) 6.4/10 (16 votes)

Guilty, The (1947) 7.7/10 (13 votes)

Harder They Fall, The (1956) 7.5/10 (1105 votes)

He Ran All the Way (1951) 7.1/10 (226 votes)

He Walked by Night (1948) 7.4/10 (691 votes)

Hell’s Half Acre (1954) 6.3/10 (33 votes)

Hell’s Island (1955) 5.5/10 (20 votes)
…aka South Sea Fury (1962) (USA: reissue title)

High Sierra (1941) 7.6/10 (2730 votes)

High Wall (1947) 6.9/10 (188 votes)

Hipócrita (1949) 6.8/10 (14 votes)

His Kind of Woman (1951) 7.3/10 (582 votes)

Hit and Run (1957) 4.7/10 (17 votes)

Hitch-Hiker, The (1953) 7.1/10 (689 votes)

Hollow Triumph (1948) 6.4/10 (188 votes)
…aka Scar, The (1948) (UK)

Hoodlum Empire (1952) 5.5/10 (29 votes)

House by the River (1950) 7.3/10 (233 votes)

House of Bamboo (1955) 6.6/10 (465 votes)

House of Numbers (1957) 6.3/10 (86 votes)

House of Strangers (1949) 7.3/10 (313 votes)

House on 92nd Street, The (1945) 7.0/10 (378 votes)

House on Telegraph Hill, The (1951) 6.9/10 (216 votes)

Human Desire (1954) 7.1/10 (379 votes)

Humoresque (1946) 7.3/10 (635 votes)

Hunt the Man Down (1950) 6.7/10 (64 votes)
…aka Seven Witnesses (1950) (USA)

Hunted, The (1948) 8.1/10 (11 votes)

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) 8.3/10 (2211 votes)
…aka I Am a Fugitive (1932)
…aka I Am a Fugitive from the Chain Gang (1932)

I Died a Thousand Times (1955) 6.4/10 (118 votes)

I Love Trouble (1948) 7.4/10 (15 votes)

I Married a Communist (1949) 5.3/10 (169 votes)
…aka Woman on Pier 13, The (1949) (UK)

I Wake Up Screaming (1941) 7.4/10 (464 votes)

I Walk Alone (1948) 7.0/10 (204 votes)

I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951) 5.7/10 (82 votes)

I Wouldn’t Be in Your Shoes (1948) 7.7/10 (32 votes)

I, the Jury (1953) 6.0/10 (41 votes)

Illegal (1955) 6.7/10 (52 votes)

Impact (1949) 7.0/10 (378 votes)

In a Lonely Place (1950) 7.9/10 (2681 votes)

Intrigue (1947) 5.6/10 (38 votes)

Jail Bait (1954) 2.1/10 (548 votes)
…aka Hidden Face (1954)

Jealousy (1945) 6.2/10 (7 votes)

Jeopardy (1953) 6.5/10 (193 votes)

Jigsaw (1949) 6.4/10 (97 votes)
…aka Gun Moll (1952) (USA: reissue title)

Johnny Angel (1945) 6.5/10 (130 votes)

Johnny Eager (1942) 6.9/10 (411 votes)

Johnny O’Clock (1947) 6.9/10 (121 votes)

Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949) 6.5/10 (51 votes)

Journey Into Fear (1943) 6.7/10 (617 votes)

Jusqu’au dernier (1957) 7.2/10 (6 votes)
…aka Fino all’ultimo (1958) (Italy)
…aka Until the Last One (1957) (International: English title)

Kansas City Confidential (1952) 7.5/10 (490 votes)
…aka Secret Four, The (1952) (UK)

Key Largo (1948) 8.0/10 (8664 votes)

Killer Is Loose, The (1956) 6.7/10 (159 votes)

Killer That Stalked New York, The (1950) 6.2/10 (49 votes)
…aka Frightened City (1950) (Philippines: English title) (UK) (USA: copyright title)

Killer’s Kiss (1955) 6.7/10 (3254 votes)

