10 Best Film Noir Posters

Wednesday, January 26 by Shawn Landis

Looking for the 10 best film noir posters? Read on, although "Casablanca" and "The Maltese Falcon" are good examples of the genre, we have tried to keep Humphrey Bogart from dominating this list.

  1. Naked Alibi” (1954). This classic film noir poster includes a Femme Fatale and the classic private investigator that make up the two biggest clichés in the film noir genre.
  2. Stranger on the Third Floor” (1940). A shadowy audience watches a person who we can only assume is the main character in this movie. Is it the rising reporter or the murder victim we see on this poster?
  3. The Maltese Falcon” (1941). Sam Spade looks off in the distance while the woman who will eventually claim she loves him. Another version has a silhouette of Spade with his hands in the air.
  4. This Gun For Hire” (1942). In this film noir poster, we see the theme of the femme fatale and the private detective return. It’s the first film noir poster on this list to feature the gun, rather than the characters prominently.
  5. Detour” (1945). The creative part of this film poster is the fact that it looked like a road sign. This poster had a great deal more character art than many posters of the era did.
  6. "Born to Kill” (1941). Both the detective and the femme fatale appear again in this film noir poster. Gender equality is achieved by having both genders smoke a cigarette.
  7. "Panic on the Streets" (1950).  A lone figure stands beside a window holding a gun with a nervous expression.
  8. “Strangers on a Train” (1951). Two shadowy figures coalesce in the text above the movie’s name. A train with a smokestack is seen beneath the text. Eerie colors heighten the sense of suspense viewers would expect from Alfred Hitchcock in this movie.
  9. “The Hitchhiker” (1953). A lone man sticks his thumb out on an empty road. If only the makers of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie used this film noir poster for their movie.
  10. “Nightfall” (1957). A man in a fedora hit the mean streets on this film noir poster, ensuring that no one can confuse the movie with the Isaac Asimov book.
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