• Entertainment

The Best Film Noir Movies

List RulesVote up your favorite noir films of all time.

A list of the best film noir movies. While not every film noir is on this list, the best film noir titles are here. If you believe we missed one of the film noir classics, though, feel free to add it to the list of the best film noir titles yourself. Film Noir began in the 1940's and continued into the 1950's. Today we have neo-noir.

What are the best film noir movies? Borrowing high contrast cinematography from Germany, film noir based its storytelling on characters who were ultimately doomed. Film noir filmmakers were also masters of skirting the Hays Code (censorship in the name of decency) through the use of implication, subtext, and suggestive dialogue in their film noir classics. Today, Film Noir is easily one of the most resilient genres to survive the Hays Code, with films that still stand up to today's modern films.

Photo:
  • Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall
    341
    61

    Released1946

    Directed byHoward Hawks

    Private investigator Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) is hired by General Sternwood to help resolve the gambling debts of his wild young daughter, Carmen (Martha Vickers). Sternwood's older daughter,  ...more

    More The Big Sleep 

    #18 of 198 The Best Mystery Movies#39 of 56 The Best Romance Movies Of The 1940s#52 of 98 The Best (And Most) Los Angeles Movies

  • Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer
    351
    93

    Released1947

    Directed byJacques Tourneur

    Released: 1947
    The quiet life of small-town gas station owner Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) is interrupted when a figure from his shady past, small-time crook Joe Stephanos (Paul Valentine), recognizes him.  ...more
  • Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre
    407
    117

    Released1941

    Directed byJohn Huston

    Released: 1941
    The Maltese Falcon is a 1941 Warner Bros. film noir based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. Directed by John Huston, the film stars Humphrey Bogart as private investigator Sam Spade  ...more
  • Dick Powell, Claire Trevor
    207
    43

    Released1944

    Directed byEdward Dmytryk

    Gumshoe Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) is hired by the oafish Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) to track down his former girlfriend. He's also hired to accompany an effeminate playboy buy back some jewels.  ...more
  • Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews
    250
    69

    Released1944

    Directed byOtto Preminger

    Released: 1944
    In one of the most celebrated 1940s film noirs, Manhattan detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) investigates the murder of Madison Avenue executive Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney) in her fashionable  ...more
  • Sterling Hayden, Sam Jaffe
    259
    70

    Released1950

    Directed byJohn Huston

    Released: 1950
    Recently released from prison, Dix Handley (Sterling Hayden) concocts a plan to steal $1 million in jewels. Dix gathers a team of small-time crooks, including a safecracker (Anthony Caruso) and a  ...more
  • Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner
    237
    65

    Released1946

    Directed byRobert Siodmak

    Released: 1946
    Two hit men walk into a diner asking for a man called "the Swede" (Burt Lancaster). When the killers find the Swede, he's expecting them and doesn't put up a fight. Since the Swede had a life  ...more
  • Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame
    284
    75

    Released1950

    Directed byNicholas Ray

    Released: 1950
    In a Lonely Place is a 1950 film noir directed by Nicholas Ray, and starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, produced for Bogart's Santana Productions. The script was adapted by Edmund North from  ...more

    More In a Lonely Place 

    #241 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#6 of 36 The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked#61 of 117 The Best Classic Thriller Movies

  • Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten
    323
    107

    Released1949

    Directed byCarol Reed

    Released: 1949
    Set in postwar Vienna, Austria, "The Third Man" stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, who arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime (Orson Welles), only  ...more
  • Tom Neal, Ann Savage
    223
    64

    Released1945

    Directed byEdgar G. Ulmer

    In New York, piano player Al Roberts (Tom Neal) laments when his singer girlfriend, Sue Harvey (Claudia Drake), leaves for Hollywood, Calif. When Al gets some money, he decides to hitchhike to  ...more
  • Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker
    218
    67

    Released1955

    Directed byRobert Aldrich

    Released: 1955
    One evening, private detective Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) picks up a strange woman, Christina (Cloris Leachman), who's standing on the highway wearing only a trench coat. They're stopped farther on  ...more
  • Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray
    246
    70

    Released1956

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    Released: 1956
    This film is a 1956 film noir produced by James B. Harris and directed by Stanley Kubrick. It was written by Kubrick and Jim Thompson and based on the novel Clean Break by Lionel White. The drama  ...more
  • Lana Turner, John Garfield
    181
    51

    Released1946

    Directed byTay Garnett

    Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway), a middle-aged roadside diner owner, hires a drifter, Frank Chambers (John Garfield), to work at his restaurant. Frank quickly begins an affair with Nick's beautiful young  ...more
  • Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett
    159
    39

    Released1945

    Directed byFritz Lang

    Released: 1945
    Cashier and part-time starving artist Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson) is absolutely smitten with the beautiful Kitty March (Joan Bennett). Kitty plays along, but she's really only interested  ...more
  • James Stewart, Kim Novak
    276
    90

    Released1958

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Vertigo is a 1958 American psychological thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. The story was based on the 1954 novel D'entre les morts by Boileau-Narcejac. The screenplay was  ...more
  • Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell
    185
    45

    Released1947

    Directed byEdmund Goulding

    Released: 1947
    Roustabout Stanton Carlisle (Tyrone Power) joins a traveling carny and unsuccessfully schemes to figure out the mind-reading act of Mademoiselle Zeena (Joan Blondell) and her alcoholic husband, Pete  ...more
  • Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde
    169
    38

