Daisy Kenyon (1947)

Daisy Kenyon (1947) is a classic Otto Preminger lousy husband romantic triangle arrogant commercial artist melodrama noir-style moral wrongness feature film with Joan Crawford, Dana Andrews, and Henry Fonda.

Preminger’s sensibility clashed with the shadows. His modus operandum, like a smoke-filled room, ran counter to the polished veneer of society. Daisy Kenyon, a dame caught in the crossfire, danced on the edge of desire and danger.

The two leading men, a fedora and a military hat, did anybody write a book about the hat motif and codes and modes of symbology in noir. They had better had. Noir needs hat analysis. Hat analysis may be brought to bear in any and many a film noir, a good example we could enjoy might be Ramrod, starring Lana Turner.

Walk On The Wild Side (1962)

Walk On The Wild Side (1962) is a drifter narrative historical film noir tale of corrupt and tragic and exploitative brothel living starring Jane Fonda and Laurence Harvey, with Capucine and Barbara Stanwyck providing support and at times violent melodrama.

More than that, Walk On The Wild Side (1962) does provide a f & m buddy movie vibe, kicking off with a wandering tale of two drifters, drifting together, the young and wild and immoral Twist played by Jane Fonda, and the cool calm cowpoke character played by Laurence Harvey. 

Ramrod (1947)

Ramrod (1947) is a darkness on the range film noir western tale of bullying double crossing and rivalry from one of the style's favourite directors, André De Toth, one of the pioneers in the film noir western genre jam of the 1940s.

The permutations of film noir began to play across nightmare scenarios in the urban, criminal, historical and now western styles of story telling,.

In the shadow-draped alleys of 1947, it was not all shadow-draped alleys and the Western too felt the noir influence from time to time. This picture called Ramrod hit the silver screen, helmed by the Hungarian maestro Andre de Toth, and is now considered to be an example of cross-over style, that most amazing of constructs, the film noir western.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) is an atmospheric horror science fiction mystery movie adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, that stars Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner.

While not a film noir in the conventional mode nor even much in the capacity of the subject matter and story, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) is classic film noir inasmuch as it introduces the style within its full dramatic flow.

Yet as far as the noir, ambivalence and duality are pushed to the extremes in this cracker of a science fiction thriller, with Spencer Tracy who had been symbolising rectitude for many a cinematic year preceding. 

Kings Row (1942)

Kings Row (1942) is an epic local large-scale detailed slice of life dramatic-style tableau course-of-history melodrama, which is not film noir, and yet retains a space in the noir hall of fame, not on the wall of shame so much as on the formative features feature.

Still — in reading the all-time seminal seminar on noir, Raymonde Borde and Etienne Chaumeton's A Panorma of Amercian Film Noir (1941 - 1953), we do find that Kings Row is one of several non noir productions that rise up early in the authors' studies, as an example of the ultra-conventional being infected with the same dark currents that were hitting civil as well as cultural and criminal society — noir.

Jigsaw (1949)

Jigsaw (1949) is an unusual and at times outré mystery chase hate-group propaganda versus journalism, journalism and media film noir, starring Franchot Tone as a detecting assistant district attorney, on the scene and hunting for what might be called neo-fascists, or perhaps simply more likely, just fascists.

None of that was really truly departed for the future, after all, not even by 1949. And what is and was and what became and what now is fascism, and what the definitions of fascism are and might be, are all questions much relevant to film noir.

Jigsaw (1949) is an entertaining thriller that’s so over-the-top, you can’t help but overlook its far-fetched plot and be grateful for the fun it brings. It’s a film that’s as strange as they come.

Woman in Hiding (1950)

Woman in Hiding (1950) is a woman against the world lousy husband flashback murder and female seeker hero film noir, starring Ida Lupino as a wife on the run, escaping from a murderous marriage and finding love on the run in the form of lackadaisical magazine and cigar seller Howard Duff.

Corporate villainy also appears in this car smashin chase and hide thriller in the form of Stephen McNally playing an industry boss who is going to be appropriate screen material for the 1950s, straight outta war and into world domination, starting with mob behaviour in the boardroom.

