Film Noir

The coolest of all film genres!

Some call it a genre, others a movement, or even a fashion statement, but however one defines noir, with its signature femmes fatales, wisecracking tough guys, and dramatic, high-contrast cinematography, its appeal never seems to wane. Though its origins are in German expressionism and French crime films of the thirties, film noir has always been a distinctly American film movement, influenced and shaped as it was by American pulp fiction, wartime gender politics, and postwar nuclear anxieties. And since its forties and fifties heyday, the legacy of noir has spread everywhere—from Kurosawa (High and Low) to the French new wave (Alphaville) to the proliferation of “neonoirs” in the eighties (Coup de torchon) and nineties (Insomnia). Color may have seeped into noir’s rich gray palette over the years, but some things never change: anxiety, disillusionment, panic. Explore noir and neonoir at The Criterion Collection.

Here is a list of great films that will be sure to get you out of the house and into a Fedora!



Written by Joshua Royal on October 10, 2011


Lisa on October 11, 2011


Wow, you know your noir!  I loved Rafifi. 


Good starting list. Let's not forget the two essential Nicholas Ray films, IN A LONELY PLACE and ON DANGEROUS GROUND. And DOUBLE INDEMNITY, of course. And KISS ME DEADLY. And OUT OF THE PAST. And...

Joshua Royal on October 13, 2011


Thanks everyone for the comments and wonderful suggestions.

Pat on October 16, 2011


Also The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Scarlet Street, Force of Evil and an in color noir Leave Her to Heaven.

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