    Released1945

    Directed byJohn M. Stahl

    Released: 1945
    While on a train, writer Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) strikes up a relationship with the gorgeous Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney). Ellen quickly becomes obsessed with Richard and abandons her fiancé,  ...more
  • Alfred Hitchcock, Farley Granger
    260
    91

    Released1951

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Released: 1951
    Strangers on a Train is a 1951 American psychological thriller film noir produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and based on the 1950 novel Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. It was shot  ...more
  • Lee Marvin, Glenn Ford
    154
    50

    Released1953

    Directed byFritz Lang

    Released: 1953
    The Big Heat is a 1953 film noir directed by Fritz Lang, starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin. The film was written by former reporter Sydney Boehm, based on a serial by William P.  ...more
  • Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall
    87
    27

    Released1947

    Directed byDelmer Daves

    Vincent Parry (Humphrey Bogart) has just escaped from prison after being locked up for a crime he did not commit -- murdering his wife. On the outside, Vincent finds that his face is betraying him,  ...more
  • Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway
    333
    127

    Released1974

    Directed byRoman Polanski

    When Los Angeles private eye J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired by Evelyn Mulwray to investigate her husband's activities, he believes it's a routine infidelity case. Jake's investigation  ...more

    More Chinatown 

    #1046 of 1,436 The Most Rewatchable Movies#36 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars#37 of 552 The Best '70s Movies

  • Peggy Cummins, John Dall
    174
    61

    Released1950

    Directed byJoseph H. Lewis

    Released: 1950
    When gun-obsessed pacifist Bart Tare (John Dall) witnesses expert shooter Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins) demonstrate her firearm prowess at a carnival one night, it's love at first sight. Aimless  ...more
  • Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart
    30
    4

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's. The film stars Humphrey  ...more
  • Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford
    193
    65

    Released1946

    Directed byCharles Vidor

    Released: 1946
    Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is a small-time American gambler, newly arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When he is caught cheating at a game of blackjack, Farrell manages to talk his way into a job  ...more
  • Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson
    182
    70

    Released1948

    Directed byJohn Huston

    Released: 1948
    This classic film noir by John Huston stars Humphrey Bogart as World War II vet Frank McCloud. Visiting Key Largo to pay his respects to the family of his late war buddy, McCloud attempts to comfort  ...more
  • Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten
    180
    64

    Released1943

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Released: 1943
    Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) visits his relatives in Santa Rosa. He is a very charming man, but his niece slowly realizes that he is wanted for murder and he soon recognizes her suspicions. Although  ...more
  • Charlton Heston, Orson Welles
    223
    96

    Released1958

    Directed byOrson Welles

    Released: 1958
    When a car bomb explodes on the American side of the U.S./Mexico border, Mexican drug enforcement agent Miguel Vargas (Charlton Heston) begins his investigation, along with American police captain  ...more
  • Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine
    87
    26

    Released1940

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Story of a young woman who marries a fascinating widower only to find out that she must live in the shadow of his former wife, Rebecca, who died mysteriously several years earlier. The young wife  ...more
  • Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman
    155
    67

    Released1946

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Released: 1946
    In order to help bring Nazis to justice, U.S. government agent T.R. Devlin (Cary Grant) recruits Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman), the American daughter of a convicted German war criminal, as a spy.  ...more
  • James Cagney, Virginia Mayo
    115
    45

    Released1949

    Directed byRaoul Walsh

    Released: 1949
    Gang leader Cody Jarrett (James Cagney) lives for his mother, planning heists between horrible headaches. During a train robbery that goes wrong, Cody shoots an investigator. Realizing Cody will  ...more
  • Joan Crawford, Jack Carson
    123
    47

    Released1945

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Released: 1945
    When Mildred Pierce's (Joan Crawford) wealthy husband leaves her for another woman, Mildred decides to raise her two daughters on her own. Despite Mildred's financial successes in the restaurant  ...more
  • Richard Widmark, Jean Peters
    116
    40

    Released1953

    Directed bySamuel Fuller

    Released: 1953
    In New York City, an insolent pickpocket, Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark), inadvertently sets off a chain of events when he targets ex-prostitute Candy (Jean Peters) and steals her wallet. Unaware that  ...more
  • Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney
    89
    34

    Released1950

    Directed byJules Dassin

    Released: 1950
    Londoner Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) is a second-rate con man looking for an angle. After years of putting up with Harry's schemes, his girlfriend, Mary (Gene Tierney), becomes fed up when he taps  ...more
  • Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck
    376
    189

    Released1944

    Directed byBilly Wilder

    Released: 1944
    Double Indemnity is a 1944 film noir crime drama directed by Billy Wilder, co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, based on James M. Cain's 1943 novella of the same name, which originally appeared  ...more
  • Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen
    128
    58

    Released1931

    Directed byFritz Lang

    M is a 1931 German drama-thriller film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre. It was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou and was the director's first sound film. Now considered a  ...more
  • William Holden, Gloria Swanson
    330
    170

    Released1950

    Directed byBilly Wilder

    Released: 1950
    An aging silent film queen refuses to accept that her stardom has ended. She hires a young screenwriter to help set up her movie comeback. The screenwriter believes he can manipulate her, but he soon  ...more
  • Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd
    67
    27