Killers, The (1946) 7.9/10 (2633 votes)
…aka Ernest Hemingway’s The Killers (1946) (USA: complete title)
…aka Man Alone, A (1946)

Killing, The (1956) 8.2/10 (11904 votes)

King Creole (1958) 6.6/10 (1033 votes)

Kiss Before Dying, A (1956) 6.8/10 (439 votes)

Kiss Me Deadly (1955) 7.6/10 (3175 votes)
…aka Mickey Spillane’s Kiss Me Deadly (1955) (USA)

Kiss of Death (1947) 7.7/10 (1017 votes)

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948) 6.2/10 (99 votes)
…aka Blood on My Hands (1948) (UK)

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950) 7.1/10 (259 votes)

Knock on Any Door (1949) 6.6/10 (708 votes)

Lady from Shanghai, The (1947) 7.7/10 (4000 votes)

Lady in the Death House (1944) 5.2/10 (21 votes)

Lady in the Lake (1947) 6.6/10 (707 votes)

Lady on a Train (1945) 6.8/10 (193 votes)

Lady Without Passport, A (1950) 6.0/10 (106 votes)

Las Vegas Story, The (1952) 6.2/10 (112 votes)

Laura (1944) 8.0/10 (7537 votes)

Leave Her to Heaven (1945) 7.5/10 (1173 votes)

Letter, The (1940) 7.7/10 (1927 votes)

Lie, The (1954) (TV)

Lineup, The (1958) 7.3/10 (128 votes)

Loan Shark (1952) 7.1/10 (33 votes)

Locket, The (1946) 7.1/10 (257 votes)

Lonelyhearts (1958) 6.7/10 (190 votes)
…aka Miss Lonelyheart (1958)

Long Night, The (1947) 6.8/10 (141 votes)

Long Wait, The (1954) 7.1/10 (20 votes)

Loophole (1954) 6.6/10 (10 votes)

Lured (1947) 6.9/10 (241 votes)
…aka Personal Column (1947) (UK)

M (1931) 8.5/10 (20538 votes)
…aka Fritz Lang’s M (1931) (Australia)
…aka M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder (1931) (Germany)
…aka Murderers Among Us (1931)

M (1951) 6.9/10 (117 votes)

Macao (1952) 6.4/10 (417 votes)

Make Haste to Live (1954) 6.1/10 (21 votes)

Maltese Falcon, The (1941) 8.4/10 (29775 votes)

Man I Love, The (1947) 6.7/10 (114 votes)

Man in the Vault (1956) 5.3/10 (49 votes)

Man Who Cheated Himself, The (1950) 7.3/10 (85 votes)

Man Who Wouldn’t Talk, The (1958) 6.1/10 (9 votes)

Man with My Face (1951) 6.2/10 (27 votes)

Manhandled (1949) 6.8/10 (34 votes)

Mask of Dimitrios, The (1944) 7.4/10 (529 votes)

Medium, The (1951) 6.2/10 (23 votes)
…aka Medium, Il (1951) (Italy)

Midnight (1934) 5.8/10 (211 votes)
…aka Call It Murder (1934) (USA: reissue title)

Midnight Story, The (1957) 6.9/10 (70 votes)
…aka Appointment with a Shadow (1957/II) (UK)

Mildred Pierce (1945) 7.6/10 (3871 votes)

Ministry of Fear (1944) 7.2/10 (673 votes)

Mob, The (1951) 6.6/10 (58 votes)
…aka Remember That Face (1951) (UK)

Monster and the Girl, The (1941) 6.0/10 (51 votes)
…aka Avenging Brain, The (1941)
…aka D.O.A. (1941)

Moonrise (1948) 7.4/10 (147 votes)

Murder by Contract (1958) 7.1/10 (103 votes)

Murder Is My Beat (1955) 5.3/10 (27 votes)
…aka Dynamite Anchorage (1955)

Murder, My Sweet (1944) 7.6/10 (1782 votes)
…aka Farewell My Lovely (1944) (UK)

