crime The Best Film Noir Movies

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A list of the best film noir movies. While not every film noir is on this list, the best film noir titles are here. If you believe we missed one of the film noir classics, though, feel free to add it to the list of the best film noir titles yourself. Film Noir began in the 1940's and continued into the 1950's. Today we have neo-noir.

What are the best film noir movies? Borrowing high contrast cinematography from Germany, film noir based its storytelling on characters who were ultimately doomed. Film noir filmmakers were also masters of skirting the Hays Code (censorship in the name of decency) through the use of implication, subtext, and suggestive dialogue in their film noir classics. Today, Film Noir is easily one of the most resilient genres to survive the Hays Code, with films that still stand up to today's modern films.

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The Maltese Falcon Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre Mary Astor - Released: 1941

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Double indemnity Released: 1944

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The Third Man Orson Welles, Trevor Howard Joseph Cotten - Released: 1949

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Sunset Boulevard William Holden, Buster Keaton Gloria Swanson - Released: 1950

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Strangers on a Train Alfred Hitchcock, Farley Granger Leo G. Carroll - Released: 1951

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Chinatown Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway Roman Polanski

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Touch of Evil Charlton Heston, Orson Welles Marlene Dietrich - Released: 1958

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Out of the Past Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum Rhonda Fleming - Released: 1947

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The Night of the Hunter Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters Lillian Gish - Released: 1955

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Shadow of a Doubt Alfred Hitchcock, Teresa Wright Joseph Cotten - Released: 1943

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Laura Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb Judith Anderson - Released: 1944

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Key Largo Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart Edward G. Robinson - Released: 1948

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The Big Sleep James Stewart, Joan Collins Robert Mitchum - Released: 1946

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The Postman Always Rings Twice Lana Turner, Hume Cronyn John Garfield

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Vertigo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Film Noir Movies
Vertigo James Stewart, Kim Novak Alfred Hitchcock

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L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Film Noir Movies
L.A. Confidential Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe Kim Basinger

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M Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen Georg John

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Notorious Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant Alfred Hitchcock - Released: 1946

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The Asphalt Jungle Marilyn Monroe, Jack Warden James Whitmore - Released: 1950

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In a Lonely Place Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame Frank Lovejoy - Released: 1950

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The Killing Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray Vince Edwards - Released: 1956

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White Heat James Cagney, Edmond O'Brien Virginia Mayo - Released: 1949

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Gilda Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford George Macready - Released: 1946

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The Big Heat Lee Marvin, Glenn Ford Carolyn Jones - Released: 1953

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Mildred Pierce Joan Crawford, Eve Arden Butterfly McQueen - Released: 1945

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To Have and Have Not Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart Walter Brennan

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The Manchurian Candidate Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury Janet Leigh

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The Big Sleep Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart Dorothy Malone

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Detour Ann Savage, Tom Neal Tim Ryan

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The Killers Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster Edmond O'Brien - Released: 1946

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Night and the City Gene Tierney, Richard Widmark Herbert Lom - Released: 1950

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Dark Passage Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart Agnes Moorehead

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Kiss Me Deadly Cloris Leachman, Nat King Cole Jack Elam - Released: 1955

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Murder, My Sweet Claire Trevor, Dick Powell Mike Mazurki

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Angels with Dirty Faces Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney Ann Sheridan - Released: 1938

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The Woman in the Window Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett Raymond Massey - Released: 1944

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The Man Who Knew Too Much James Stewart, Doris Day Alfred Hitchcock

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The Naked City Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff Don Taylor - Released: 1948

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Arsenic and Old Lace Cary Grant, Peter Lorre Raymond Massey

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Sweet Smell of Success Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis Nick Adams - Released: 1957

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Rope James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock Cedric Hardwicke

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Ace in the Hole Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling Iron Eyes Cody - Released: 1951

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And Then There Were None Walter Huston, Judith Anderson Barry Fitzgerald

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The Hitch-Hiker Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy José Torvay

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The Lost Weekend Jane Wyman, Ray Milland Howard Da Silva - Released: 1945

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The Blue Dahlia Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd William Bendix

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Spellbound Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck Alfred Hitchcock - Released: 1945

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The Big Clock Charles Laughton, Ray Milland Maureen O'Sullivan - Released: 1948

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Pickup on South Street Richard Widmark, Thelma Ritter Jean Peters - Released: 1953

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Scarlet Street Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett Dan Duryea - Released: 1945