I would seem from the Wikipedia entry on Woman in Hiding (1950) that not everybody agrees that this is a film noir. The works that are cited are the super-seminal and all-ruling guide to the subject of film noir,  Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton (2002). A Panorama of American Film Noir (1941-1953), and Ian Brookes Film Noir: A Critical Introduction

A Woman's Face (1941)

A Woman's Face (1941) is a fantastical hard-luck-lady flashback courtroom film noir blackmail tale of gender expectation, bitterness and plastic surgery.

One of several plastic surgery miracle movies made in the era, it seemed like the trope and myth of the plastic surgeon and face exchange being ideal narrative material on the big screen.

Most meaningfully and in the terms of the noir universe these are Dark Passage (1947), Black Dragons (1942), Nora Prentiss (1947), Stolen Face (1952), G-Men Never Forget (1948), Dead End (1937), The Second Face (1950), It Happened in Hollywood (1935), and then She Demons (1958) a strangely far out genre find, Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), and with The Raven (1935), that might be enough for now, although others will materialise, that is certain.

This Woman is Dangerous (1952)

This Woman is Dangerous (1952) is a screen-scorching lady gangster dilemma woman-based crime drama with a timely titular suggestion concerning the moral and health and safety proclivities of a gender-based social entity played by Joan Crawford.

A slightly peculiar air of crime fantasy permeates this oddly composed domesticated film noir.

This Woman Is Dangerous is a classic 1952 film noir and crime drama produced by Warner Bros. The movie features Joan Crawford, David Brian, and Dennis Morgan, and tells the story of a woman involved with the criminal underworld who faces the challenge of losing her sight. 

The screenplay, crafted by Geoffrey Homes and George Worthing Yates, draws from a narrative by Bernard Girard. Felix E. Feist directed the film, with Robert Sisk serving as producer.

Sudden Fear (1952)

Sudden Fear (1952) is a paranoid woman psychological stalking thriller film noir from the golden age of sinister and romantic wife's suspicion of her husband pictures.

Ever since Suspicion indeed, on the one hand, and Rebecca on the other, volumes of reel of film have told the tales of the paranoid woman of the era, she is the very sight of the times and the very words sudden fear themselves may be used to describe noir itself, it's attack vogue, it's play in the dark nature, the insuring lustre of stars on the screen, reworking in this case the themes, of suspicion, and the key player in the play of death is a dictating machine, a media within the media.

Flamingo Road (1949)

Flamingo Road (1949) is a woman against the world Southern local bully class-status drama hostess-at-a-roadhouse film noir of complicated romances, and double crosses.

Directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet, and David Brian, the screenplay for Flamingo Road (1949) was written by Robert Wilder. It was based on a 1946 play written by Wilder and his wife, Sally, which in turn was based on Robert Wilder’s 1942 novel of the same name.

The plot follows an ex-carnival dancer who marries a local businessman to seek revenge on a corrupt political boss who had her railroaded into prison. Some of the more salacious aspects of the novel were downplayed in the film due to the Hollywood Production Code.

The Damned Don't Cry (1950)

The Damned Don't Cry (1950) is a flashback rags-to-riches-lousy husband woman in the workplace corporate gangland crime kingpin's moll film noir, with Joan Crawford and David Brian, as well as a career highlight from noir superstar Steve Cochran

With Joan Crawford and an incredible four husbands in one movie, there are questions galore in the damned darkness of The Damned Don't Cry (1950).

Joan Crawford's character starts with a husband that she does not rate, even though it is Richard Egan. But he's too controlling and penny-pinching for her, and she is a film noir hero for whom enough is not enough.

Rephrasing that, this is a common enough film noir lesson: you are not satisfied with your mediocre and quotidian suburban working life, or as in this case, a rather blue collar existence on an oilfield.

Night Editor (1946)

Night Editor (1946) is a lousy husband crooked cop journalism and media-framed film noir murder and police procedural directed by Henry Levin and starring William Gargan, Janis Carter and Jeff Donnell.

This quiet epic of quick production B or C-movie magic and exploitation melodrama was adapted from a well-liked radio show bearing the same title. Its screenplay drew inspiration from an episode of the radio series titled Inside Story

Produced by Columbia Pictures as a B-movie, it was intended to launch a sequence of movies chronicling the nocturnal adventures of crime reporters at the fictitious New York Star newspaper. However, no subsequent films in the Night Editor series were produced.

