Classic Film Noir

Here be those darkly vexing offerings one should include in their diet periodically. Film Noir (literally 'black film or cinema') was coined by French film critics (first by Frank Nino in 1946) who noticed the trend of how 'dark' and black the looks and themes were of many American crime and detective films released in France following the war. It was a style of black and white American films that first evolved in the 1940s, became prominent in the post-war era, and lasted in a classic "Golden Age" period until about 1965. With the list below Alice has included many "Contempory Noirs", making browsing that much more "coloured"..... Right: Orson Wells stars and directs "A Touch Of Evil".

Criss Cross (1949)

Director: Robert Siodmak
Starring: Burt Lancaster, Dan Duryea, Tony Curtis, Yvonne De Carlo, Stephen McNally

Perennial drifter Steve returns home and quickly gets involved with his old flame Anna - even though she is shacked up with seedy gangster Slim Dundee... Read more

Crossfire (1947)

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Starring: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame, Sam Levene

Director Edward Dmytryk spun Richard Brooks' novel 'The Brick Foxhole', about the intense search for an anti-Semitic murderer, into a tense film noir... Read more

D.O.A. (1949)

Director: Rudolph Mate
Starring: Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler, Neville Brand

Well made thriller concerns Edmond O'Brien's attempts to find out who has given him a slow acting poison and why. Read more

Dark Passage (1947)

Director: Delmer Daves
Starring: Agnes Moorehead, Bruce Bennett, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall

In Vichy France, fishing boat captain Harry (Humphrey Bogart) avoids getting involved in politics, refusing to smuggle French Resistance fighters into... Read more

Desert Fury (1947)

Director: Lewis Allen
Starring: Lizabeth Scott, John Hodiak, Burt Lancaster, Mary Astor, Wendell Corey

In the sweltering heat of the Nevada desert lies the small gambling oasis Purple Sage, run by the tough talking Fritzi Haller who stubbornly controls... Read more

Detective Story (1951)

Director: William Wyler
Starring: Eleanor Parker, Kirk Douglas, William Bendix

Set amidst the hectic activity of a New York City police station, Kirk Douglas stars as the principled, rigid detective whose personal code has become... Read more

Detour (1945)

Director: Edgar G Ulmer
Starring: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Tim Ryan

This noir masterwork was made on pennies by Edgar G. Ulmer,and focuses on a New York night club pianist hitchhiking to L.A. who is picked up by an ami... Read more

Dial M for Murder (1954)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Grace Kelly, Ray Milland, Robert Cummings, John Williams

Alfred Hitchcock's screen version of Frederick Knott's stage hit 'Dial M for Murder' is a tasty blend of elegance and suspense casting Grace Kelly, Ra... Read more

Dillinger (1945)

Director: Max Nosseck
Starring: Anne Jeffreys, Lawrence Tierney, Edmund Lowe

One of the first Hollywood crime dramas based on an actual figure (although the script strays somewhat from the true story), this bullet-riddled saga... Read more

Double Indemnity (1944)

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Edward G Robinson

A masterpiece of film noir cinema from director Billy Wilder, who also co-scripted with Raymond Chandler. Barbara Stanwyck is the definitive femme fat... Read more