The Beat Generation (1959)

The Beat Generation (1959) is an outré exploitation rapist versus cop beatnik beat thriller which manages to deal with the worst social topics imaginable and do so in a madly unorthodox and spoof manner, while working hard to retain narrative dignity.

Featuring an array of daft and hip beats, beat songs, beat drinks, a beat with a rat, a beat who goes scuba diving and is a kind of harpoon beat, a wrestling beat which is hard to beat, Louis Armstrong, one of the greatest musicians of all time who is playing with some tuneless white dropout cats and a noisy mime, some straight ladies who are not beats, and some other squares who are raped.

Then there is a serious discussion of abortion wedged in between the acting of Fay Spain and Steve Cochran, Cochran playing the cop who is thrown into the world of the beats while tracing a rapist beat.

Underground (1941)

Underground (1941) is an action packed counter-Nazi propaganda espionage adventure movie in which one brave brother fights a massive propaganda war within wartime Germany while his brother supports and upholds the regime.

Nothing could be more dangerous in this artfully constructed version of Nazi society which is exactly as you would expect it. A place of propaganda. Where people are not free to speak. 

No mention is made of the Nazi's racial mania, although the young mouthpiece who is the dedicated wounded Nazi soldier, whose brother is hard at work in the underground, is racially crazed for the notion of Mother Germany and its capacity for ruling all of Europe and the World.

His brother runs an illegal and dangerous radio van service which certainly seems to be broadcasting a minority message. This message is that Nazis are an untrustworthy evil and not fit for power.

The Monster and the Girl (1941)

The Monster and the Girl (1941) is an outré monster death row revenge movie from the golden age of monster death row revenge movies. 

Unorthodox and strange, this crime science fiction courtroom horror thriller revenge monkey noir is a message to film lovers for all time, and stands as an immortal portal to more than just entertainment.

Film noir is one the least issues with The Monster and the Girl (1941) as there is such a delightful heap of unpacking to be made of this short epic, which tells of a mad experiment with monkeydom, and a mad experiment in film making too, as Hollywood feels its way towards the horror genre out of the monster department, while still indulging in its deep passion for monkeys.

more mystery than monster for the main of its short running time, The Monster and the Girl is a courtroom framed thriller mystery told in flashback as the shocked participants of a murder trial piece together the most awful facts that had ever been imagined on screen.

The Turning Point (1952)

The Turning Point (1952) is a corporate crime prosecution crooked cop journalism and media managerial film noir starring Edmond O'Brien and Joseph Cotten, as a special prosecutor and a journalist — respectively — breaking a crime syndicate in downtown Los Angeles. 

It was inspired by the Kefauver Committee's hearings dealing with organised crime which were of enormous public interest in 1950 and 1951, and which inspired quite a few film noir moments, as it happened. 

The idea of these hearings as a locus for the challenging of crime by means of public morals, created a unique set of cultural points for the 1950s. Since prohibition times, crime had grown into a major enterprise, and this its mangerial Kefauver-style film noir re-telling with sensation, morality, family, frienship, thuggery and downtown Los Angeles location shooting.

Son of Dracula (1943)

Son of Dracula (1943) is not a film noir but does belong to the cycle of Universal horror films of the 1930s and 1940s much loved by audiences, aficionados and other knowledgeable persons who enjoy the film productions of the era.

In terms of presentation, acting and character, the horror films of the 1940s were not as sophisticated as the classic noir productions of those years.

In the domain of thematic substance, the elegant tapestries of Gothic horror that graced the silver screen during the nascent 1930s may indeed exude a semblance of gentility when juxtaposed against the prevailing benchmarks of our contemporary standards. 

The noir taste is evident, but the nascent horror film has little in common with film noir. There is not even a great commerce between actors and the genre, versus the film noir style.

Tight Spot (1955)

Tight Spot (1955) is a witness protection prison police tough-talking tough-cop versus mob boss film noir, inspired by Senator Estes Kefauver's tactics in coercing Virginia Hill to testify in the Bugsy Siegel prosecution.