Carrefour (1938)

Carrefour (1938) is an amnesia noir proto-noir French thriller with a pedigree so crucial to film noir and the noir style, that pages must and will be written about this classic of the noir manner.

Crossroads, as anglophones might intone, being the translated term, much it might be said in the film noir mode, with its emphasis in naming, upon streets, roads, and other similar type of concept.

Actually titled Carrefour in French, this early expression of the film noir trend is a mystery drama film from 1938. Directed by Curtis Bernhardt, it features Charles Vanel, Jules Berry, and Suzy Prim in leading roles. This influential film led to two remakes in English: the British Dead Man’s Shoes in 1940 and the American Crossroads in 1942. Filming took place at the Billancourt Studios and around Paris, with Jean d’Eaubonne and Raymond Gabutti as the art directors responsible for the film’s visual design.

Curtis Bernhardt’s journey through the film industry mirrors that of his contemporaries, traversing Germany, France, and America. Unlike Fritz Lang and Robert Siodmak, Bernhardt never returned to Germany to film. 

Key Largo (1948)

Key Largo (1948) is a classic film noir home invasion criminal versus returning war veteran drama thriller directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Edward G. Robinson.

A full noir cast however awaits within the reels of Key Largo (1948), revealed with the standard credit sequence and a short aerial introduction and voiceover, explaining where we are, embedding the physical in what turns out to be high impact environment, both human and meteorological.

The Set-Up (1949)

The Set-Up (1949) is a high-intensity weakened male failing old timer boxing set-up patsy takes a dive real-time action concept classic film noir based on a narrative poem published in 1929.

The streets of the night with their emphasis on fun, with arcades and bars, and  cigar stands and joints of all sorts, are seen as places of isolation as Julie walks them without aim, unable to watch her man Stoker take part in another fight.

Existential expression is often key to film noir, and of course Albert Camus needed to go to the cinema too, and would have ideally found confirmation of his philosophical expression in a picture such as this.

Take One False Step (1949)

Take One False Step (1949) is an innocent-man-accused murder mystery comedy-toned film noir by Chester Erskine, which follows decent upstanding citizen Andrew Gentling (played by William Powell) as he negotiates the criminal backdrops of San Francisco, trying to clear his name from the frame, and deal with a rabid dog bite in the process.

In town for a conference, Powell's character bumps into an old flame in the form of Shelley Winters, and she relentlessly hits on him until he drives her home, and she disappears, leaving him suspected of murder.

It's a murder without a body however, and an ordinarily tense noir setup falls into place and the hacks of film noir will argue that it winds up lacking in the tension that is traded for comedy.

Dead Man's Eyes (1944)

Dead Man's Eyes (1944) is a horror thriller artist-goes-blind murder love triangle film noir from the Inner Sanctum series of the 1940s, starring Lon Chaney Jr and Jean Parker.

Fairly silly and not universally enjoyed, Dead Man's Eyes (1944) is a basic production to say the least, and is fairly static in terms of its acting and direction, and so quite easy to see why it is not so widely enjoyed as other films noir might still be.

Indeed, for a love triangle picture it is even hard to imagine any of the characters having any true feeling for each other, but then in a cinematic landscape where nothing makes total sense, then nothing particularly matters either.

Pickup On South Street (1953)

Pickup On South Street (1953) is an urban Red Scare espionage and petty crime classic film noir directed by Samuel Fuller, and starring Richard Widmark, Thelma Ritter and Jean Peters.

Telling the story of how an innocent couple of low life New York petty criminals, a pickpocket and a vaguely defined B-girl, come to be involved in a highly dangerous Communist plot to smuggle some microfilm out of the city, and away from the pursuing FBI.

It goes without saying that the FBI are rather inefficient in handling this affair, relying on assumption, framing and the good will of the petty criminals who know the streets and their denizens better than they ever could. In the favour of the FBI, the commies are not much better organised, although they are quite well funded as cash bribes and payments seem to be their main approach.

