Unspeakable Crimes 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.
list ordered by

1
348 105
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Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor
Released: 1941 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

2
279 100
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Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Joseph Cotten
Released: 1949 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

3
318 51
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Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Rhonda Fleming
Released: 1947 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

4
330 179
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Released: 1944

5
249 85
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Alfred Hitchcock, Farley Granger, Leo G. Carroll
Released: 1951 Strangers on a Train is an American psychological thriller film produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and based on the 1950 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. It was shot in the ...more

6
300 125
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Greg Stopera added Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Roman Polanski
Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film, directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The film was inspired by the ...more

7
315 157
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William Holden, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson
Released: 1950 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

8
234 75
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Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich
Released: 1958 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

9
241 62
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Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy
Released: 1950 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

10
224 61
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Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb, Judith Anderson
Released: 1944 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

11
185 58
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Alfred Hitchcock, Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten
Released: 1943 Shadow of a Doubt is a 1943 American psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and starring Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten. Written by Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson, and Alma ...more

12
260 75
Vertigo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Film Noir Movies
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock
Vertigo is a 1958 American psychological thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. The story was based on the 1954 novel D'entre les morts by Boileau-Narcejac. The screenplay was ...more

13
233 47
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Marilyn Monroe, Jack Warden, James Whitmore
Released: 1950 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

14
156 72
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Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson
Released: 1948 Key Largo is a 1948 film noir directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Lauren Bacall and featuring Lionel Barrymore and Claire Trevor. The movie was adapted ...more

15
225 61
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Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards
Released: 1956 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

16
181 84
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Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
Released: 1955 The Night of the Hunter is an American thriller film directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish. Based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Davis ...more

17
158 52
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Lana Turner, Hume Cronyn, John Garfield
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

18
241 37
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Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Dorothy Malone
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

19
173 62
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Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready
Released: 1946 Gilda is a 1946 American black-and-white film noir directed by Charles Vidor and starring Rita Hayworth in her signature role as the ultimate femme fatale and Glenn Ford as a young thug. The ...more

20
160 71
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Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock
Released: 1946 Notorious is a 1946 American spy thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains as three people whose lives become intimately ...more

21
193 41
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Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster, Edmond O'Brien
Released: 1946 The Killers is a 1946 American film noir directed by Robert Siodmak and based in part on the short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. It stars Burt Lancaster in his film debut, Ava ...more

22
195 43
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Lon Harris added Ann Savage, Tom Neal, Tim Ryan
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

23
175 21
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Claire Trevor, Dick Powell, Mike Mazurki
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

24
139 53
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Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen, Georg John
M is a 1931 German drama-thriller film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre. It was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou and was the director's first sound film. Now ...more

25
198 47
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Cloris Leachman, Nat King Cole, Jack Elam
Released: 1955 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