Britain's The Guardian has a list of all-time great noir films just published:

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?

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Oh, another great one I'd forgot: The Postman Always Rings Twice (Lana Turner/John Garfield version).

And what about a list of top ten noir novels?

 Eric, All of them, including the ones you mentioned, except #7, are excellent films.

I like to plug "They Live By Night."  One of my all time favorites.  It was based on the novel, "Thieves Like Us," and was the first film by Nicholas Ray.  I was never a big Farley Granger or Cathy O'Donnell fan, but in this film everything clicked as loud as the tumblers on a crackerjack safe.

Edward Anderson's 1930's crime novel was great too--underrated but up there with the best of the best.

Not sure it's up there with these classics, but THUNDER ROAD with Robert Mitchum would be on my top 10. I love the racing cars. Treasure of the Sierra Madre belongs in the top five.

I don't even know that the movie version of The Big Sleep qualifies as noir, the ending is changed so much from the book. Chinatown fits the definition far better.

It's also kind of hard to take seriously a list that doesn't include Sunset Boulevard.

Agreed Sunset Blvd has to be on most peoples noir list - along with Shallow Grave - modern, but in the same vein.

For me, Blood Simple is an unheralded masterpiece. 

Great list. Cape Fear (1962) is a classic as well. 

Oh, yes, that other movie Gregory Peck starred in in 1962. Mitchum was quite menacing.

I used to have a paperback called "Raymond Chandler in Hollywood", which somebody borrowed and never returned.  I recall a script being submitted by Chandler to Wilder. who thanked him profusely.  Then after Chandler had left his office, threw it into his waste paper bin, unread.  The script was for "Double Indemnity".

I had never heard of "Lift to the Scaffold", but this link may help clarify its inclusion.  It looks like a very good film:

I'd add Kubrick's 'The Killing' and I can't believe that 'Gilda' isn't listed.  More controversially, because of the setting, I'd add 'The Night of the Hunter". Then again, I think 'Touch of Evil' is a masterpiece, so what do I know?

Night of the Hunter, adapted by James Agee, is terrific (with Mitchum again highly menacing). I've seen it three times, I think. I feel bad for the director, better known as the actor, Charles Laughton, who never directed again because the film inexplicably bombed at the box office and wasn't even appreciated by the critics of the time.


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