The Iron Curtain (1948)

The Iron Curtain (1948) is an early Cold War espionage and infiltration thriller based on the breaking up of a real Canadian spy ring in the immediate aftermath of World War 2. 

It didn't take long, but shortly after World War 2 ended it became apparent that the liberators of Berlin and the nation which defeated the Nazis in Germany became the main enemy of the United States, and by association here, and everywhere, Canada.

It is in fact by all accounts the first feature film to dramatize and propagandise the new-fangled Cold War of the period, which could really be said to have run from 1947 until 1991, and seen the rise and development of film noir as one of its key cultural expressors.

Highway Dragnet (1954)

Highway Dragnet (1954) is an innocent male war veteran accused of murder mistaken identity road movie and sexual tension couple on the run thriller film noir, set on the highways and desert areas of Nevada and California.

Highway Dragnet holds the distinction of being the inaugural film to feature Roger Corman in the credits, marking his debut in the industry.

Corman was part of a team of six screenwriters who crafted this tension-filled melodrama shot on location. The film features Richard Conte as a former Marine fleeing from an unjust murder accusation. During his escape, he encounters Joan Bennett, a sophisticated magazine photographer, and her leading model, Wanda Hendrix, as they embark on a cross-country journey. 

Swamp Water (1941)

Swamp Water (1941) is a moody southern innocent-man-accused rural-backwater pelter manhunt film noir, which was Jean Renoir's first American movie.

A surprise treat from 1941, Renoir brings some poetic magic to the early years of the Golden Age, by taking time to develop characters and also developing the fact and fiction of the swamp itself, bringing on the sticky everglades as a peril as lousy as the urban jungles of more familiar film noir.

More complex and sad also, than the more common fare of the day, Swamp Water (1941) teases out feeling and emotional pain from the cast in the small town jealousies of its actors, and even a scene of torture in which Dana Andrews' character is drowned for information on the whereabouts of Walter Brennan's character.

Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) is a science fiction horror creature feature monster movie of the most classic stamp,

funny how sci fi invokes religion at the start of these films

A strange prehistoric beast lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study.

This process should viewers care to see it is explored in The Shape of Water (2017).

Creature With The Atom Brain (1955)

Creature With The Atom Brain (1955) is a science fiction noir horror police procedural zombie brain chip implant mindless surrogate domestic terror thriller directed by Edward L. Cahn.

Noir-flavoured science fiction horror exploitation cinema is an important enough niche on its own but adding radiation and nuclear threat and bottom slapping pipe-smoking patriarchy 

As with all good 50s noir and atomic paranoia narrative the suburban dream is safely central to the threat and is the world  normative and in toto at threat of tipping into a void, in this case a radioactive brain chip zombie plague that is able to significantly interrupt national infrastructure, but unable to interrupt the laughing marital rump slapping and after work cocktail of the pipe smoking patriarchy.

Rage in Heaven (1941)

Rage in Heaven (1941) is a mannered psychological jealous love and madness film noir from the early years of the psychological jealous love and madness noir period.

Intimate and wild, formatively dramatic, Rage in Heaven is naturally also served with a twist of vaudeville, because psychological harm was only communicable in this manner at the opening of the era, circa 1940 and 1941.

Psychology is a supernatural form for noir and romance cinema, spoken of in unfounded vagueness and mystery, often in authoritative or awed tones.

The vaudevillian doctors of early psychology are a cinematic class unto themselves and are more prominent and more interesting and contain more semiotic fare in the 1940s, than they do or appear to be in any other decade.

My Six Convicts (1952)

My Six Convicts (1952) is an earnest prison reform noir drama movie from the very high water mark of the classic film noir era.

Yet maybe just floating upon that watermark does not mean your every film production is a classic, and most certainly of all, unlikely to be a classic of the film noir style.

What My Six Convicts (1952) does manage is a sympathetic-psychopathic portmanteau of movie moodiness with the nascent form of the movie madman being treated of as seriously as it could have been after just having undergone a fantastical 1940s of fun and fear, in which cod-psychoanalytic crime detection became 

The film kicks off with John Beal's arrival at the prison, tasked with trialing a psychological rehabilitation system for convicts. However, progress is slow until Millard Mitchell's seasoned safe-cracker takes a chance on the new doc.

