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The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked 

Ranker Film
Updated August 13, 2019 6k votes 723 voters 9.6k views 36 items

List Rules Vote up the slickest, most stylish, most entertaining noirs.

Sex, murder, and mystery come together in classic noir films. The top old noir movies feature an unsuspecting protagonist getting swept up in a world of intrigue. This is a list of the greatest famous noir movies, including everything from The Maltese Falcon to Sweet Smell of Success to House by the River.

What films will you find on this list of the best noir movies in the genre? In Sunset Boulevard, a writer gets lost in a forgotten star's life of fantasy. William Holden and Gloria Swanson captivate in this 1950 film. The Third Man is another one of the best classic noir films ever made. Barbara Stanwyck stars as a murderous housewife in the 1944 noir masterpiece Double Indemnity. Other good movies featured on this list include Port of Shadows, The Killers, and Touch of Evil.

Which old noir movie do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Vote your favorites up to number one, and please add any classic films that are missing.

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list ordered by
1
In a Lonely Place is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy

Released: 1950

Directed by: Nicholas Ray

In a Lonely Place is a 1950 film noir directed by Nicholas Ray, and starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, produced for Bogart's Santana Productions. The script was adapted by Edmund North ...more
2
Out of the Past is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Rhonda Fleming

Released: 1947

Directed by: Jacques Tourneur

Out of the Past is a 1947 film noir directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas. The film was adapted by Daniel Mainwaring, with uncredited revisions by ...more
3
Sunset Boulevard is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
William Holden, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson

Released: 1950

Directed by: Billy Wilder

Sunset Boulevard—stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.—is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the ...more

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4
The Asphalt Jungle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Marilyn Monroe, Jack Warden, James Whitmore

Released: 1950

Directed by: John Huston

The Asphalt Jungle is a 1950 film noir directed by John Huston. The caper film is based on the 1949 novel of the same name by W. R. Burnett and stars an ensemble cast including Sterling Hayden, ...more
5
The Third Man is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Joseph Cotten

Released: 1949

Directed by: Carol Reed

The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. It is considered one of the greatest films of all ...more

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6
The Maltese Falcon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor

Released: 1941

Directed by: John Huston

The Maltese Falcon is a 1941 Warner Bros. film noir based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. Directed by John Huston, the film stars Humphrey Bogart as private investigator Sam ...more

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7
Criss Cross is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Yvonne De Carlo

Released: 1949

Directed by: Robert Siodmak

Criss Cross is a 1949 film noir starring Burt Lancaster, directed by Robert Siodmak from Don Tracy's novel of the same name. This black-and-white film was shot partly on location in the Bunker ...more
8
Gun Crazy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Russ Tamblyn, Peggy Cummins, Trevor Bardette

Released: 1950

Directed by: Joseph H. Lewis

Gun Crazy is a 1950 film noir feature film directed by Joseph H. Lewis, and produced by Frank King and Maurice King. The production features Peggy Cummins and John Dall in a story about the ...more

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9
Kiss Me Deadly is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Cloris Leachman, Nat King Cole, Jack Elam

Released: 1955

Directed by: Robert Aldrich

This film is a 1955 film noir drama produced and directed by Robert Aldrich starring Ralph Meeker. The screenplay was written by A.I. Bezzerides, based on the Mickey Spillane Mike Hammer mystery ...more

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10
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards

Released: 1956

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

This film is a 1956 film noir produced by James B. Harris and directed by Stanley Kubrick. It was written by Kubrick and Jim Thompson and based on the novel Clean Break by Lionel White. The ...more
11
Laura is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb, Judith Anderson

Released: 1944

Directed by: Otto Preminger

Laura is a 1944 American film noir produced and directed by Otto Preminger. It stars Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, and Clifton Webb along with Vincent Price and Judith Anderson. The screenplay by ...more

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12
Strangers on a Train is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Alfred Hitchcock, Farley Granger, Leo G. Carroll

