“Dark rooms with light slicing through venetian blinds, alleys cluttered with garbage, abandoned warehouses where dust hangs in the air, rain-slickened streets with water still running in the gutters, dark detective offices overlooking busy streets: this is the stuff of film noir–that most magnificent of film forms.”
Humphrey Bogart is Vincent Parry, a prison escapee framed for murder who emerges from plastic surgery with a new face. Lauren Bacall is Irene Jansen, Vincent’s lone ally.
- Starring: Agnes Moorehead, Humphrey Bogart
- Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutes
According to Wikipedia:
Film noir (/f?lm nw?r/; French pronunciation: ?[film nwa?]) is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood’s classical film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Great Depression.
The term film noir, French for “black film”, first applied to Hollywood films by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, was unrecognized by most American film industry professionals of that era. Cinema historians and critics defined the category retrospectively. Before the notion was widely adopted in the 1970s, many of the classicfilms noirs[a] were referred to as melodramas. Whether film noir qualifies as a distinctgenre is a matter of ongoing debate among scholars.
Film noir encompasses a range of plots: the central figure may be a private eye (The Big Sleep), a plainclothes policeman (The Big Heat), an aging boxer (The Set-Up), a hapless grifter (Night and the City), a law-abiding citizen lured into a life of crime (Gun Crazy), or simply a victim of circumstance (D.O.A.). Although film noir was originally associated with American productions, films now so described have been made around the world. Many pictures released from the 1960s onward share attributes with film noir of the classical period, and often treat its conventions self-referentially. Some refer to such latter-day works as neo-noir. The clichés of film noir have inspired parody since the mid-1940s.
Watch these Film Noir films, for free, now!
- Beat the Devil – Free – Directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, the film is something of a comic and dramatic spoof of the film noir tradition. (1953)
- Behind Green Lights – Free – Stars Carole Landis, John Ireland. Police lieutenant Sam Carson investigates a political murder after the victim is dumped at the door of police headquarters. (1946)
- Big Bluff – Free – Directed by W. Lee Wilder. When a scheming fortune hunter finds his rich wife is not going to die as expected, he and his lover make other plans to get her millions. (1950)
- Blonde Ice – Free – A society reporter keeps herself in the headlines by marrying a series of wealthy men. They all die mysteriously afterwards though. (1948)
- Detour – Free – Edgar Ulmer’s cult classic noir film shot in 6 days. (1945)
- D.O.A. – Free – Rudolph Maté’s classic noir film. Called “one of the most accomplished, innovative, and downright twisted entrants to the film noir genre.” You can also watch the movie here. (1950)
- Guest in the House – Free – Directed by John Brahm, the noir film stars Anne Baxter, Ralph Bellamy, Aline MacMahon. (1946)
- He Walked by Night – Free – Film-noir drama, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal. This move became the basis for “Dragnet,” and stars Jack Webb. Archive.org version here. (1948)
- Impact – Free – Arthur Lubin’s well reviewed noir flic. Considered a little known classic you need to watch. (1940)
- Inner Sanctum – Free – A gripping noir film about “a murderer who is on the lam and hiding out in a small town. Unbeknownst to him, he is not only hiding in the same boarding house as the only witness to his crime, he is sharing the same room.” (1948)
- Kansas City Confidential – Free – A film noir gem that inspired Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.” (1953)
- Key Lime Pie – Free – A zany animated film in the noir tradition. (2007)
- Please Murder Me – Free – Lawyer Raymond Burr brilliantly defends Angela Lansbury in 1950s noir film. (1956)
- Port of New York – Free – Two narcotics agents go after a gang of murderous drug dealers who use ships docking at the New York harbor to smuggle in their contraband. First film in which Yul Brynner appeared. (1949)
- Quicksand – Free – Peter Lorre and Mickey Rooney star in story about a garage mechanic’s descent into crime. (1950)
- Scarlet Street – Free – Directed by Fritz Lang with Edward G. Robinson. A film noir great. (1945)
- Shock – Free – Film noir classic starring Vincent Price. (1946)
- Suddenly – Free – Buy DVD – Noir film with Frank Sinatra and James Gleason. The story line influenced The Manchurian Candidate, which again starred Sinatra. (1954)
- The Amazing Mr. X – Free – Noir film directed by Bernard Vorhaus with cinematography by John Alton. The film tells the story of a phony spiritualist racket. (1948).
- The Big Combo – Free – Directed by Joseph Lewis, this film is today considered a noir classic. Critics like to focus on cinematography of John Alton, a noir icon. (1955)
- The Chase – Free – An American noir film directed by Arthur Ripley, based on the Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear.
- The File on Thelma Jordan – Free – This noir directed by Robert Siodmak features Barbara Stanwyck and Wendell Corey. At the time Variety said, “Thelma Jordon unfolds as an interesting, femme-slanted melodrama, told with a lot of restrained excitement.” (1950)
- The Hitch-Hiker – Free – Buy DVD – The first noir film made by a woman noir director, Ida Lupino. (1953)
- The Hoodlum – Free – Lawrence Tierney (“Reservoir Dogs”) plays an unreformed, hardened criminal who has just been released from prison. While working at his brother’s gas station, he becomes very interested in the armored car that makes regular stops at the bank across the street. (1951)
- The Lady from Shanghai – Free – Film noir directed by Orson Welles and starring Welles, his estranged wife Rita Hayworth and Everett Sloane. Based on the novel If I Die Before I Wake by Sherwood King. (1947)
- The Limping Man – Free – Stars Lloyd Bridges and Moira Lister. A WWII veteran goes back to England after the war only to discover that his wartime sweetheart has got mixed up with a dangerous spy ring. (1953)
- The Man Who Cheated Himself – Free – Some call it “an under-appreciated and little known gem.” Stars Lee J. Cobb, John Dall, Jane Wyatt, and Lisa Howard. YouTube version here. (1951)
- The Saint Louis Bank Robbery – Free – Steve McQueen stars in a “gritty, downbeat, and sometimes savage heist movie.” (1959)
- The Second Woman – Free – Directed by James Kern and starring Betsy Drake, this lesser known noir film gets some good reviews. (1951)
- The Strange Love of Martha Ivers – Free – Noir film starting Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas. Entered into 1947 Cannes Film Festival. (1946)
- The Strange Woman – Free – Part of Edgar G. Ulmer’s ‘trilogy’ of femme fatale ‘heroine’ pictures made in 1946, along with Gilda andDecoy. (1946)
- The Stranger – Free – Buy DVD – Directed by Orson Welles with Edward G. Robinson. One of Welles’s major commercial successes. (1946)
- Time Table – Free – After the theft of $500,000 in a carefully executed train robbery, an insurance investigator (Mark Stevens, who also doubled as director and producer) is forced to cancel a planned vacation with his wife to assist a railroad detective in identifying the culprits and recovering the money. Alternate version here. (1956)
- Too Late for Tears – Free – Directed by Byron Haskin and based on a novel by Roy Huggins, Too Late for Tears is pure noir. (1949)
- Trapped – Free – Starring Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Payton, the plot of this B noir film turns around a counterfeiting ring. (1949)
- Whistle Stop– Free – Buy DVD – A noir flic with Ava Gardner. Love triangle leads to murder. (1946)
- Woman on the Run – Free – After Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott) is the sole witness to a gangland murder, he goes into hiding and is trailed by Police Inspector Ferris (Robert Keith), his wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan), and newspaperman, Danny Leggett (Dennis O’Keefe). YouTube version here. (1950)