The Verdict (1946)

The Verdict (1946) is an historical chiller thriller police versus killer film noir, and noir boy genius' Don Siegel's first directorial work.

With the smoke over the sound stage and the shadow chasing bulky form of Sidney Greenstreet and character actors galore to boot, The Verdict plays an old time turna the century London vibe as upped with character as any other in the foggy-noir sub genre.

This classic of foggy noir has more than a few twists to turn your interest to it, superior in depth perhaps if less held together in the low key nature of the incidents, while playing in turn for a kind of horror, the very possible horror of having condemned an innocent man, while coupled with smug 1890s Victorian era cop shop workplace bullying.

Guilty Bystander (1950)

Guilty Bystander (1950) is an alcoholic ex-cop crime drama panic scheming business acquaintance and smuggler film noir starring Zachary Scott and Faye Emerson.

In the midst of an era inundated with ceaseless reports of misfortune, as well as poor HD movies that rehash every last bullet and trope of soft genius from the golden days of cinema there emerges a glimmer of hope, however slight. 

Guilty Bystander (1950) is a diminutive, economical gem of the noir genre, cherished only by eccentric enthusiasts and much worthy of being resurrected from the annals of obscurity. 

Forlorn and neglected for decades, relegated to the most abysmal state imaginable, the film has been granted a new lease on life through a resplendent restoration, unveiling its splendour anew.

The Invisible Woman (1940)

The Invisible Woman (1940) is an US science fiction comedy film with little to commend it to the regular noir nor horror marketeer noireau, and yet comedy included it still grabs the headlines with its genre mixup and inevitable 1940s-style gender statements. It features Virginia Bruce, John Barrymore, John Howard, Charles Ruggles, and Oskar Homolka.

The Invisible Woman is an US science fiction comedy film. In this fil, well, to say the least an attractive model with an ulterior motive volunteers as guinea pig for an invisibility machine. Danger and hilarity and gender immorality ensues.

The Spiral Staircase (1946)

The Spiral Staircase (1946) is a stalking terrorisation paranoia psychological historical film noir thriller with all the trimmings of the mystery style and elements of the apprehensive female domestic victim movie.

In the dimly lit streets of the city, a killer stalked the shadows, preying upon women with imperfections. His eyes, cold and calculating, sought out vulnerability—the slightest flaw that marked his victims. The town whispered of his deeds, and fear hung heavy in the air.

Helen, the mute caregiver for a wealthy old woman, was next on everyone’s list. Her silence made her an easy target, her inability to scream for help a cruel twist of fate. The old woman’s mansion loomed like a fortress, its walls hiding secrets and shadows.

Sabotage (1936)

Sabotage (1936) is an Alfred Hitchcock suspense spy and public terror thriller starring Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, and John Loder.

It is loosely based on Joseph Conrad's 1907 novel The Secret Agent, about a woman who discovers that her husband, the owner of a London movie theatre, is a terrorist agent.

Alfred Hitchcock's pre-American British thriller, known in the United States as A Woman Alone, stands out as one of his finest works. 

Scripted by Charles Bennett and inspired by Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, the film was retitled to avoid confusion with Hitchcock's earlier work of the same name. While the plotline remains somewhat thin, it's Hitchcock's meticulous attention to detail that makes this thriller truly captivating.

A Dangerous Profession (1949)

A Dangerous Profession (1949)
is a stylised pulp cop versus bail-bondsman versus client stand-off romance crime and detective mystery mannered film noir directed by Ted Tetzlaff, and starring Ella Raines, George Raft, Jim Backus and Pat O'Brien.

The tough loners of film noir are always waiting for a new case in the city of crime, whether they be detective or heel, or in this case a bail bondsman, something of the perfect cinematic loner. 

Some of them are waiting for the return of the woman that burned them, and George Raft plays both, with his usual stillness and impassive stone hard cinematic stare.

In the game of sucker moves, this loner works his broken relationships with broken noir charm, the grimaces of both his current partner and his former police partner testify to this.

Don't Bother To Knock (1952)

Don't Bother To Knock (1952) is a psychological character study thriller film noir starring Anne Bancroft, Richard Widmark and Marilyn Monroe and directed by Roy Ward Baker. 