    Released1946

    Directed byGeorge Marshall

    The Blue Dahlia is a 1946 film noir, directed by George Marshall and written by Raymond Chandler. The film marks the third pairing of stars Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake.  ...more
  • Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor
    135
    26

    Released1952

    Directed byRichard Fleischer

    Released: 1952
    Tense story of a tough cop attempting to transport the widow of a gangster to the trial in which she'll testify. They undertake a rail journey from Chicago to Los Angeles with their lives constantly  ...more
  • Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart
    113
    50

    Released1944

    Directed byHoward Hawks

    To Have and Have Not is a 1944 American romance-adventure film directed by Howard Hawks, and starring Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan and Lauren Bacall in her film debut. Although it is nominally  ...more
  • Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling
    80
    35

    Released1951

    Directed byBilly Wilder

    Released: 1951
    Ace in the Hole is a 1951 American film noir starring Kirk Douglas as a cynical, disgraced reporter who stops at nothing to try to regain a job on a major newspaper. It marked a series of firsts for  ...more
  • Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten
    162
    54

    Released1953

    Directed byHenry Hathaway

    Rose Loomis (Marilyn Monroe) and her older, gloomier husband, George (Joseph Cotten), are vacationing at a cabin in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The couple befriend Polly (Jean Peters) and Ray Cutler (Casey  ...more
  • Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney
    51
    17

    Released1950

    Directed byOtto Preminger

    Released: 1950
    Ashamed that his father lived a life of crime, hard-boiled New York City cop Mark Dixon (Dana Andrews) has a reputation for being too tough on criminals. So when Dixon unintentionally kills a murder  ...more
  • Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles
    96
    49

    Released1948

    Directed byOrson Welles

    Released: 1947
    A seaman becomes involved in a complex murder plot when he is hired to work on a yacht. He soon finds himself implicated in the murder, despite his innocence. The film is best remembered for it's  ...more
  • Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters
    162
    93

    Released1955

    Directed byCharles Laughton

    Released: 1955
    The Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) is a religious fanatic and serial killer who targets women who use their sexuality to attract men. Serving time in prison for car theft, he meets condemned  ...more
  • Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston
    102
    45

    Released1945

    Directed byRené Clair

    In this suspenseful drama, based on Agatha Christie's mystery tale, 10 strangers are summoned to a remote island. While they are waiting for the mysterious host to appear, a recording levels serious  ...more
  • Humphrey Bogart, Ida Lupino
    70
    27

    Released1941

    Directed byRaoul Walsh

    Aging mobster Big Mac (Donald MacBride) is looking to pull off one more heist before he retires. With his sights set on robbing a California casino, Big Mac breaks one of his former associates, Roy  ...more
  • Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake
    59
    28

    Released1942

    Directed byFrank Tuttle

    Released: 1942
    Sadistic killer-for-hire Raven (Alan Ladd) becomes enraged when his latest job is paid off in marked bills. Vowing to track down his double-crossing boss, nightclub executive Gates (Laird Cregar),  ...more
  • Robert Young, Robert Mitchum
    56
    23

    Released1947

    Directed byEdward Dmytryk

    Stark, claustrophobic thriller about an anti-Semitic soldier who kills a Jewish war veteran, evading detection because of his loyal friends' protection. However, a detective is determined that the  ...more
  • Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett
    84
    45

    Released1945

    Directed byFritz Lang

    Released: 1944
    The Woman in the Window is a 1944 film noir directed by Fritz Lang that tells the story of psychology professor Richard Wanley who meets and becomes enamored of a young femme fatale. Based on J. H.  ...more
  • Lee J. Cobb, William Bendix
    95
    28

    Released1949

    Directed byJules Dassin

    Released: 1949
    Thieves' Highway is a 1949 film noir directed by Jules Dassin. The screenplay was written by A. I. Bezzerides, based on his novel Thieves' Market.  ...more
  • Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman
    80
    35

    Released1944

    Directed byGeorge Cukor

    After the death of her famous opera-singing aunt, Paula (Ingrid Bergman) is sent to study in Italy to become a great opera singer as well. While there, she falls in love with the charming Gregory  ...more
  • George Raft, Humphrey Bogart
    51
    23

    Released1940

    Directed byRaoul Walsh

    Brothers Joe (George Raft) and Paul Fabrini (Humphrey Bogart), who are delivery-truck drivers, push themselves hard trying to run their own business. One night, a fatigued Paul falls asleep behind  ...more
  • Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff
    68
    36

    Released1948

    Directed byJules Dassin

    Released: 1948
    After a former model is drowned in her bathtub, Detective James Halloran (Don Taylor) and Lieutenant Dan Muldoon (Barry Fitzgerald) attempt to piece together her murder. A friend of the victim  ...more
  • Ray Milland, Charles Laughton
    55
    28

    Released1948

    Directed byJohn Farrow

    Released: 1948
    Anticipating a much-needed vacation from Earl Janoth (Charles Laughton), his abusive boss, magazine editor George Stroud (Ray Milland) finally reaches a breaking point when Janoth insists he skip his  ...more
  • John Payne, Coleen Gray
    60
    24

