Britain's The Guardian has a list of all-time great noir films just published: http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2013/nov/29/top-10-film-noir
And here's my reaction. (What's yours?)
10. They Live by Night (Haven't seen it, have heard good things.)
9. Kiss Me Deadly (Haven't seen it, but Mickey Spillane? Really?)
8. Blood Simple. (Yep, enjoyed this one a lot. Haven't seen it in a dozen years now.)
7. Lift to the Scaffold (Never even heard of it. But then I'm not European.)
6. The Third Man (Unequivocally in my own top ten too.)
5. Out of the Past (Ditto.)
4. Double Indemnity (Agreed. Raymond Chandler helped Billy Wilder with the script.)
3. Touch of Evil. (A good film, but not in my personal top ten.)
2. Chinatown (Yeah, agreed, it belongs here.)
1. The Big Sleep (Definitely one of the best ever.)
But what about The Maltese Falcon (Bogart/Huston version of course)? Or The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (which I think qualifies as Noir)? Or Detour (which may have been the first film noir too)? Or The Asphalt Jungle? (Yes, I'm a John Huston fan.) Or Sunset Boulevard? (And I'm big on Billy Wilder too.) Another little known noir I've always loved: In a Lonely Place. (Big Bogart fan too, as my avatar suggests.)
What other films deserve consideration?
Couldn't agree more, Eric. Charles Laughton was hard done by on that one.
I think it was just too dark for the mainstream at the time. Such a shame his talent as a director wasn't realized. Laughton was magnificent in Witness for the Prosecution as well.
He's famous with us old folk for Hobson's Choice and Mutiny on the Bounty.
Mine are Sunset Blvd. and the Mrs. DeWinter's one. Can't think of the title now. (Dammit. :-/) lol
REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier? The black and white film starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine and was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
An excellent film, Rebecca, but I don't think it's noir. Myself, I think of it as Gothic.
Noir to me is mostly bad things happening to bad people, or else the main character is a more or less good person who makes a bad decision and then, because of it, keeps making (seemingly unavoidable) bad decisions until he or she is doing really bad things (and ends up badly). But there always seems to be some disagreement as to the definition.
Thanks, Eric. Film noir to me would be H. Bogie type material so now that I think of it, I doubt House On Haunted Hill will make the category. lol
I never liked Joan Fontaine, and Olivier was rather bland in that one.
I think Olivier was going for inscrutable for the sake of the plot. :)
Maybe! It means that in the end he was very hard to warm up to. It's a silly novel anyway, with distinct similarities to Jane Eyre. And Jane Eyre was better.
I liked Fontaine in Rebecca. Olivier (and therefore the rest of the cast) ostracized her because he wanted Vivien Leigh (his then wife) to play the role. Hitchcock did nothing to help, convincing her that he was the only one that believed in her. I think it tells in her performance,
Yes, that's it, Andrew. Thanks! Middle age Moment. :-/
Hey, how about House On Haunted Hill w/Vincent Price? Would that be considered film noir?