The screenplay was written by Daniel Taradash, based on the 1951 novel Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong. 

In the picture, Monroe plays a blinder as a disturbed babysitter watching a child at the same New York hotel where a pilot, played by Widmark, is staying. 

He starts flirting with her, but over the evening her strange behaviour makes him increasingly aware that she is most mentally disturbed indeed. 

Marilyn Monroe's better known for any number of reasons, but often these reasons are not acting. Here she plays Rose Loomis, she’s got scars on her wrists, a past as murky as the Hudson River, and a penchant for trouble. Rose is the niece of the hotel’s elevator man, a guy who knows more about the guests than the bellhops know about their tips.

Man In The Dark (1953)

Man In The Dark (1953) is a rough-edged and semi-sleazy fantasy Lew Landers 3-D amnesia criminal mystery drama low-budget film noir, starring solid noir scions Edmond O'Brien, Audrey Totter and Ted de Corsia.

Going so far as to include mad scientist elements in the hand of of some fully state operated crazy medicine men, Edmond O'Brien plays a criminal who undergoes a brain operation which serves to remove the part of his brain that makes him such a bad-ass robber, thug, and hater of and sneerer at humanity.

The downside of the operation is the loss of the criminal's memory, and so another case of amnesia noir commences, as Edmond O'Brien plays the weakened male lead, once more lost without a brain in the city and in a world of crime.

Saboteur (1942)

Saboteur (1942) is an Alfred Hitchcock wrongfully-accused man espionage and propaganda war-time terror and adventure romance thriller, replete with Americana, American landscapes, oddity, comedy, suspense and tropes galore.

A sheer joy of rollicking war time entertainment, Saboteur (1942) refuses to suffer critiques that it is too preachy in deep pro-Protestant American messaging, promoting the great values of its great self, and going too far in its reaching into the pockets of the nation's moral code.

But this is not the case, given that Hitchcock would go on to film the country, re-recreate the country, give the States such direction and place an immortal stamp on the nation's culture and film industry.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956) is a classic science fiction classic film noir classic horror classic paranoia thriller, from the crested tip of the wave of domestic American paranoia, a period which produced some of the zaniest and most intense fabulous fear fests of all time.

An early masterwork from one of the most unsung heroes of film noir and cop cinema, Don Siegel, the man who gave us the best run of post-noir cop movies in the entirety of cinema, the (largely) Clint Eastwood-based sixties-to-seventies quintet of  Coogan's Bluff (1968), Madigan (1968), Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970), The Beguiled (1971) and Dirty Harry (1971).

With all the talent and experience of the noir era, a man who in fact began his cinematic trade a properly in 1941 performing montage in Now, Voyager (1941), and Casablanca (1942), Siegel is as essential to the film noir journey as a director can be, even if his youth at the time meant he was veritable child alongside the better known noir masters such as Fritz Lang, et al.

Secret Agent (1936)

Secret Agent (1936) is a wacky and serious by turns British historical continental espionage thriller by Alfred Hitchcock, and one able to pull a rather outré punch with its oddity, hilarity, dark subject matter and casual approach to high European super spy-work.

Either way the debonair humour and sophisticated violence and random fantasy involved in this type of fancy spy work is going at some point in the future, and maybe after being re-emphasised by Hitchcock in his masterpiece North By Northwest (1959) be reminiscent of the British Bond, and indeed if you were to ever ask who might have been the first British actor to play such a thing, the answer may well be that it is John Gielgud.

That is correct. Gielgud as Bond. He even does the Mrs Female Spy only one bed for Mr and Mrs Bond in a hotel room routine, so why not.

The Killer Is Loose (1956)

The Killer Is Loose (1956) is a cat and mouse revenge killer on the run suburban family man cop film noir from the cul de sac end of the great mid century American noir cycle.

The Killer Is Loose (1956) is a film noir thriller with modern echoes, although the 1950s had already seen the death of modernism. We may well come back to that.

Yet the cinema has to be the ultimate of all modern artforms. The modern period, insofar as it relates to art, literature and most importantly of all, politics, can really be said to take place between 1880 and 1950.

