Mysterious characters and hidden motives run amok in these ten great film noir movies. While squinting at the silhouettes in the fog and cigarette smoke, keep an eye out for Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder. These notorious directors are responsible for many movies throughout the list. 

  1. “Sunset Blvd.” Billy Wilder directs this award-winning 1950 film noir. The plot revolves around a screenwriter’s fatal attraction to a former movie star. William Holden and Gloria Swanson are among the cast of “Sunset Blvd.”

  2. “Double Indemnity” Here is another one of Billy Wilder’s great film noirs. In this flick, an insurance salesman finds trouble when he gets involved in a wife’s sinister plan to kill her husband. The plot comes from a novella of the same name.

  3. “Touch of Evil” This great film noir movie borrows its plot from the novel “Badge of Evil.” Orson Welles directs the 1958 adventure, which takes place on the Mexican border. Charlton Heston assumes the role of the leading man.

  4. “Strangers on a Train” Alfred Hitchcock directs this classic film noir about a murder scheme hatched by two passing strangers. Actors such as Farley Granger and Robert Walker star in this 1951 film.

  5. “The Night of the Hunter” “The Night of the Hunter” debuted in 1955. Robert Mitchum heads the cast of this film noir as he assumes the role of a killer holy man. Shelly Winter plays his latest victim.

  6. “The Maltese Falcon” In this great film noir movie, Humphrey Bogart plays Sam Spade, a private investigator caught up in a dangerous case. Film critic Roger Ebert praises this Warner Bros. classic, which debuted in 1941.

  7. “Ace in the Hole” “Ace in the Hole” is yet another stunning film noir movie by Billy Wilder. Kirk Douglas plays a disgruntled journalist whose poor reporting habits stir trouble. This film emerged in 1951.

  8. “Notorious” Alfred Hitchcock directs the great film noir movie “Notorious.” Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains star in the movie, which tells a story of love and espionage. 

  9. “The Third Man” “The Third Man” debuted in 1949. In this great film noir movie, a novelist investigates the mysterious death of a friend. Joseph Cotton takes the role of the leading man.

  10. “The Killing” This 1956 film involves a scheme to rob millions of dollars from racetrack. The plot is based on “Clea Break,” a novel by Lionel White. Sterling Hayden stars as seasoned criminal Johnny Clay.