    Released1952

    Directed byPhil Karlson

    A mysterious fellow (Preston Foster) contacts a trio of criminals (Jack Elam, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef) to help with a bank heist. The four wear masks and remain strangers to each other, planning  ...more
  • Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis
    96
    54

    Released1957

    Directed byAlexander Mackendrick

    Released: 1957
    New York City newspaper writer J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) holds considerable sway over public opinion with his Broadway column, but one thing that he can't control is his younger sister, Susan  ...more
  • Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury
    97
    59

    Released1962

    Directed byJohn Frankenheimer

    The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 American Cold War suspense thriller directed by John Frankenheimer that stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh and co-stars Angela Lansbury, Henry  ...more
  • Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe
    221
    130

    Released1997

    Directed byCurtis Hanson

    L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same title, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. Like the book, the film tells the story of a group of LAPD  ...more

    More L.A. Confidential 

    #82 of 384 The Best Movies Based On Books#32 of 130 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time#104 of 440 The Best Movies Of The 1990s

  • Diana Rigg, Deborah Kerr
    55
    32

    Released1982

    Directed byAlan Gibson

    Witness for the Prosecution is a 1982 TV version of Agatha Christie's short story and play, and also a remake of the classic Billy Wilder 1957 film Witness for the Prosecution. The film was directed  ...more
  • Simone Simon, Kent Smith
    63
    41

    Released1942

    Directed byJacques Tourneur

    Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon), a New York City--based fashion designer who hails from Serbia, begins a romance with marine engineer Oliver Reed (Kent Smith). After the couple gets married, Oliver  ...more
  • Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin
    29
    10

    Released1946

    Directed byLewis Milestone

    Young Martha (Barbara Stanwyck) inadvertently causes the death of her cruel, authoritarian aunt. Martha lies to the cops, and Walter (Kirk Douglas), who saw the crime, corroborates the girl's story.  ...more
  • Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine
    70
    41

    Released1941

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Charming scoundrel Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant) woos wealthy but plain Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine), who runs away with him despite the warnings of her disapproving father (Cedric Hardwicke).  ...more
  • Ray Milland, Jane Wyman
    59
    42

    Released1945

    Directed byBilly Wilder

    Released: 1945
    Writer Don Birnam (Ray Milland) is on the wagon. Sober for only a few days, Don is supposed to be spending the weekend with his brother, Wick (Phillip Terry), but, eager for a drink, Don convinces  ...more

    More The Lost Weekend 

    #71 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture#77 of 226 The Best Black And White Movies Ever Made#10 of 70 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1940s

  • Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck
    73
    47

    Released1945

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Released: 1945
    When Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck) arrives at a Vermont mental hospital to replace the outgoing hospital director, Dr. Constance Peterson (Ingrid Bergman), a psychoanalyst, discovers Edwardes  ...more
  • George Raft, Edward Arnold
    36
    27

    Released1935

    Directed byFrank Tuttle

    In an attempt at reform, crime boss Paul Madvig (Edward Arnold) closes down a gang member's gambling den, then offers support to Senator John Henry's re-election, hoping to marry Henry's daughter  ...more
  • Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy
    49
    32

    Released1953

    Directed byIda Lupino

    Ray (Edmond O'Brien) and Gilbert's (Frank Lovejoy) fishing trip takes a terrifying turn when the hitchhiker (William Talman) they pick up turns out to be a sociopath on the run from the law. He's  ...more
  • John Getz, Frances McDormand
    81
    51

    Released1984

    Directed byJoel Coen

    "Blood Simple" was the first feature film from Joel and Ethan Coen. This is the newly restored and re-edited director's cut of the film, introduced by Mortimer Young. The stylish crime thriller  ...more
  • Richard Widmark, Karl Malden
    41
    25

    Released1947

    Directed byHenry Hathaway

    Kiss of Death is a 1947 film noir movie directed by Henry Hathaway and written by Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer from a story by Eleazar Lipsky. The story revolves around a former robber played by  ...more
  • James Stewart, John Dall
    82
    55

    Released1948

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Just before hosting a dinner party, Philip Morgan (Farley Granger) and Brandon Shaw (John Dall) strangle a mutual friend to death with a piece of rope, purely as a Nietzsche-inspired philosophical  ...more
  • Steve Brodie, Audrey Long
    17
    7

    Released1947

    Directed byAnthony Mann

    Gangster Radak (Raymond Burr) and his cronies try to coerce truck driver Steve (Steve Brodie) into shipping stolen goods, but Steve manages to tip off the police and foil the crooks. Radak evades  ...more
  • Massimo Girotti, Vittorio Duse
    13
    9

    Released1943

    Directed byLuchino Visconti

    Ossessione is an Italian 1943 film based on the novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice, by James M. Cain. Luchino Visconti’s first feature film, it is considered by many to be the first Italian  ...more
  • Rhonda Fleming, Ethel Barrymore
    35
    28

    Released1946

    Directed byRobert Siodmak

    The Spiral Staircase is a 1946 American psychological thriller film directed by Robert Siodmak, from a screenplay by Mel Dinelli based on Ethel Lina White's novel Some Must Watch. The novel was  ...more
  • Dick Powell, Rhonda Fleming
    16
    12