It's based on a play by Leonard Kantor, and so is largely contained within a single set, a luxury hotel suite, and within the mix of styles are touches of screwball romantic comedy, courtesy of Ginger Rogers, and material far darker and more in line with the hand of noir. 

It takes place over a weekend before the start of a mob trial and with crucial witnesses murdered, prosecutor Lloyd Hallett (Edward G. Robinson) has only one long shot left in order to prosecute public enemy and nemesis mob boss Benjamin Costain (Lorne Greene)

Hoodlum Empire (1952)

Hoodlum Empire (1952) is a semi-documentary corporate noir managerial Kefevaur hearing inspired film noir starring Luther Adler as a managerial darklord of gambling facing up to a Senate hearing.

Solid film noir technique and actors including a star turn from Claire Trevor and the normative mustachoed noirisms of Brian Donlevy.

For a film that fix to flips flashbacks like flying filmic tales there is epic wobbly fades and wipes to indicate the passage of time, back to World War 2, offering a creditable treasure trove of tropes for all to look and learn.

Shield For Murder (1954)

Shield For Murder (1954) is a violent crooked cop bad-lieutenant style savagely enjoyable classic spaghetti cellar film noir starring a heaving Edmond O'Brien as a mentalist officer with a bend on for the dark side.

It's the mid 1950s and all is roaring forward into a bright future, but on the streets of the noir city it's a different story, where one man is bending the American Dream outta shape with every slug, snog and gamble.

A beautiful and even darker twin to the other great bent and copper movie of the moment which was Pushover (1954), with Fred MacMurray and Kim Novak. It's not debatable whether or not you want the cop to get the money and the woman. 

In the brooding corridors of urban noir, Shield for Murder, a collaborative directorial effort helmed by Edmond O'Brien and Howard Koch, thrusts audiences into the visceral underbelly of Los Angeles, where O'Brien's portrayal of a cop gone awry serves as a chilling harbinger of moral decay and nasty noir cop rage.

The Killer That Stalked New York (1950)

The Killer That Stalked New York (1950) is a race-against-time paranoia thriller film noir made in the semi-documentary style in which doctors politicians and police struggle to find small-pox infected female smuggler.

Also known as Frightened City, The Killer That Stalked New York (1950) stands as a cinematic testament hailing from the noir-tinged annals of 1950, a creation helmed by the cinematic maestro Earl McEvoy and featuring the luminous talents of Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin, and William Bishop. 

This celluloid venture, captured on location and steeped in a semi-documentary aesthetic, unfurls a gripping narrative centred around diamond smugglers who, unbeknownst to them, become inadvertent instigators of a smallpox outbreak amidst the gritty expanse of 1947 New York City. 

Edge Of Doom (1950)

Edge Of Doom (1950) is a desperate priest killer noir starring Farley Granger as a man driven to edgy paranoiac and driven madness by poverty and in his view the Catholic church.

A paranoid city streets noir of the first drainage, Edge Of Doom is a slum story set in increasingly crummier settings, pitting priests against poverty and poverty against sanity, as one man turns to blame the church for the ills of his life, and now has issues with them around the deaths of both his parents.

A brilliant noir with all the fun of the style which includes Dana Andrews as the priestly narrative glue, offering a framed Farley fable, a story of desperation from the poor side. 

On the capitalist mean streets of 1950 there is a shinola-show of trouble for the poor, and all of this is focused on Farley Granger's increasingly desperate and tragic desire to see a large funeral for his penurious maw.

Undercover Girl (1950)

Undercover Girl (1950) is a female undercover cop film noir in which all of femininity suffers the indignities of the history of the world up to 1950, and since 1950 too in some workplaces.

Definitely the target of workplace bullying as well as workplace sexual harassment from  smug mug himself Scott Brady, undercover girl Alexis Smith is also a good cop in an embarrassingly male world, only a few years out of wartime and no years into the 1950s, it is going to be a place where a woman is going to be muscled into the film noir environment of the home, this is going to happen.

