1.06.2015

Friday Night Film Noir


Here is a table of contents for all Film Noir posts here on the Omnibus. Just click on the title and be taken to the post of your choice.


This is not meant to be a Best or Most Essential Film Noir Ever Made list; you'll see that plenty of big ones (The Big Sleep, Sweet Smell of Success, The Third Man, Touch of Evil, Double Indemnity and more) are missing, as well as any/all neo-noirs and anything made after 1965 or - with one exception - overseas. The internet is a vast and glorious place, and many such lists abound. Here are a few noirs that have held up under questioning (i.e. multiple viewings) for yours truly.

Presented in chronological order:

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I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone. Written by Dwight Taylor and Steve Fisher. Starring Betty Grable, Victor Mature, and Carole Landis. Cinematography by Edward Cronjager.

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The Seventh Victim (1943)
Directed by Mark Robson. Written by DeWitt Bodeen and Charles O'Neal. Starring Kim Hunter, Isabell Jewell, Tom Conway, and Jean Brooks. Cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca.

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Detour (1945)
Directed by Edgar Ulmer. Written by Martin Goldsmith and Martin Mooney. Starring Tom Neal, Ann Savage, and Claudia Drake. Cinematography by Benjamin Kline.

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Railroaded! (1947)
Directed by Anthony Mann. Written by John C. Higgins. Starring John Ireland, Hugh Beaumont, Sheila Ryan, and Jane Randolph. Cinematography by Guy Roe.

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T-Men (1947)
Directed by Anthony Mann. Written by John C. Higgins and Virginia Kellogg. Starring Dennis O'Keefe, Mary Meade, and Charles McGraw. Cinematography by John Alton.

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Out of the Past (1947)
Directed by Jacques Tourneur. Written by Daniel Mainwaring, James M. Cain, and Frank Fenton. Starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, and Rhonda Fleming. Cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca.

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Act of Violence (1948)
Directed by Fred Zinnemann. Written by Robert Richards and Collier Young. Starring Van Helfin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh, and Mary Astor. Cinematography by Robert Surtees.

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The Killer That Stalked New York (1950)
Directed by Earl McEvoy. Written by Harry Essex and Milton Lehman. Starring Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin, William Bishop, and Dorothy Malone. Cinematography by Joseph Biroc.

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The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
Directed by John Huston. Written by Ben Maddow and John Huston. Cinematography by Harold Rosson.

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D.O.A. (1950)
Directed by Rudolph Mate. Written by Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene. Starring Edmond O'Brien and Pamela Britton. Cinematography by Ernest Laszlo.

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Gun Crazy (1950)
Directed by Joseph H. Lewis. Written by MacKinlay Kantor and Dalton Trumbo. Starring Peggy Cummins and John Dall. Cinematography by Russell Harlan.


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His Kind of Woman (1951)
Directed by John Farrow. Written by Frank Fenton and Jack Leonard. Starring Jane Russell and Robert Mitchum. Cinematography by Harry J. Wild.

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The Sniper (1952)
Directed by Edward Dmytryk. Written by Harry Brown, Edna Anhalt, and Edward Anhalt. Starring Adolphe Menjou, Arthur Franz, and Marie Windsor.

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Women's Prison (1955)
Directed by Lewis Seiler. Written by Crane Wilbur and Jack DeWitt. Starring Ida Lupino, Jan Sterling, Cleo Moore, and Audrey Totter. Cinematography by Lester White.

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Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Directed by Robert Aldrich. Written by Mickey Spillane and A.I. Bezzerides. Starring Ralph Meeker and Marian Carr. Cinematography by Ernest Laszlo.

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Shoot the Piano Player (1960)
Directed by Fran├žois Truffaut. Written be Fran├žois Truffaut and Marcel Moussy. Starring Charles Aznavour and Marie Dubois. Cinematography by Raoul Coutard.

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The Girl Hunters (1963)
Directed by Roy Rowland and written by Mickey Spillane.

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 Bunny Lake is Missing (1965) 
Directed by Otto Preminger. Written by John Mortimer, Penelope Mortimer, and Ira Levin.

~
Last Edited: 3/11/2015

8 comments:

  1. I suck. I've seen a grand total of one -- ONE! -- of those. ("The Killing.) Two if you count the Arnold Schwarzenegger version of "Raw Deal," and since that isn't even a remake of the one listed here, I'm doubtful you'll allow it.

    I'll say this, though: looks like there were some classy dames in those pictures.

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    1. In my best film noir voice re: the dames: "Yeah, see!"

      LOL at Raw Deal. I did try and choose some lesser-reviewed stuff. I went on a huge film noir bender a few years back and some of these have been long-running favorites. But they're not as well-represented on some of the lists I've seen, so I figured I'd favor those ones. "Sweet Smell of Success," probably among my favorite noirs if not one of my favorite films all around, was left out for this reason, as well as "Sunset Boulevard" and the list goes on.

      Have you seen either of those, though? While we're here?

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    2. I've altered this list so many times now that reading this comment now took me by surprise. "'The Killing!' Why didn't I think of - oh wait..."

      While certainly among the better movies (and crime noirs) ever made, I'm wary of diving into any Kubrick at this point... screencapping Kubrick and/or Hitchcock might take me weeks per film. Not saying it wouldn't be worth it, just phwew... it's tough enough keeping a typical entry under 50 screencaps (something I routinely fail at). I don't know if I have the restraint necessary for "The Killing."

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  2. Lot of good titles on this list. If I had to pick my favorite of them, I'd say D.O.A. When that movie gets going, it gets going.

    Kiss Me Deadly is a decidedly different take on Mike Hammer, so it'll be interesting to see your rundown of it.

    Gun Crazy has that interesting in-car continuous shot that was ahead of its time. It's no big deal now, but back then it was a contrast to the usual rear-screen projection scenes set in cars.

    The Naked Kiss...Sam Fuller is one of my very favorite directors, and The Naked Kiss continues his bleak examination of society. Fuller on his own created a branch of noir that is unsettling. Even his Westerns and war movies have that sense of doomed inevitability that infuses film noir. Good to see him on the list.

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    1. It's bizarre to me that I've got this Mike Hammer theme running through these things. I sincerely never set out to make that happen.

      Gun Crazy is so underrated. Not in film noir circles, in the same way "Silver Lode" is not underrated in western appreciation circles, but either film should be mentioned at least once a week in classrooms across the land.

      Not that I know what IS mentioned in classrooms across the land, but "Gun Crazy" and "Silver Lode" should be.

      Hell yeah on Fuller! Probably at least half the reason I'm so forgiving of "Return to Salem's Lot."

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    2. For what it's worth, I first saw Gun Crazy in one of Bill Lafferty's film theory classes (same with most of Fuller's oeuvre, D.O.A., and Kiss Me Deadly).

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