Released: 1951

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Strangers on a Train is a 1951 American psychological thriller film noir produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and based on the 1950 novel Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. It was ...more

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13
The Big Sleep is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Dorothy Malone

Released: 1946

Directed by: Howard Hawks

The Big Sleep is a 1946 film noir directed by Howard Hawks, the first film version of Raymond Chandler's 1939 novel of the same name. The movie stars Humphrey Bogart as detective Philip Marlowe ...more
14
Detour is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Ann Savage, Tom Neal, Tim Ryan

Released: 1945

Directed by: Edgar G. Ulmer

Detour is a 1945 film noir thriller that stars Tom Neal and Ann Savage. The film was adapted by Martin Goldsmith and Martin Mooney from Goldsmith's novel of the same name and was directed by ...more

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15
The Big Heat is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Lee Marvin, Glenn Ford, Carolyn Jones

Released: 1953

Directed by: Fritz Lang

The Big Heat is a 1953 film noir directed by Fritz Lang, starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin. The film was written by former reporter Sydney Boehm, based on a serial by William P. ...more

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16
Murder, My Sweet is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Claire Trevor, Dick Powell, Mike Mazurki

Released: 1944

Directed by: Edward Dmytryk

Murder, My Sweet is a 1944 American film noir, directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, and Anne Shirley. The film is based on Raymond Chandler's 1940 novel Farewell, ...more
17
Nightmare Alley is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray

Released: 1947

Directed by: Edmund Goulding

Nightmare Alley is a 1947 film noir starring Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell, and directed by Edmund Goulding. The film is based on the 1946 novel of the same name, written by William Lindsay ...more
18
Touch of Evil is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich

Released: 1958

Directed by: Orson Welles

Touch of Evil is a 1958 American thriller film, written, directed by, and co-starring Orson Welles. The screenplay was loosely based on the novel Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson. Along with ...more
19
Double Indemnity is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson

Released: 1944

Directed by: Billy Wilder

Double Indemnity is a 1944 film noir crime drama directed by Billy Wilder, co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, based on James M. Cain's 1943 novella of the same name, which originally ...more

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20
The Narrow Margin is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
JerryDurrwachter added Charles McGraw, George Chandler, Marie Windsor

Released: 1952

Directed by: Richard Fleischer

The Narrow Margin is a 1952 American film noir directed by Richard Fleischer and written by Earl Felton, based on an unpublished story written by Martin Goldsmith and Jack Leonard. The ...more
21
D.O.A. is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler

Released: 1950

Directed by: Rudolph Maté

D.O.A., a film noir drama film directed by Rudolph Maté, is considered a classic of the genre. The frantically paced plot revolves around a doomed man's quest to find out who has poisoned ...more
22
This Gun for Hire is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd, Robert Preston

Released: 1942

Directed by: Frank Tuttle

This Gun for Hire is a 1942 film noir, directed by Frank Tuttle and based on the novel A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene. The film stars Veronica Lake, Robert Preston, Laird Cregar, and Alan
23
Dark Passage is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Agnes Moorehead

Released: 1947

Directed by: Delmer Daves

Dark Passage is a Warner Bros. film noir directed by Delmer Daves and starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The film is based on the novel of the same name by David Goodis. It was the ...more
24
White Heat is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
James Cagney, Edmond O'Brien, Virginia Mayo

Released: 1949

Directed by: Raoul Walsh

White Heat is a 1949 film noir starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Edmond O'Brien and featuring Margaret Wycherly and Steve Cochran. Directed by Raoul Walsh from the Ivan Goff and Ben ...more

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25
The Postman Always Rings... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked
Gene Lyons added Lana Turner, Hume Cronyn, John Garfield

Released: 1946

Directed by: Tay Garnett

The Postman Always Rings Twice is a 1946 drama-film noir based on the 1934 novel of the same name by James M. Cain. This adaptation of the novel features Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil ...more

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