She's on the range but they want her in apron, and it takes a touch cookie like Alexis Smith to break this patriarchy right open.

The Conspirators (1944)

The Conspirators (1944) is an espionage and resistance romance and adventure film noir made by Jean Negulesco, and starring Hedy Lamarr and Paul Henreid.

Despite its wartime time and the complexities of wartime spying and resistance and the very real and sometimes unreal presence of the Nazis, the set-up of this wartime noir is classicly typical of the style - - a man and a woman, both of whom are fleeing from their pasts, accidentally meet and he falls for her - - big time.

A chance meeting, indicative of the noirish fate of many a wartime film noir protagonist. He in particular feels that the past can never harm them, and urges his new love to forget it.

Where Danger Lives (1950)

Where Danger Lives (1950) is a disturbed wife psycho murder couple on the run film noir with Robert Mitchum as the hell in love with Faith Domergue, one deranged half of a supremely dysfucntional marriage — the other half being Claude Rains.

A severe combinations of noir elements give the story of Where Danger Lives (1950) a bizarre enough edge to classify it as several types of crazy, largely derived from the mad and maddening behaviour of the suicide patient played by Faith Domergue.

The relationship with her husband which is abusive and very much a front for her to get access to money and for him (the husband played by Claude Rains) to have ownership of a young woman , and as such a marriage doomed to fail.

Berlin Express (1948)

Berlin Express (1948) is a train-bound post-war espionage cloak and dagger military mission movie with plenty film noir tones, themes and touches.

Drenched in the unappealing and captivating intricacies of the post-war milieu, rife with a tapestry of tropes, landscapes, and clichés that echo the discordant symphony of a world grappling with the aftermath of conflict, Berlin Express (1948) is an unusual and compelling espionage noir.

In the brutal theater of World War II's ferocity, where mushroom clouds etched indelible scars on history, few glimpses pierce the collective consciousness like the haunting images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki's atomic abyss. 

Yet, within the silent reels of this revelation, a different, less heralded tale unfolds — a cinematic odyssey unearthing the aftermath of conventional bombardment upon the ancient lands of Germany.

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Ace in the Hole (1951) is the ultimate journalism and media noir with the most vile connivance going down between Kirk Douglas as a manically ambitious and revenge-fuelled journalist and a local sheriff in a life or death rescue situation.

Ace in the Hole, which also known as The Big Carnival is directed by Billy Wilder and stars Kirk Douglas as a disgraced reporter who stops at nothing to try to regain a job on a major newspaper. The film co-stars Jan Sterling and features Robert Arthur and Porter Hall.

Kirk Douglas plays "Chuck" Tatum, a frustrated former big-city journalist stranded working for a small  Albuquerque newspaper. Because of his megalo-manic ways and urge to revenge himself he exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to restart his career, but the situation fast escalates into an out-of-control circus which will end in death, and more death.

Crime Of Passion (1957)

Crime Of Passion (1957) is a cops in suburbia story of female subjugation by the American Dream, and the story of how one career woman in love regrets her decision to quit her job in the media and become a housewife.

Many of the favourite flavours of noir are evident in a curiously uncorrupted and happy cop shop whereas the subtle rot of suburban morality that is often unsubtly recorded in film noir is placed on a slow burn beneath the lot of this movie.

The men are the men and the women are the women in this vision of 1950s USA, and most especially of all this is a noir of suburbia, a tale of the middle classes and the stifling inability of the new American Dream to cope with any abnormality in the moral and gender relations of the day.

Forbidden (1953)

Forbidden (1953) is a gangster abroad illicit love affair mobster's widow exotica romance film noir set in Macao, directed by Rudolph Mate and starring Tony Curtis, Joanne Dru and Lyle Bettger.

Echoing the heights of 1940s noir theme atmosphere and exciting the dark brew with the sunlight of the 1950s Forbidden bothers itself into existence as a low-subsistence noir which is recognisable as the cinema of ideas that have come before. 

Romantic complications are the order of the day as are snippy twists and the constant colliding of three actors, often crammed into one shot — Tony Curtis, Joanne Dru and Lyle Bettger. 