My Name Is Julia Ross (1945) 7.7/10 (113 votes)

Mystery Street (1950) 6.8/10 (242 votes)
…aka Murder at Harvard (1950)

Naked Alibi (1954) 6.4/10 (51 votes)

Naked City, The (1948) 7.6/10 (1063 votes)

Naked Street, The (1955) 5.9/10 (40 votes)
…aka Brass Ring, The (1955) (USA)

Narrow Margin, The (1952) 7.9/10 (960 votes)

New York Confidential (1955) 7.0/10 (22 votes)

Niagara (1953) 7.0/10 (2391 votes)

Night and the City (1950) 8.0/10 (1019 votes)

Night Editor (1946) 7.6/10 (23 votes)
…aka Trespasser, The (1946) (UK)

Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948) 7.1/10 (184 votes)

Night Holds Terror, The (1955) 6.2/10 (28 votes)

Night of the Hunter, The (1955) 8.1/10 (12496 votes)

Night Runner, The (1957) 6.1/10 (9 votes)

Night Without Sleep (1952) 6.3/10 (11 votes)

Nightfall (1957) 6.9/10 (157 votes)

Nightmare (1956) 6.1/10 (138 votes)

Nightmare Alley (1947) 8.1/10 (968 votes)

No Escape (1953) 6.1/10 (22 votes)
…aka City on a Hunt (1953) (USA: reissue title)

No Man of Her Own (1950) 7.6/10 (198 votes)

No Questions Asked (1951) 6.2/10 (41 votes)

No Way Out (1950) 7.4/10 (511 votes)

Nobody Lives Forever (1946) 7.0/10 (157 votes)

Nocturne (1946) 6.9/10 (148 votes)

Nora Prentiss (1947) 7.0/10 (199 votes)

Notorious (1946) 8.3/10 (16765 votes)
…aka Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946)

On Dangerous Ground (1952) 7.2/10 (724 votes)

Once a Thief (1950) 6.8/10 (7 votes)

One Way Street (1950) 6.7/10 (14 votes)

Ossessione (1943) 7.9/10 (1044 votes)

Other Woman, The (1954) 6.1/10 (9 votes)

Out of the Fog (1941) 6.8/10 (204 votes)

Out of the Past (1947) 8.2/10 (4954 votes)
…aka Build My Gallows High (1947) (UK)

Panic in the Streets (1950) 7.3/10 (944 votes)

Parole, Inc. (1948) 4.6/10 (19 votes)

Party Girl (1958) 7.1/10 (371 votes)

People Against O’Hara, The (1951) 6.6/10 (200 votes)

Phantom Lady (1944) 7.5/10 (492 votes)

Phenix City Story, The (1955) 7.4/10 (165 votes)

Pickup (1951) 5.7/10 (22 votes)

Pickup on South Street (1953) 7.9/10 (1579 votes)

Pitfall (1948) 7.7/10 (98 votes)

Plunder Road (1957) 6.5/10 (33 votes)

Port of New York (1949) 6.3/10 (105 votes)

Possessed (1947) 7.2/10 (538 votes)

Postman Always Rings Twice, The (1946) 7.5/10 (3500 votes)

Pretender, The (1947) 6.6/10 (10 votes)

Price of Fear, The (1956) 6.0/10 (22 votes)
…aka Cry Innocent (1956)

Private Hell 36 (1954) 6.3/10 (128 votes)
…aka Baby Face Killers (1954) (USA: reissue title)

Prowler, The (1951) 7.0/10 (75 votes)

Pushover (1954) 6.6/10 (193 votes)

Quicksand (1950) 6.4/10 (306 votes)

Racket, The (1928) 7.1/10 (103 votes)

Racket, The (1951) 6.8/10 (360 votes)

Raging Tide, The (1951) 7.3/10 (14 votes)

Railroaded! (1947) 6.7/10 (247 votes)

Raw Deal (1948) 7.5/10 (406 votes)

Reckless Moment, The (1949) 7.3/10 (330 votes)