    Released1951

    Directed byRobert Parrish

    Unjustly incarcerated for robbery, ex-convict Rocky Mulloy (Dick Powell) returns from a five-year stretch in prison to find the criminal who set him up. Helped by Delong (Richard Erdman), a disabled  ...more
  • Cary Grant, Peter Lorre
    85
    72

    Released1944

    Directed byFrank Capra

    Arsenic and Old Lace is a 1944 American dark comedy film directed by Frank Capra, starring Cary Grant, and based on Joseph Kesselring's play Arsenic and Old Lace. The script adaptation was by Julius  ...more
  • William Hurt, Kathleen Turner
    89
    49

    Released1981

    Directed byLawrence Kasdan

    Shyster lawyer Ned Racine (William Hurt) begins a passionate affair with Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner), wife of a wealthy Florida businessman (Richard Crenna). With the help of one of his criminal  ...more
  • Betty Grable, Victor Mature
    34
    24

    Released1941

    Directed byH. Bruce Humberstone

    Glamorous starlet Vicky Lynn (Carole Landis) is murdered, and the cops want to pin the killing on her manager, fast-talking Frankie Christopher (Victor Mature). But the more Vicky's sensible sister,  ...more
  • Robert Montgomery, Wanda Hendrix
    27
    14

    Released1947

    Directed byRobert Montgomery

    Certain that crime boss Frank Hugo (Fred Clark) has offed a pal of his, Lucky Gagin (Robert Montgomery) tails the gangster to a little New Mexico town. Gagin is seeking hush money, and, if he doesn't  ...more
  • Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman
    57
    45

    Released1995

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    When retiring police Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) tackles a final case with the aid of newly transferred David Mills (Brad Pitt), they discover a number of elaborate and grizzly  ...more
  • Claire Trevor, John Ireland
    19
    10

    Released1948

    Directed byAnthony Mann

    Raw Deal is a 1948 film noir directed by Anthony Mann and shot by cinematographer John Alton.  ...more
  • John Garfield, Lilli Palmer
    31
    22

    Released1947

    Directed byRobert Rossen

    Released: 1947
    When amateur boxer Charley Davis (John Garfield) wins his first big match, he attracts the interest of small-time promoter Quinn (William Conrad). After Davis' father (Art Smith) is accidentally  ...more
  • Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas
    33
    25

    Released1950

    Directed byElia Kazan

    After Dr. Clint Reed (Richard Widmark) is called in to supervise an autopsy of a unknown man, he discovers that the John Doe died of pneumonic plague. Revealing his discovery to the mayor and city  ...more
  • James Stewart, Doris Day
    65
    55

    Released1956

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    The Man Who Knew Too Much is a 1956 suspense thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart and Doris Day. The film is a somewhat altered remake in widescreen VistaVision and  ...more
  • Jean Servais, Carl Mohner
    39
    23

    Released1955

    Directed byJules Dassin

    Released: 1955
    Out of prison after a five-year stretch, jewel thief Tony (Jean Servais) turns down a quick job his friend Jo (Carl Mohner) offers him, until he discovers that his old girlfriend Mado (Marie  ...more
  • Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor
    46
    36

    Released1951

    Directed byGeorge Stevens

    In this classic version of Theodore Dreiser's novel "An American Tragedy," George Eastman (Montgomery Clift), the nephew of a wealthy industrialist, is excluded from high society and given a  ...more

    More A Place in the Sun 

    #35 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#102 of 181 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#464 of 557 The Best Film Scores Of All Time

  • Robert Mitchum, Sarah Miles
    162
    149

    Released1978

    Directed byMichael Winner

    Released: 1946
    Private eye Philip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) falls into a porno/blackmail/murder case in 1970s London.  ...more
  • Lee Van Cleef, Brian Donlevy
    22
    13

    Released1955

    Directed byJoseph H. Lewis

    The Big Combo is a 1955 American film noir directed by Joseph H. Lewis and photographed by cinematographer John Alton, with music by David Raksin.  ...more
  • James Cagney, Pat O'Brien
    59
    50

    Released1938

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Released: 1938
    Rocky Sullivan (James Cagney) and Jerry Connolly (Pat O'Brien) were brought up in one of New York's toughest neighborhoods, Hell's Kitchen. While his buddy Rocky gets caught up in racketeering in  ...more

    More Angels with Dirty Faces 

    #215 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry#198 of 554 The Greatest Crime Movies Ever Made#18 of 75 The Best Humphrey Bogart Movies

  • Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter
    38
    24

    Released1949

    Directed byRobert Wise

    Released: 1949
    A boxer on the wane, Bill "Stoker" Thompson (Robert Ryan) is determined to stay in the game, in spite of his wife, Julie (Audrey Totter), who wants him to leave the dangerous sport. Unbeknownst to  ...more
  • Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker
    34
    27

    Released1951

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    Released: 1951
    James McLeod (Kirk Douglas) is a stern police detective who has no tolerance for crime. At home, however, he is a loving husband to his wife, Mary (Eleanor Parker). The police are ready to conclude  ...more
  • Anne Baxter, Richard Conte
    29
    23

    Released1953

    Directed byFritz Lang

    Deeply distraught that her GI ex-boyfriend plans to marry another woman, Norah Larkin (Anne Baxter) agrees to go out on a date with lothario Harry Prebble (Raymond Burr). Norah's drunken night out  ...more
  • Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons
    26
    22