The idea of dreaming the noir city into being when the city is Macao, and your film is shot on the lot — it is a big ask. Without much scenery to lean on, the actors look even closer together. The main set is a night club, the Lisbon Club, which is rather nice, but the noir city may not be entirely evident.

The Glass Web (1953)

The Glass Web (1953) is a blackmail and murder film noir set in and around a television show which profiles true crime.

The movie The Unsuspected (1947) starring Claude Rains and Audrey Totter must be the most immediate antecedent to this type of story, a film in which a true crime broadcast becomes the setting for an actual murder.

There is a great open gulf of questions spanning the hundreds of films that weer made across theses six years however, and The Unsuspected and The Glass Web are different prospects entirely.

One could accuse The Unsuspected of being proper noir, insofar as it is amoral, fun and shot plenty in the dark, with mystery and shadow playing with fantasy and romance, a veritable dance with the dark side but not taking itself so seriously, as they never did all the time in the film noir era.

The Houston Story (1956)

The Houston Story (1956) is a corporate managerial Texas-based oil-boosting racket noir from the high era of corporate and racket noir.

It's a tough tale of industrial scale mob dodging oil thievery from the slick black beating heart of the Texas oil industry.

Seedy and pulpy and violent and silly, with a streak of cabbie noir and a lot of dirty oil scenery as well as some sordid poolside lechery, The Houston Story is a rewarding noir of parts.

Youth Runs Wild (1944)

Youth Runs Wild (1944) is an inattentive parents and juvenile delinquency returning veteran social drama which takes an early look at the idea of juvenile delinquency, several years before the teen-boom began across America and emerged within the Hollywood movies of the post-war years.

The returning veteran aspect is unusual and not entirely noir in its outlook, as Kent Smith plays Danny Coates who returns wounded to his old working class neighbourhood and takes up a mission to keep the toddlers safe. 

As a kind of side-mission to this, he is obliged by the local oldie judge to take care of some teenage tearaways, but he doesn't seem to succeed at this, and the teenagers tear right off and into Juvenile Hall.

Chicago Confidential (1957)

Chicago Confidential (1957) is a crime syndicate hard-boiled DA film noir thriller directed by Sidney Salkow, starring Brian Keith, Beverly Garland and Dick Foran. 

It is based on the 1950 book Chicago: Confidential! by Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer.

Chicago Confidential was the first film produced for Edward Small by Robert E. Kent, who had been a writer and story supervisor at Columbia. Small and Kent went on to make many movies together.

The movie is known for its crime-drama narrative and is set against the backdrop of organized crime in Chicago.

The story revolves around a crusading attorney named Jim Fremont, played by Brian Keith. Fremont is determined to take down the organized crime syndicate that controls various aspects of Chicago's business and political landscape. The narrative unfolds as Fremont gathers evidence to expose the corruption within the city.

Born To Kill (1947)

Born To Kill (1947) is a savage psychopathic murder female seeker hero thriller noir, from the height of the classic film noir period, displaying virtually every noir vice and virtue in a brutal and thrilling tale of toxic male psychopathy and female resilience.

The opening minutes of Born To Kill are a quick and quiet succession of some of noir's best idiomatic themes and settings. All taking place in Reno, these scenes kick off with first the independent women, and then the suburban setting. Within that setting are more independent women, and plenty alcohol. 

The next scene is in a casino, not a likely setting for an innocent divorcee perhaps, but a great place for Americana to wash up against itself - - and the scene right after that is back into perfect suburbia, where it's all iceboxes and radio sets, a friendly doggie and a double murder out of nowhere.

Angel Face (1953)

Angel Face (1953) is a obsessive paranoid murder madness classic film noir from RKO Radio Pictures, the home of film noir, film noir central, as it should be known, and a late late entry from the great forgotten studio, and maybe one of the few from the Howard Hawks era that can be enjoyed for its full scale bizarre noir melodrama.

