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Film Noir 
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Post Re: Film Noir
Quote:
Strong list, sir.


thanks. you care to take a crack at a top 10? or Unke?
I admit I felt a little silly ranking most of them, but I do feel strongly about 1 & 2(2 of my favorite movies, not just favorite noirs)

youtube seem to be chock full of noirs. A Siodmak noir called Christmas Holiday(starring Gene Kelly! talk about a misleading title & star for a noir) is there(and not on dvd)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHrZyUO3b24


Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:33 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
calvero wrote:
Quote:
Strong list, sir.


thanks. you care to take a crack at a top 10? or Unke?
I admit I felt a little silly ranking most of them, but I do feel strongly about 1 & 2(2 of my favorite movies, not just favorite noirs)

I'm much obliged for your revival of this thread and for your top ten list: I'll have to try and find Nightmare Alley and Fallen Angel.

Since my original post, when I had seen
Unke wrote:
Maltese Falcon, Shadow of a Doubt, Double Indemnity, Detour, Scarlet Street, The Big Sleep, The Killers, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Dark Passage, Out of the Past, He walked by Night, The Third Man, The Asphalt Jungle, D.O.A., Sunset Boulevard, Strangers on a Train, The Big Heat, Kiss me Deadly, Night of the Hunter, Rififi, The Killing , L'Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows? not sure about the English title), Touch of Evil

I watched the following films noirs (excluding so-called neo noirs):

In a lonely Place
Laura
Gilda
The Dark Corner
The Wrong Man
The Postman always rings Twice
The Lady from Shanghai
Call Northside 777
The Hitch-Hiker
They live by Night
Where the Sidewalk ends
Pickup on South Street
Night and the City
Sweet Smell of Success
Niagara
Cape Fear
Les Doulos

Of course, classifying some of them as film noir might be controversial, but I haven't really found any generally accepted definition of the term. For the purpose of making a top ten list, I'll limit myself to American movies (goodbye, Elevator to the Gallows, Rififi and The Third Man) made between 1940 and 1960 (cheerio, Cape Fear) in black and white (toodles, Niagara), which have not been made by Hitchcock (adieu, Strangers on a Train). So here it comes:

Unke's ten favourite films noirs:

1. Dark Passage
2. The Killing
3. Double Indemnity
4. In a lonely Place
5. Out of the Past
6. Night of the Hunter
7. Kiss me Deadly
8. The Maltese Falcon
9. Sunset Boulevard
10. The Asphalt Jungle

It's a bit of an arbitrary list beyond #5, but that's what lists are like.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:13 am
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Post Re: Film Noir
calvero wrote:
you care to take a crack at a top 10?


Sure. It was actually fairly difficult to come up with because noir is so hard to pin down. I tried to stick with "classic" noir and used the same perameters Unke used. I actually think Chinatown is the best noir ever (original choice, I know), but for the purposes of this list, it's excluded. I'm also excluding Sunset Blvd. and Night of the Hunter even if they're, at the very least, heavily influenced by noir. Both would have made the list, for whatever that's worth.

1. The Maltese Falcon
2. The Asphalt Jungle
3. The Killing
4. Touch of Evil
5. Out of the Past
6. Double Indemnity
7. Raw Deal (so underrated)
8. Kiss Me Deadly
9. Pickup on South Street
10. Detour

My favorite "type" of noir film would probably be the heist film. There's just something about a group of flawed, unsavory characters working together for a common goal and then either turning on each other, or worrying about someone turning on them, that appeals to me. I remember watching The Killing for the first time and the ending just absolutely taking my breath away. It's so frantic and desperate, and then...well, you know.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:14 am
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Post Re: Film Noir
Quote:
My favorite "type" of noir film would probably be the heist film.


have you seen Kansas City Confidential & Criss Cross? both came close to making my top 10.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:06 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
calvero wrote:
Quote:
My favorite "type" of noir film would probably be the heist film.


have you seen Kansas City Confidential & Criss Cross? both came close to making my top 10.


I haven't seen either one, but Kansas City Confidential has been in my instant queue for close to a year. You just got me legitimately excited to watch it.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:28 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
What do people think about Kiss Me Deadly? DOA is another good one.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:50 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
Looking at all of these great lists is making me realize just how many classic noirs I haven't seen yet.

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Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:14 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
MGamesCook wrote:
What do people think about Kiss Me Deadly?


Kiss Me Deadly is fucking nuts! I love it! It also has one of the most cruel, stupid and utterly dislikable protagonists (though he still thinks he's king shit) I've seen in a noir. Normally you see noir protagonists as these world weary, fatalistic realists, but Meeker plays him as a man without a hint of self-awareness. It's fascinating to watch. His motivations seem to only be to stir up the shit; he seems to relish pissing people off, it's like a driving force to him. I doubt he even cares much about the poor girl who died in his presence. Normally you see a noir protagonist find their drive from some sense of moral righteousness, but with Mike Hammer, I just got the impression that he liked being a trouble maker. Look at the glee on his face when he's torturing an old man. Then finally he realises he's in over his head, but it's too late, and then things get weird...

It's also fascinating to see the influences the film has had on other filmmakers, from Tarantino's briefcase in Pulp Fiction, to David Lynch's Lost Highway, hell even the end of Raiders of the Lost Arc is heavily reminiscent of Kiss Me Deadly.

It's a hard film to recommend to others due to just how offbeat the whole darn thing is, but it's one of my favourite noirs, and one of the best Criterion blind buys I've made.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:37 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
PeachyPete wrote:
I'm also excluding Sunset Blvd. and Night of the Hunter even if they're, at the very least, heavily influenced by noir.


