10 Classic Film Noir Films

Saturday, February 12 by Lee Grayson

These 10 classic film noir films include a group of classics from the 1930s and 1940s. Noir is a cinematic term to describe the lighting of films made during the late 1920s through the 1940s, but it also provides a reference to the content of the script. You don't have people down on the farm experiencing noir film moments. The city is the evil in these films that also have a dim view of the dark side of human nature. Organized crime, murder, gun molls, government men and mystery are the staples of these classic film noir movies. 

  1. "The Big Sleep." This 1930s film is one of the very basic classic film noir movies. Humphrey Bogart stars with a young Lauren Bacall as the mystery evolves around murder and a rich heiress and her sister. Of course, Bogart gets the girl—both on film and in real life. The Philip Marlow character of the script is based on the novels of author Raymond Chandler. 
  2. "The Maltese Falcon." Another noir work from the 1930s, the classic film noir film from 1931 has Bogart starring opposite Mary Astor as the mysterious team. Unfortunately for the detective, Astor turns out to be, spoiler alert, the murderer. The script is based on a novel by Dashiell Hammett. 
  3. "The Thin Man." Don't go looking for a big role for the thin man in this 1934 classic noir film, he only appears when the mystery is solved. Dashiell Hammett at work here for a script for the acting duo of William Powell and Myrna Loy. The team's pet dog Asta has become the crossword puzzle de rigueur. 
  4. "Fury." This noir classic film filmed in 1936 stared Sylvia Sidney and Spencer Tracy under the direction of Fritz Lang. The storyline follows a man thought to be dead after a lynch mob hanged him. He comes back for revenge on the group to see that real justice is done. 
  5. "Satan Met a Lady." Bette Davis take the lead in this 1936 film under the direction of William Dieterie. Warren William stars opposite Davis as the private detective. The title tells the rest of the story when the rude detective is tamed by Davis' character. 
  6. "Angles with Dirty Faces." Filmed in 1938, this classic film noir film traces the story of priest attempting to halt a young gang from following the path of a gangster. James Cagney, Pat O'Brien and Humphrey Bogart star in this film. 
  7. "Scarface." Al Capone, nicknamed Scarface by those who didn't know him, takes the lead in this classic film noir film made in 1932. James Cagney plays the mean-spirited Capone.
  8. "The Glass Key." This 1935 film based on a novel by Dashiell Hammett traces the quest of a detective and the mysterious glass key. The movie was remade in 1942. The main character in this film noir takes on a political boss to clear his friend after a murder is committed. 
  9. "Bordertown." Filmed in 1935, stars Bette Davis in a noir classic about a border town casino and a love triangle. The twists and turns in this drama involve a wife killing her husband for her lover.
  10. "The Beast of the City." The evil city plays the main role in this 1932 film. Walter Huston, Jean Harlow, Wallace Ford and Jean Hersholt star. It's criminals against the police chief and, although the going gets tough, the good guys win. 
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COMMENTS

  1. February 12, 2011 2:51 am

    Anonymous

    Only #1, #2 and #4 are considered Noir.


  2. February 12, 2011 2:51 am

    Cris

    The Third Man?