It's hard for some people to recover from the initial sight of Robert Mitchum in that apron. He is a lousy guy, yet hopefully not a lousy ambulance driver and medic. In the motor car noir aspect of Angel Face (1953) he is a bulk boy to be racing the elite cars so maybe ambulances are his thing.

He wants to race elite though and that is what happens. As a lousy boyfriend he is up there with the lying best of them. He doesn't mind a bit of the cheat and like any good heel does not spot the femme fatale with the offer of not just an apartment but more than that.

Edge of the City (1957)

Edge of the City (1957) is a drifter stevedore race relations buddy film noir starring Sidney Poitier and John Cassavetes as two dockside workers involved in one of the worst workplace bullying stories in all of film noir.

Down at the docks where the men are we witness the petty trials of labour teams and the spilling over of race relations into murder. John Cassavetes is an insecure war deserter, a peripheral social figure and not one we see often enough in noir — where historically the hero has seen action.

This is different however, and the tough and realistic noir drama that takes place is as great a testament to left wing politics as it is to humanity and the value of integrity in all things.

Also in the cast are Kathleen Maguire, Ruby Dee, Robert F Simon, Ruth White, Val Avery, William A Lee, John Kellogg and David Clarke.

The Flying Saucer (1950)

The Flying Saucer (1950) is a film perennially and erroneously filed as science fiction, despite the fact that the movie is as much in the action and adventure and romance film noir style of its day — as it is anything else.

With its bizarre chain smoking hero and elite Washington power brokers, its blockish tropes and violence, there is not a hella lot of science with this fiction but there is plenty Alaskan wilds travelogeurie and nature adventuring, including no end of aerials, with a fat deal of picnicking romance style fun and longing to a melodramatically marital soundtrack. 

In between these is a stab at an espionage story, with the notion being the playboy hero.

The Flying Saucer does suddenly forget itself from time to time but it surely identifies as noir. It must be the only science fiction with a film noir voiceover when it wants it. 

Outside The Wall (1950)

Outside The Wall (1950) is an ex-con sap in the city thriller from the height of the classic film noir era, starring Richard Basehart as an innocent abroad, released from prison never having seen a woman, and at large and trying to remain crime-free in Philly.

However this is film noir and fate comes a-calling as do three women at once for hapless sap in a cap Richard Basehart as he negotiates his way into peril and romance.

Outside The Wall (1950) performs as a fairly standard film noir with its story of a man going straight being dragged by the heels back into the world of crime.

However there is something fantastical about the story as well, which offers a darkened fairy tale aspect contained within the innocent-abroad-style adventures of Richard Basehart's character, Larry Nelson.

Trapped (1949)

Trapped (1949) 
is counterfeiting undercover cop documentary style cop procedural noir from the absolute height of the classic film noir era.

Directed by Richard Fleischer film noir Trapped (1949) gained historical importance due to its restoration and rediscovery in later years. 

The film's significance lies in various aspects, including its place in the film noir genre, its unique production history, and the restoration efforts that brought it back into the spotlight.

Trapped (1949), a semi-documentary crime thriller film noir story, weaves a narrative tapestry that echoes the shadows of film noir, with intriguing parallels and deviations from its genre counterparts. Directed by Richard Fleischer, the film thrusts counterfeiters against Secret Service agents, a thematic echo of the acclaimed semi-doc T-Men (Anthony Mann, 1947). 

However, Trapped takes daring strides in new and unexpected directions.

The Tattered Dress (1957)

The Tattered Dress (1957) is a small town courtroom corruption drama film noir which pits a supposedly corrupt New York lawyer against the definitely corrupt Sherriff of a small town California resort.

A mixture of commentary and caper, sexual molestation and revenge, domesticity versus barbarism and big city manners versus straight-talking small town mentality, The Tattered Dress (1957) is a combination of tropes, all of which are settled in courtroom scenes dark alleys and in the luxury homes of the wealthy resort dwellers.

