The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked

Voting 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.

Photo: Warner Bros.
Ranked by
  • The Maltese Falcon
    Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre
    234 votes
    • Released: 1941
    • Directed by: John Huston
    In this noir classic, detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) gets more than he bargained for when he takes a case brought to him by a beautiful but secretive woman (Mary Astor). As soon as Miss ...more
  • The Big Sleep
    Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Martha Vickers
    201 votes
    • Released: 1946
    • Directed by: Howard Hawks
    Private investigator Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) is hired by General Sternwood to help resolve the gambling debts of his wild young daughter, Carmen (Martha Vickers). Sternwood's older daughter, ...more
  • Double Indemnity
    Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
    203 votes
    • 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 appeared ...more
  • Out of the Past
    Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
    220 votes
    • Released: 1947
    • Directed by: Jacques Tourneur
    The quiet life of small-town gas station owner Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) is interrupted when a figure from his shady past, small-time crook Joe Stephanos (Paul Valentine), recognizes him. ...more
  • Strangers on a Train
    Robert Walker, Farley Granger, Ruth Roman
    168 votes
    • Released: 1951
    • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
    In Alfred Hitchcock's adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's thriller, tennis star Guy Haines (Farley Granger) is enraged by his trampy wife's refusal to finalize their divorce so he can wed senator's ...more
  • The Third Man
    Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard
    189 votes
    • Released: 1949
    • Directed by: Carol Reed
    Set in postwar Vienna, Austria, "The Third Man" stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, who arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime (Orson Welles), only ...more