    Released1952

    Directed byOtto Preminger

    Angel Face is a 1953 black-and-white film noir directed by Otto Preminger. The drama, filmed on location in Beverly Hills, California, features Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons.  ...more
  • Susan Hayward, Simon Oakland
    40
    33

    Released1958

    Directed byRobert Wise

    This film tells the riveting true story of brazen bad girl Barbara Graham (Susan Hayward, in an Academy Award-winning performance), a perpetual offender who tries to go straight but is sent to death  ...more
  • Robert Mitchum, Faith Domergue
    19
    20

    Released1950

    Directed byJohn Farrow

    While working at a hospital, Dr. Jeff Cameron (Robert Mitchum) finds himself falling in love with Margo (Faith Domergue), an emotionally unstable woman who was hospitalized after a suicide attempt.  ...more
  • Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn
    27
    20

    Released1947

    Directed byJules Dassin

    Released: 1947
    Released from solitary confinement, prisoner Joe Collins (Burt Lancaster) learns that his supportive wife, Ruth (Ann Blyth), is refusing surgery to treat her potentially deadly cancer, unless Joe can  ...more
  • Lucille Ball, Mark Stevens
    29
    25

    Released1946

    Directed byHenry Hathaway

    When Bradford Galt (Mark Stevens), a tough private investigator, realizes that he's being followed, he confronts his assailant, a shifty fellow named Fred Foss (William Bendix). Galt's encounter with  ...more
  • Alain Delon, François Périer
    30
    31

    Released1967

    Directed byJean-Pierre Melville

    Le Samouraï is a 1967 French-Italian crime film directed by French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville, starring Alain Delon as Jef Costello.  ...more

    More Le Samouraï 

    #17 of 142 The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces#75 of 479 The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History#69 of 130 The Best Assassin Movies

  • Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell
    23
    24

    Released1952

    Directed byJosef von Sternberg

    On a boat from Hong Kong, a trio of outsiders -- entertainer Julie Benson (Jane Russell), disgraced American serviceman Nick Cochran (Robert Mitchum) and tourist Lawrence C. Trumble (William Bendix)  ...more
  • Robert Taylor, Lana Turner
    24
    21

    Released1942

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy

    After Johnny Eager (Robert Taylor) is released from jail, the unreformed gangster fools his parole officer (Henry O'Neill) into believing his ways are changed. In actuality, Eager wants to return to  ...more
  • Ida Lupino, Cornel Wilde
    16
    15

    Released1948

    Directed byJean Negulesco

    At a seedy nightclub and bowling alley near the Canadian border, owner Jefty Robbins (Richard Widmark) is in love with his new cabaret singer, Lily Stevens (Ida Lupino), who only has eyes for Jefty's  ...more
  • Steve Martin, Rachel Ward
    39
    47

    Released1982

    Directed byCarl Reiner

    When a famous cheese maker dies in a freak car crash, his daughter (Rachel Ward) is convinced that it was no accident. She thinks he was murdered for his top-secret cheese recipes. To prove her  ...more
  • Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall
    28
    29

    Released1940

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    Released: 1940
    In Singapore, Leslie Crosbie (Bette Davis) shoots and kills a man, claiming that he tried to take advantage of her. She is arrested and her husband, Robert (Herbert Marshall), hires attorney Howard  ...more
  • Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton
    12
    9

    Released1957

    Directed byBilly Wilder

    Witness for the Prosecution is a 1957 American courtroom drama film set in the Old Bailey in London. The film, based on a short story by Agatha Christie, deals with the trial of a man accused. The  ...more
  • Jean-Pierre Melville, Howard Vernon
    30
    28

    Released1956

    Directed byJean-Pierre Melville

    Released: 1956
    Bob le flambeur is a 1956 French gangster film directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. The film stars Roger Duchesne as Bob. It is often considered a film noir and precursor to the French New Wave because  ...more
  • Lee J. Cobb, Dick Powell
    6
    9

    Released1947

    Directed byRobert Rossen

    Johnny O'Clock is a 1947 American film noir written and directed by Robert Rossen, based on a story by Milton Holmes. The drama features Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes, and Lee J. Cobb, with Jeff Chandler  ...more
  • Van Heflin, Evelyn Keyes
    12
    9

    Released1951

    Directed byJoseph Losey

    After being frightened by a peeping Tom at her mansion in the suburbs, the beautiful Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes) calls the police for help. When a policeman, Webb Garwood (Van Heflin), arrives, he  ...more
  • Edward G. Robinson, Julie London
    19
    21

    Released1947

    Directed byDelmer Daves

    The Red House is an American 1947 psychological thriller starring Edward G. Robinson. It is adapted from the novel The Red House by George Agnew Chamberlain, published in 1943 by Popular Library.  ...more
  • Joan Crawford, Raymond Massey
    23
    22

    Released1947

    Directed byCurtis Bernhardt

    Possessed is a 1947 film noir directed by Curtis Bernhardt, starring Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, and Raymond Massey in a tale about an unstable woman's obsession with her ex-lover. The screenplay by  ...more
  • Charles Aznavour, Marie Dubois
    18
    20