A slick and effective tale of violence, corruption, foul play, conspiracy, lies and relentless vengefulness, The Tattered Dress evokes late film noir style. Not the obfuscous and stygian shadowy affair that might be typical of 1940s film noir, the evolved style fits the wider screen and the greater amount of light, almost anticipating the later life the movies would have on television, there are longish courtroom scenes which rely on light and not the indistinct flavours of light which make up classic noir.

Nobody Lives Forever (1946)

Nobody Lives Forever (1946) is a returning veteran swindler confidence-man romance drama film noir which like many prime examples of the style from the 1940s discusses the impossibility of going straight and escaping one's past in post-WWII American society that is noir as hell and a constant fateful threat, never to be reconciled with the American Dream.

Nick Blake (played by John Garfield) is a charming and roguish ex-con artist who has just been released from prison. He decides to go straight and live an honest life. However, he is approached by his former partner-in-crime, Doc, with an opportunity for a lucrative con job. The target is a wealthy widow, Gladys Halvorsen (played by Geraldine Fitzgerald), who is seeking companionship and may be susceptible to Nick's charms.

Nick reluctantly agrees to participate in the scheme, but as he spends more time with Gladys, he begins to genuinely fall for her. The two develop a romantic connection, complicating Nick's plans to deceive her. As the con unfolds, Nick faces internal conflicts between his desire for a new, honest life and the pressures of his criminal past.

5 Fingers (1952)

5 Fingers (1952) is an espionage noir thriller drama directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and produced by Otto Lang. 

The screenplay written by Michael Wilson was based on the 1950 book Operation Cicero (original German: Der Fall Cicero) by Ludwig Carl Moyzisch, Nazi commercial attaché at the German embassy in Ankara, Turkey (1943–44).

James Mason plays the spy on a mission, darkly manoeuvring around in in ambience of espionage rather well, with his dark and sneaking ways, selling big secrets to some big Nazis.

Fabulous and famous, the spy code-named Cicero was one of the biggest names of World War II. The resulting drama film about the trusted but hugely amoral Albanian valet who had superb access to British secrets, was thrilling and cerebral and different enough to be nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Director for Mankiewicz and Best Screenplay for Wilson. 

Walk A Crooked Mile (1948)

Walk A Crooked Mile (1948) is a red scare domestic espionage thriller paranoia film noir which presents in an exciting and effective manner, the values and festivities pertaining to the rise of anti-Communist sentiment in post-war America.

This iteration of the hunt for the devil's doctrine itself and was presented around the first time that the widespread corrupting influences of socialism and its violent social counterparts became a public concern via the medium of public discussion.

Depending on where you are in noir the communists can be anything at all, from plain criminal mooks to dark bearded Victorian villains, or even the person next to you on the bus, the most innocent looking citizens of all. There are also the corporate types, the communists of ideology and those who have infiltrated our organisations and even our government. All of it is here, and made up for the screen.

Manhandled (1949)

Manhandled (1949) is a lousy husband psychiatric jewel thievery crooked private eye wife-murder film noir crime drama directed by Lewis R. Foster and starring Dorothy Lamour, Sterling Hayden and Dan Duryea. It is based on the 1945 novel The Man Who Stole a Dream by L. S. Goldsmith.

Dan Duryea plays a crooked private eye, which is the first twist in this serpentine and sinuous noir drama, which is a lot of fun as any classy high period film noir should be. The convoluted plot is at the best of times a feature of film noir, and not to be sneered at in such a circuitous story as Manhandled tells.

Shakedown (1950)

Shakedown (1950) is a slick and high speed journalism and media film noir crime and blackmail film about one young photographer's ambition to be the richest, best and most romantically involved snapper in the entirety of the great noir city.

Directed by Joseph Pevney and starring Howard Duff, Brian Donlevy, Peggy Dow, Lawrence Tierney, Bruce Bennett and Anne Vernon, Shakedown manages to blur the lines between crime and reportage.

With its hero to heel ending Shakedown (1950) is a lot more than a thrilling item of media noir, with its twin villains and twin romance stories, and with a central character about whom we shouldn't but do sympathise with.