It is curiously enough during this period also that cinema rises, develops, achieves its potential, and then enters the same decline as all else in post modern period.

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) is not just a classic but is likely the classic, classic Sherlock Holmes movie.

It is the debut movie of the most iconic Holmes on screen of them all, being Basil Rathbone. That is to say the greatest of all time, and its place in the classic film noir story.

Historical and faithful, wonderful and trend-setting, and with a noir-themed foggy soundstage, in an era just before World War, expressing the accumulated sophistication of the movie making of the 1930s, with more to commend it than simply its being a pure and fun expression of the Holmes story, as well as being the first of 14 films, which came to type a legend into the annals of cinema, drama, and noir.

Out on Fox's enormous back lots, the landscapes of Devonshire came to life  and notably there was no hint at all with any participating artist, producer nor technician, no suggestion that there would be any more Sherlock Holmes films after this one.

After landing the role, Basil Rathbone said:

"I think that Holmes is one of the greatest characters in fiction. With all the thousands of detective and mystery stories that have been written since, the name of Sherlock Holmes still stands at the head of the roster of famous sleuths. It is synonymous with the very word 'detective'. To play such a character means as much to me as ten Hamlets."

The Las Vegas Story (1952)

The Las Vegas Story (1952) is a lousy husband cop-on-the-strip romance thriller set amidst the Hoagy Carmichael Vegas nights of yore, when the air was clear and hot and Hoagy Carmichael played the merry songs on his drinking and playing room keys.

Starring Victor Mature as a sour-faced doubtful package of twitching male unease and noir never-come-lately star of many other styles, the top-billing Jane Russell.

Now there's a rule on the here-hold her old noir blog of yore, about what it takes to get your name a category tag. And so it is generally the case that to be in this blog you must have been involved in at least three film noir titles, and of course, so long as the era is betwits and between the years of 1940 and 1960, the definition of film noir even hereabouts is not that fixed and fairly malleable at times.

Hollywood Story (1951)

Hollywood Story (1951) is a motion picture industry noir killer thriller historic Hollywood mystery drama starring Richard Conte and Julie Adams, Richard Egan, Henry Hull, Fred Clark and Jim Backus, a high host of noir talent.

The murder in Hollywood trope usually takes a film noir twist and usually with a bit of fun. If it ain't In a Lonely Place it will be elsewhere.

Directed by William Castle, Hollywood Story (1951) takes us on a captivating journey through the glitz and shadows of old Hollywood. In a kind of film noir style, with curiosity and nostalgic tableau. Starring Richard Conte and Julie Adams, this American mystery film weaves a tale of ambition, murder, and intrigue.

I Am Waiting (1957)

I Am Waiting (1957) is a violent love noir boxing and lonely youth alienation revenge seeker tale from the Japanese noir boom of the mid to late 1950s.

It is seeker and mood noir, with many a pose of a beautiful young man in peril and even more poses of the beautiful young suicidal chanteuse wanderer, who hang around the docks, most amazingly of all in the young hero's completely empty and almost abandoned bar restaurant.

This dive of a bar is only metres from the industrially smoky and noisy dock railway and likewise only metres from the water too, truly the most horrendous place to play any kind of trade.

It Came From Outer Space (1953)

It Came From Outer Space (1953) is a rock-slinging 3-D alien invasion science fiction shapeshifter blobby monster movie, which dabbles heavily in the film noir themes of paranoia and social threat.

In its day It Came From Outer Space  probably had the 3-D thing as its main selling point, although the whole suburban desert lifestyle is a fascinating vision of Americana in and of itself.

Desert wires carry communications, and the desert man has a wife and a pipe and a telescope in the yard. in the lonesome old desolate west there is a great new threat.

This all-American science fiction horror film, notable for being the first to use the 3D process from Universal-International, was produced by William Alland and directed by Jack Arnold. Starring Richard Carlson and Barbara Rush, it also features actors Charles Drake, Joe Sawyer, and Russell Johnson. Contrary to some claims, the script is based on Ray Bradbury’s original film treatment titled The Meteor, rather than a published short story.