    Released1960

    Directed byFrançois Truffaut

    Charlie (Charles Aznavour) is a former classical pianist who has changed his name and now plays jazz in a grimy Paris bar. When Charlie's brothers, Richard (Jean-Jacques Aslanian) and Chico (Albert  ...more
  • Linda Fiorentino, Peter Berg
    35
    38

    Released1994

    Directed byJohn Dahl

    Looking to escape her unhappy marriage, villainous femme fatale Bridget Gregory (Linda Fiorentino) convinces her husband, Clay (Bill Pullman), to sell cocaine, then steals the profits and runs out on  ...more
  • Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore
    18
    15

    Released1995

    Directed byCarl Franklin

    In late 1940s Los Angeles, Easy Rawlins (Denzel Washington) is an unemployed black World War II veteran with few job prospects. At a bar, Easy meets DeWitt Albright (Tom Sizemore), a mysterious white  ...more
  • Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro
    43
    38

    Released1987

    Directed byAlan Parker

    Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) is a private detective contracted by Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) to track down the iconic singer Johnny Favorite. However, everybody that Angel questions about Favorite  ...more

    More Angel Heart 

    #314 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked#43 of 53 The Best Movies Where The Bad Guy Wins#71 of 186 The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • Dick Powell, Walter Slezak
    12
    10

    Released1945

    Directed byEdward Dmytryk

    During World War II, Laurence Gerard (Dick Powell) of the Royal Canadian Air Force was taken captive by the enemy, but now that the fighting is over he has begun a quest for vengeance. Laurence's  ...more
  • Paul Kelly, DeForest Kelley
    11
    15

    Released1947

    Directed byMaxwell Shane

    The dream is unusually vivid: Bank employee Vince Grayson (DeForest Kelley) finds himself murdering a man in a sinister octagonal-shaped room lined with mirrors while a mysterious woman breaks into a  ...more
  • Robert Montgomery, Audrey Totter
    14
    12

    Released1946

    Directed byRobert Montgomery

    Private eye Phillip Marlowe (Robert Montgomery) wants to get out of the detective racket and into crime writing. But when he's called to the office of editor Adrienne Fromsett (Audrey Totter), it's  ...more
  • Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner
    9
    19

    Released1949

    Directed byRobert Z. Leonard

    Federal agent Rigby (Robert Taylor) travels to a Central American island to investigate stolen war surplus. Suspicion falls on veteran Tugwell Hintten (John Hodiak) and his alluring singer wife,  ...more
  • Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave
    4
    12

    Released1947

    Directed byFritz Lang

    Secret Beyond the Door is a 1948 psychological thriller and modern updating of the Bluebeard fairytale, directed by Fritz Lang, produced by Lang's Diana Productions, and released by Universal  ...more
  • Tom Conway, Kim Hunter
    11
    10

    Released1943

    Directed byMark Robson

    After young Mary Gibson (Kim Hunter) discovers that her older sister Jacqueline (Jean Brooks) has disappeared, she leaves her boarding school and heads to New York City to track down her sibling.  ...more
  • Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand
    24
    24

    Released2001

    Directed byJoel Coen

    A dark tale of infidelity and murder, crime and punishment. Set in a small northern California town of the late 40s, the film portrays Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton), a barber dissatisfied with his  ...more
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas
    31
    41

    Released2005

    Directed byRian Johnson

    After receiving a frantic phone call from his ex-girlfriend, teenage loner Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) learns that her dead body has been found. Vowing to solve her murder himself, he must  ...more
  • Scarlett Johansson, Rose McGowan
    26
    51

    Released2006

    Directed byBrian De Palma

    The Black Dahlia is a 2006 American neo noir thriller film directed by Brian De Palma. It is drawn from a novel of the same name by James Ellroy, writer of L.A. Confidential and stars Josh Hartnett,  ...more
  • Matt Dillon, Sean Young
    24
    33

    Released1991

    Directed byJames Dearden

    Infatuated with the idea of becoming rich, college student Jonathan Corliss (Matt Dillon) secretly dates Dorothy Carlsson (Sean Young) to gain the approval of her wealthy father (Max von Sydow). When  ...more
  • Susan Hayward, Paul Lukas
    8
    9

    Released1946

    Directed byHarold Clurman

    Deadline at Dawn is a 1946 film noir, the only film directed by stage director Harold Clurman. It was written by Clifford Odets and based on a novella by Cornell Woolrich. The RKO Pictures film  ...more
  • Ricardo Montalbán, George Murphy
    9
    17

    Released1949

    Directed byAnthony Mann

    Border Incident is a 1949 film noir directed by Anthony Mann. The MGM film was written by John C. Higgins and George Zuckerman. The film was shot by cinematographer John Alton who used shadows and  ...more
  • Dick Powell, Paula Raymond
    4
    20

    Released1951

    Directed byAnthony Mann

    Abraham Lincoln will be traveling by rail to his inauguration in Washington and a plot is being hatched to assassinate him as he passes through Baltimore. New York detective John Kennedy (Dick  ...more
  • Dennis O'Keefe, Margo
    12
    23

    Released1943

    Directed byJacques Tourneur

    When Latin dancer Clo-Clo (Margo) begins to overshadow nightclub singer Kiki Walker (Jean Brooks), Kiki's agent, Jerry Manning (Dennis O'Keefe), decides to spice up his client's act with an enormous  ...more