Red House, The (1947) 7.0/10 (461 votes)
…aka No Trespassing (1947)

Red Light (1949) 6.6/10 (25 votes)

Reign of Terror (1949) 7.2/10 (143 votes)
…aka Black Book, The (1949) (UK)

Revolt in the Big House (1958) 6.0/10 (11 votes)

Ride the Pink Horse (1947) 7.5/10 (377 votes)

Rinchi (1949)

Rio (1939) 7.0/10 (8 votes)

Road House (1948) 7.3/10 (286 votes)

Roadblock (1951) 6.5/10 (156 votes)

Roaring Twenties, The (1939) 7.9/10 (1866 votes)

Rogue Cop (1954) 6.8/10 (222 votes)

Ruthless (1948) 7.0/10 (97 votes)

Scandal Sheet (1952) 7.3/10 (90 votes)
…aka Dark Page, The (1952) (UK)

Scarf, The (1951) 6.5/10 (43 votes)
…aka Dungeon, The (1951)

Scarface (1932) 8.0/10 (4352 votes)
…aka Scarface, the Shame of the Nation (1932)
…aka Shame of a Nation, The (1932)

Scarlet Street (1945) 7.8/10 (1658 votes)

Scene of the Crime (1949) 6.5/10 (112 votes)

Scoundrel, The (1935) 6.4/10 (41 votes)

Screaming Mimi (1958) 5.8/10 (56 votes)

Sealed Lips (1941) 7.1/10 (5 votes)

Second Chance (1953) 5.9/10 (175 votes)

Second Woman, The (1951) 6.0/10 (125 votes)
…aka Ellen (1951) (UK)
…aka Here Lies Love (1951)
…aka Twelve Miles Out (1951)

Secret Beyond the Door… (1948) 6.9/10 (473 votes)

Secret Fury, The (1950) 6.7/10 (142 votes)

Sensualidad (1951) 7.7/10 (14 votes)

Serpiente roja, La (1937)

Set-Up, The (1949) 8.0/10 (1377 votes)

Shadow of a Doubt (1943) 8.2/10 (9910 votes)

Shadow of a Woman (1946) 6.2/10 (65 votes)

Shadow on the Wall (1950) 6.5/10 (113 votes)

Shakedown (1950) 7.4/10 (29 votes)

Shanghai Gesture, The (1941) 6.6/10 (420 votes)

Shield for Murder (1954) 6.3/10 (79 votes)

Shock (1946) 6.3/10 (231 votes)

Shockproof (1949) 6.4/10 (53 votes)

Shoot to Kill (1947) 6.2/10 (38 votes)

Side Street (1950) 7.0/10 (218 votes)

Sleep, My Love (1948) 6.9/10 (131 votes)

Sleeping City, The (1950) 7.1/10 (44 votes)
…aka Web of the City (1950)

Slightly Scarlet (1956) 6.4/10 (142 votes)

Small Back Room, The (1949) 7.5/10 (177 votes)
…aka Hour of Glory (1952) (USA)

Sniper, The (1952) 7.2/10 (240 votes)

So Dark the Night (1946) 6.7/10 (25 votes)

Somewhere in the Night (1946) 7.2/10 (282 votes)

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) 7.5/10 (1740 votes)

Sound of Fury, The (1950) 7.2/10 (79 votes)
…aka Try and Get Me (1951) (USA: reissue title)

Southside 1-1000 (1950) 5.8/10 (20 votes)
…aka Forgery (1950) (UK)
…aka Union 1-1000 (1950) (USA)

Split Second (1953) 6.7/10 (183 votes)

Storm Fear (1955) 6.9/10 (45 votes)

Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The (1945) 6.8/10 (88 votes)
…aka Guilty of Murder? (1945) (USA: reissue title)
…aka Uncle Harry (1945) (UK)

Strange Fascination (1952) 5.0/10 (13 votes)

Strange Illusion (1945) 6.3/10 (123 votes)

Strange Love of Martha Ivers, The (1946) 7.5/10 (1098 votes)