I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)

I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) is a lousy husband horror science fiction suburban film noir frightener which owes more to the scare of women and their assertive good sense beauty and civil morality, than it does to the Red Scare which may have inspired it.

The 1958 American horror science fiction film I Married a Monster from Outer Space produced and directed by Gene Fowler Jr. for Paramount Pictures, features Tom Tryon and Gloria Talbott.

When Worlds Collide (1951)

When Worlds Collide (1951) is a classic apocalypse, science fiction global planetary collision build-an-ark and flee-the-planet adventure drama, created by producer George Pal and director Rudolph Maté.

Starring Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen, John Hoyt, Larry Keating, Rachel Ames and Stephen Chase, When Worlds Collide brings high altitude snogging to the masses from the very off and races through the night skies to terrify the world with Hollywood's first major non-Biblical destruction movie, wowing the masses into ecstatic fear of the end.

The Naked Street (1955)

The Naked Street (1955) is a death penalty pregnancy and child loss crime corruption and extortion frame up film noir by Maxwell Shane starring Anne Bancroft, Anthony Quinn and Farley Granger.

If film noir naming conventions are to be adhered to, then The Naked Street (1955) trumps top in many delightful ways, composed as it is of that favourite noir naming trope — the street.

Lassie slapping noir is a stryle of street noir dirty with villainy and snarls, here delivered by back-handin' Anthony Quinn, some super indented toothy noir by numbers, a film of straight lines.

Studio noir with cool and low down fast action location shooting blended everyday realism with a sense of poetic melancholy. Films of noir often depicted characters living on the margins of society, facing disappointment, disillusionment, and fatalistic views of life.

The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947)

The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947) is a psycho bad guy ill-fated pick-up robbery and murder fraud and cop crunching road and beach house thriller from the high era of stranger danger handsome sociopathic lone killer pictures.

Lawrence Tierney shines as he rides down a cop in this wonder-a-minute fast moving loose livin and wild ride of a sizeable slab of American underbelly, thrilling with multiple characters on a road ride to the beach house bar of doom.

Cigarette flickin mean as can be mutha of the night Lawrence Tierney serves up almost at times a solo show of evil forties noir, although more the ably supported by Nan Leslie and Betty Lawford with superstar contrastin actin roles, way into this long night of very noir film noir.

Appointment with a Shadow (1957)

Appointment with a Shadow (1957) is an alcoholic journalist switcheroo murder pursuit battle with the booze film noir from the far end of the noir style.

As well as a searing enough tale of conflict between man and bottle, Appointment with a Shadow (1957) tells a strange criminal face-lift noir, back from when face changes as plot device were as firm a fantasy as film could enjoy, and so in this instance it seems credible that a criminal mastermind has only to put it about that he has had his face changed, and confusion reigns.

Invaders From Mars (1953)

Invaders From Mars (1953) is an independently made child point-of-view flying saucer fantasy science fiction alien peril SuperCinecolor, occupying a near maverick status in the mid twentieth century annals of US science fiction cinema.

Directed by super-Scot, or at leaset second generation American Scot William Cameron Menzies and starring Jimmy Hunt, Helena Carter, Arthur Franz, Morris Ankrum, Leif Erickson, and Hillary Brooke, it was produced by Edward L. Alperson Jr. and released by 20th Century-Fox in terrifying color, not just SuperCinecolor. For more on that Cinecolor effect, go here to Wikipedia.

The Boss (1956)

The Boss (1956) is a loveless marriage mean-ass mob boss epic biopic historical tale of cynical criminal cruelty, manipulation and lavish corrupt money making and spending, spanning the early to mid years of the twentieth century.

We’re talkin’ about a loveless marriage, a union colder than a corpse in a meat locker. Picture this: a dame and a fella, shackled together by vows they’d rather break than a stool pigeon under pressure. Ain’t no sweet nothings whispered here, just the hollow echo of empty promises.

The Boss stands out as a character-driven film within its frame of historical epic-ish film noir, focusing on Brady's (John Payne) descent into corruption and subsequent downfall. 

The film opens with the following written prologue: 

"The boss is a creature of no political party. He appears in the wake of public apathy fostering crime and corruption. Years ago an outraged citizenry arose against him. Only you, a vigilant people, can combat the menace of a boss."