    More The Leopard Man 

    #423 of 723 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time#5 of 41 The Best Thriller Movies Of The 1940s#2 of 16 16 Obscure Horror Movies from the 1940s You Probably Haven't Seen

  • Alastair Sim, Brian Worth
    17
    19

    Released1954

    Directed byGuy Hamilton

    An Inspector Calls is a 1954 film directed by Guy Hamilton and written for the screen by Desmond Davis. It is based upon a play of the same name by J.B. Priestley. It stars Alastair Sim, Jane Wenham  ...more
  • John Mills, Valerie Hobson
    23
    27

    Released1946

    Directed byDavid Lean

    In this Dickens adaptation, orphan Pip (John Mills) discovers through lawyer Mr. Jaggers (Francis L. Sullivan) that a mysterious benefactor wishes to ensure that he becomes a gentleman. Reunited with  ...more
  • Terry Moore, Frank Lovejoy
    7
    20

    Released1955

    Directed byEdward Dein

    While owner George Bater (Keenan Wynn), cook Slob (Lee Marvin) and waitress Kotty (Terry Moore) go about their workday, their diner near the highway becomes a haven for international espionage during  ...more
  • Charles Laughton, John Mills
    22
    28

    Released1954

    Directed byDavid Lean

    Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton), a British widower, is the overbearing owner of a shoe shop. His three daughters -- Alice, Vicky and Maggie (Brenda De Banzie) -- work for him and all are eager to get  ...more
  • Gregory Peck, Alida Valli
    12
    27

    Released1947

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Attorney Anthony Keane (Gregory Peck) agrees to represent Londonite Mrs. Paradine (Alida Valli), who has been fingered in her husband's murder. From the start, the married lawyer is drawn to the  ...more
  • Charles McGraw, Adele Jergens
    6
    10

    Released1950

    Directed byRichard Fleischer

    While executing an armored car heist in Los Angeles, icy crook Dave Purvis (William Talman) shoots policeman Lt. Phillips (James Flavin) before he and his cronies make off with the loot. Thinking he  ...more
  • Eli Wallach, Richard Jaeckel
    10
    17

    Released1958

    Directed byDon Siegel

    The Lineup is a 1958 American film version of the police procedural series that ran on CBS radio from 1950-1953 and on CBS television from 1954-1960, directed by Don Siegel. The film has a number of  ...more
  • John McIntire, Richard Kiley
    7
    13

    Released1955

    Directed byPhil Karlson

    Based on a sensational news story, this film looks at the murder of Albert L. Patterson (John McIntire), who hopes to win the an attorney general's job in Alabama. Phenix City is a dangerous place to  ...more
  • John Cassavetes, Sal Mineo
    5
    11

    Released1956

    Directed byDon Siegel

    Crime in the Streets is a 1956 film about juvenile delinquency, directed by Don Siegel and based on a television play written by Reginald Rose. The play first appeared on the Elgin Hour and was  ...more
  • Richard Basehart, Audrey Totter
    5
    11

    Released1949

    Directed byJohn Berry

    Warren Quimby (Richard Basehart) manages a drugstore while trying to keep his volatile wife, Claire (Audrey Totter), happy. However, when Claire leaves him for a liquor store salesman, Warren can no  ...more
  • Conrad Janis, George Montgomery
    5
    12

    Released1947

    Directed byJohn Brahm

    The Brasher Doubloon is a 1947 crime film noir directed by John Brahm and based on the novel The High Window by Raymond Chandler. The film features George Montgomery, Nancy Guild and Conrad  ...more
  • Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle
    12
    30

    Released2000

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    A contemporary thriller set in the world of drug trafficking. Traffic evokes the high stakes and high risks of the drug trade, as seen through a series of interrelated stories, some of which are  ...more
  • Dial 1119

    Marshall Thompson, Virginia Field
    3
    12

    Released1950

    Directed byGerald Mayer

    Delusional patient Gunther Wyckoff (Marshall Thompson) escapes from a mental institution intent on locating and killing Dr. John Faron (Sam Levene), whose testimony sent him to the asylum. After
  • Edmond O'Brien, Virginia Mayo
    2
    10

    Released1950

    Directed byVincent Sherman

    Backfire is a 1950 crime film in the film noir style directed by Vincent Sherman and starring Edmond O'Brien, Virginia Mayo, Gordon MacRae, Viveca Lindfors, and Dane Clark. The film was written by  ...more
  • Allen Baron, Larry Tucker
    4
    18

    Released1961

    Directed byAllen Baron

    Blast of Silence is an American crime/thriller film released in 1961. It was written and directed by Allen Baron and produced by Merrill Brody who was also the cinematographer.  ...more
  • William Hurt, Glenn Close
    8
    33

    Released1983

    Directed byLawrence Kasdan

    A once close-knit gang of friends -- including an actor (JoBeth Williams), a doctor (Glenn Close) and her husband (Kevin Kline), a Vietnam veteran (William Hurt), and a journalist (Tom Berenger) --  ...more
  • Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch
    3
    22

    Released2004

    Directed byShane Meadows

    A soldier (Paddy Considine) returns home to his small town and exacts a deadly revenge on the thugs who tormented his dimwitted brother (Toby Kebbell) while he was away. One by one the young hoodlums  ...more