Strange Triangle (1946) 8.5/10 (13 votes)
…aka Strange Alibi (1946)

Strange Woman, The (1946) 6.2/10 (140 votes)

Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) 6.8/10 (368 votes)

Stranger, The (1946) 7.5/10 (2852 votes)

Strangers on a Train (1951) 8.3/10 (17468 votes)

Street of Chance (1942) 7.2/10 (24 votes)

Street with No Name, The (1948) 7.3/10 (413 votes)

Strip, The (1951) 6.0/10 (87 votes)

Sudden Danger (1955) 6.0/10 (11 votes)
…aka Calculated Risk (1955) (USA)

Sudden Fear (1952) 7.6/10 (612 votes)

Suddenly (1954) 7.0/10 (1111 votes)

Sun Sets at Dawn, The (1950) 6.2/10 (7 votes)

Sunset Blvd. (1950) 8.6/10 (27458 votes)

Suspense (1946) 6.9/10 (12 votes)

Suspicion (1941) 7.6/10 (5365 votes)

Sweet Smell of Success (1957) 8.2/10 (4028 votes)

System, The (1953)

T-Men (1947) 7.2/10 (454 votes)

Talk About a Stranger (1952) 6.7/10 (69 votes)
…aka Enemy, The (1952/I) (USA)

Tattered Dress, The (1957) 6.8/10 (38 votes)

Tattooed Stranger, The (1950) 6.5/10 (91 votes)

Teenage Doll (1957) 3.9/10 (51 votes)
…aka Young Rebels, The (1957/I) (USA: TV title)

Tension (1950) 7.0/10 (240 votes)

They Drive by Night (1940) 7.2/10 (1221 votes)
…aka Road to Frisco, The (1940) (UK)

They Live by Night (1948) 7.6/10 (693 votes)
…aka Twisted Road, The (1948) (UK)

They Made Me a Killer (1946) 7.0/10 (11 votes)

They Won’t Believe Me (1947) 7.2/10 (283 votes)

Thief, The (1952) 6.8/10 (92 votes)

Thieves’ Highway (1949) 7.7/10 (519 votes)

Third Man, The (1949) 8.5/10 (28748 votes)
…aka 3rd Man, The (1950) (USA: poster title)

This Gun for Hire (1942) 7.8/10 (1030 votes)

This Side of the Law (1950) 6.1/10 (17 votes)

Threat, The (1949) 6.9/10 (82 votes)

Thunderbolt (1929) 6.7/10 (52 votes)

Tight Spot (1955) 6.5/10 (160 votes)

Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951) 7.7/10 (44 votes)

Tomorrow Is Forever (1946) 7.4/10 (461 votes)

Too Late for Tears (1949) 7.2/10 (296 votes)
…aka Killer Bait (1955) (USA: reissue title)

Touch of Evil (1958) 8.4/10 (17934 votes)

Trap, The (1959) 7.0/10 (49 votes)
…aka Baited Trap, The (1959) (UK)

Trapped (1949) 6.6/10 (92 votes)

Turning Point, The (1952) 6.6/10 (106 votes)

Two Mrs. Carrolls, The (1947) 6.4/10 (541 votes)

Two of a Kind (1951) 6.4/10 (15 votes)

Under the Gun (1951) 7.4/10 (16 votes)

Undercover Man, The (1949) 7.0/10 (85 votes)

Undercurrent (1946) 6.2/10 (449 votes)

Undertow (1949) 7.1/10 (31 votes)

Underworld Story, The (1950) 7.0/10 (38 votes)

Unfaithful, The (1947) 7.0/10 (105 votes)

Union Station (1950) 6.8/10 (200 votes)

Unknown Man, The (1951) 6.5/10 (67 votes)
…aka Bradley Mason Story, The (1951) (USA)

Unsuspected, The (1947) 7.2/10 (295 votes)

Verdict, The (1946) 7.1/10 (275 votes)

Vicki (1953) 6.5/10 (84 votes)