Night of the Hunter always struck me as be basically a latter-day Western (I was going to say a modern-day Western, but referring to the 1930s as "modern-day" doesn't really make sense in 2013, and would have been stretching it even when the film was made in 1955), but there are definately noir influences there.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:11 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
dps wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
I'm also excluding Sunset Blvd. and Night of the Hunter even if they're, at the very least, heavily influenced by noir.


Night of the Hunter always struck me as be basically a latter-day Western (I was going to say a modern-day Western, but referring to the 1930s as "modern-day" doesn't really make sense in 2013, and would have been stretching it even when the film was made in 1955), but there are definately noir influences there.


In my opinion Night of the Hunter is not a noir, but that they both draw a lot of their inspiration from German Expressionism.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:16 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
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In my opinion Night of the Hunter is not a noir, but that they both draw a lot of their inspiration from German Expressionism.


Yeah Hunter isn't noir, it's more like a Tim Burton movie almost. Kind of a dark fairytale.

Deadly is indeed offbeat; certainly an acquired taste.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:46 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
I'll throw in The Sweet Smell of Success. If you haven't seen it, you should. Damn fine film.

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Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:06 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
JackBurns wrote:
I'll throw in The Sweet Smell of Success. If you haven't seen it, you should. Damn fine film.


I agree, it's a damn fine film. Though unfortunately I found the first half much better than the second.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:28 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
MGamesCook wrote:
What do people think about Kiss Me Deadly? DOA is another good one.


DOA is a lot of fun and makes great use of its concept. It's a classic example of a B-grade, somewhat silly noir, but it also has a bit more to offer, which is always cool.

I had Kiss Me Deadly in my top 10, so I obviously think very highly of it. It's one of the very few movies that is almost all subtext for the majority of its running time, and then reveals those intentions plainly at the end. It's a horrible idea on paper that ends up working really well in practice. Plus, Mike Hammer is all kinds of nasty and gross. He seems more real, in that he's more in line with the kind of person I'd actually expect most noir protagonists to be.


Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:44 am
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Post Re: Film Noir
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
In my opinion Night of the Hunter is not a noir, but that they both draw a lot of their inspiration from German Expressionism.


Yeah Hunter isn't noir, it's more like a Tim Burton movie almost. Kind of a dark fairytale.


If I was forced to classify it into a genre, i'd call 'Night of the Hunter' an American Gothic horror movie. I've put in in my top ten noir list because film critics often describe it as a film noir, which is a very elastic term.

MGamesCook wrote:
What do people think about Kiss Me Deadly? DOA is another good one.


'Kiss me Deadly' is weird, pulpy, sadistic and utterly entertaining. I particularly like all the strange touches, such as the opening credits scrolling down instead of upwards. I also like the high-tech wall-sized answering machine.

'D.O.A.' is all right and has a lot of energy in places. I like how some scenes seem to have been filmed guerila-style. For some reason, I didn't think it was one of the best noirs, although it's been to long since I've seen it, so I can't give any specific reasons.


Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:09 am
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Post Re: Film Noir
250 Quintessential Noir Films

http://www.theyshootpictures.com/noir250noirs1.htm

Quote:
The 250 Quintessential Noir Films listing contains 241 films that all contain three key ingredients.
1) They were all produced in the United States;
2) They were all shot in black-and-white;
3) They were all produced between 1940 to 1959.

The nine films, that have been included, that exclude at least one of these key ingredients are two Non-American-produced noir (The Third Man and Mr. Arkadin), four colour noir films (Leave Her to Heaven, Niagara, Party Girl and Slightly Scarlet), and three films from the early 1960s (Cape Fear, Underworld, U.S.A. and The Naked Kiss).

As mentioned in the introduction, these 250 noir films aren't necessarily the best (although they would be very close to it), they are simply the films that - according to our research - have most often been cited as noir in publications and across the world-wide-web.


For interest sake, the top-ten most cited noir films are: Out of the Past (1947), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Laura (1944), Touch of Evil (1958), D.O.A. (1949), Double Indemnity (1944), The Killers (1946), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The Big Sleep (1946) and Kiss Me Deadly (1955). The most cited years are between 1944 to 1958, with 1947 being the peak year.


Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:32 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
Nightmare Alley deserves mention again. It's one of those movies that makes you eager to read up on its subject matter. Couple plot points are filmsy, but it's really engaging and leaves you questioning some of what happens. Overall it gets to you because you come out questioning whether you yourself would be immune to the seduction of a mentalist if a shrewd one tried to get under your skin. I think just about everyone has a vulnerability in this area.

I need to check out Fallen Angel again, though I remember it wasn't my favorite. I do remember it had one plot point very similar to Nightmare Alley. Here's the real obscurity though, speaking of angels: has anyone seen the movie Black Angel, starring Dan Duryea and Peter Lorre?


Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:51 am
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Post Re: Film Noir
Nightmare Alley was on the short list of films I was going to to pick from if I won the Oscar game last year(for JB to review)

Quote:
Here's the real obscurity though, speaking of angels: has anyone seen the movie Black Angel, starring Dan Duryea and Peter Lorre?


Yeah its pretty good. Noir historians seem to rate it very highly.


Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:26 pm
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Post Re: Film Noir
Yeah Black Angel is good. Duryea could make anything good. His twilight zone episode is pretty good too. Murder, My Sweet may be my favorite noir now. People dont' mention it too often, but I can't get enough of it. Dick Powell is the perfect Marlowe, the script is just campy enough and the mystery is really intriguing. Even more convoluted than The Big Sleep.


Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:09 am
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Post Re: Film Noir
What's the consensus on Murder, My Sweet; Lady from Shanghai; Murder by Contract.

Three of my favorites that haven't really been brought up.


Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:33 am
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