Walk a Crooked Mile (1948) 5.4/10 (36 votes)

Walk Softly, Stranger (1950) 6.4/10 (104 votes)

Web, The (1947) 7.1/10 (100 votes)

Well, The (1951) 7.9/10 (80 votes)

When Strangers Marry (1944) 6.7/10 (108 votes)
…aka Betrayed (1944) (USA: reissue title)

Where Danger Lives (1950) 6.1/10 (201 votes)

Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) 7.7/10 (655 votes)

While the City Sleeps (1956) 7.0/10 (673 votes)

Whiplash (1948) 6.1/10 (39 votes)

Whirlpool (1949) 6.8/10 (401 votes)

Whistle Stop (1946) 5.9/10 (120 votes)

White Heat (1949) 8.1/10 (5148 votes)

Window, The (1949) 7.5/10 (444 votes)

Without Warning! (1952) 6.8/10 (47 votes)
…aka Story Without a Name, The (1952)
…aka Without Warning (1952) (USA: poster title)

Witness to Murder (1954) 6.9/10 (243 votes)

Woman in Hiding (1950) 7.0/10 (58 votes)

Woman in the Window, The (1944) 7.8/10 (1346 votes)

Woman on the Beach, The (1947) 6.6/10 (244 votes)

Woman on the Run (1950) 7.5/10 (92 votes)

Woman’s Secret, A (1949) 6.2/10 (153 votes)

World for Ransom (1954) 5.3/10 (43 votes)

Wrong Man, The (1956) 7.4/10 (3467 votes)

You Only Live Once (1937) 7.4/10 (669 votes)

Film Noir Scripts on the Web

Film Noir Scripts:

Casablanca (1942)

Citizen Kane (1940)

Notorious (1946)

To Have and Have Not (1944)

Double Indemnity (Undated Draft) by James M. Cain,Billy Wilder,Raymond Chandler

Strangers on a Train (1950-10 Draft) by Raymond Chandler,Czenzi Ormonde

Sunset Boulevard (1949-50 Draft) by Charles Brackett,Billy Wilder,D.M. Harshman Jr.

Sweet Smell of Success (Undated Draft) Written by Ernest Lehman,Clifford Odets

The Big Sleep by William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, Jules Furthman (from the novel by Raymond Chandler)1944 draft script in pdf format

Call Northside 777 (part 1) Call Northside 777 (part 2) by Jay DratlerSeptember 13, 1947 revised final shooting draft script in pdf format

Double Indemnity by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler undated, unspecified draft script in text format

Killer’s Kiss by Stanley Kubrick and Howard Sackler partial script in html format

The Lost Weekend by Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder undated, unspecified draft script in text

The Maltese Falcon by John Huston (from the novel by Dashiell Hammett)1941 final remake script in pdf format

Naked City by Albert Maltz and Malvin Wald (story by Malvin Wald)1948 shooting draft script in text format

The Night of the Hunter by James Agee, David Grubb & Charles Laughtonundated, unspecified draft script in text format

Playback by Raymond ChandlerMarch 24, 1949 final draft unproduced script in html format

The Third Man by Graham Green, Alexander Korda & Orson Wellesundated, unspecified draft script in html format

The Best Film Noir Trailers on DVD (2000 120mins)

The Best Of Film Noir DVD

From All Movie Guide:

“The films about the tough guys and the femme fatales. Films like The Maltese Falcon. Kiss Me Deadly, Double Indemnity, This Gun for Hire, Mildred Pierce, DOA, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Bad and the Beautiful, Detour, Touch of Evil, Out ot the Past, including the original coming attraction trailers for Rear Window, Notoruius, and Vertigo. Stars such as Robert Mitchum, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bsrbara Stanwyck, Cary Grant, John Garfield, Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Lee Marving, Orson Welles, Charlton Heston, Ingrid Bergman, Fred MacMurray, Alan Ladd, Jane Greer, Ralph Meeker, and Cloris Leachmand.”

Buy from NY Times Amazon