Eight O'Clock Walk (1954)

Eight O'Clock Walk (1954) is an anti-capital punishment limey-noir in which an innocent bourgeois is catapulted into the justice system after circumstantially being held to be the murderer of a small girl.

Directed by Lance Comfort and starring Richard Attenborough, Cathy O'Donnell, Derek Farr and Maurice Denham, Eight O'Clock Walk (1954) is a fairly solid example of how the British adapted common film noir themes to their own place, time and circumstances, with a taste of the post-war era and British theatrics in an extended look into the legal procedures of a murder trial than is usual in a film of this type.

Based on a true story, Eight O'Clock Walk is an anti-capital punishment film — the title refers to the hour at which executions were traditionally carried out — that highlights the danger of circumstantial evidence resulting in the death of a mistakenly accused prisoner. 

Harriet Craig (1950)

Harriet Craig (1950) is a neurotic woman lady noir with high drama, rudeness and female perfectionism ramped to its psychological worst.

The story stars Joan Crawford and Wendell Corey and it is impossible to look away from either. 

Joan Crawford plays Harriet who is the suggestive opposite of the lousy husband, her husband is pretty nice, while she however is destructively controlling about everything, and in the manner of the human comedy, she explores the fringes of madness in the bourgeois dream, and is representative of a kind of stylistic madness.

Harriet Craig was directed by Vincent Sherman, produced by William Dozier, and distributed by Columbia Pictures. Harriet Craig is the second of three cinematic collaborations between Sherman and Crawford, the others being The Damned Don't Cry (1950) and Goodbye, My Fancy (1951).

Sleep, My Love (1948)

Sleep, My Love (1948) is a mid-period amnesia husband wife-murder noir based on a story by the great Leo Rosten.

As the story of a paranoid woman being drugged, hypnotised and gaslit into madness, Sleep, My Love features a host of film noir tropes that were hot in the 1940s.

The star of the show and the subject of the drama is Alison Courtland, a wealthy New Yorker, who hasn't a clue how she ended up waking up screaming on a train bound for Boston. When she phones her husband, Richard, the police listen in and overhear that she had threatened him with a gun.

Hell's Half Acre (1954)

Hell's Half Acre (1954) is a female seeker film noir about a woman who travels to Hawaii to investigate her missing or dead racketeer husband.

As a rather unique slice of Hawaii noir, Hell's Half Acre stars Evelyn Keyes as the seeker hero on the trail and Wendell Corey as the lousy husband, who is actually still alive but changed his identity due to his own criminal activities. 

Hell's Half Acre was written screen by Steve Fisher, who also wrote I Wake Up Screaming which is a sure-fire classic film noir 

It's set in a rundown section of Honolulu, incredibly well photographed it has to be said, and down there on Honolulu's skid row there are all kinds.

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) is the quintessential high quality high concept high tension classic Hollywood 1950's science-fiction presentation.

The nascent and sudden re-invention of the science fiction film in the 1950s does inevitably draw on film noir style when need be.

And although the themes are of a universal and global nature, not quite the subjective and local tendency in film noir, there are still film techniques and themes aplenty which crossover between the film noir of its day and the science fiction.

Directed by Robert Wise The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) is spritely, earnest, playful, philosophical, funny, serious and has distinct Bernhard Hermann music, as well as the most irresistible use of the theremin in film history.

Bad Blonde (1953)

Bad Blonde (1953) is a British boxing noir, with the rough and tumble of the Cockney United Kingdom and the fearsome blonde posturing of Barbara Peyton as a limey femme fatale, successful putting champion boxer Tony Wright — east end good-looker and amateur to pro face-thwacker Johnny Flanagan — off his stroke.

Sid James is super effective as the powerful and charismatic coach with the wisdom of the ages in his cackle, and Frederick Valk plays an unfortunately super-hammed Italian caricature throughout, at a high pitch, playing the solid cuck.

He is a lousy husband of British noir, about to lose his beautiful wife. It's not an uncommon notion in film noir but here it's happening in the god-awful crummy UK, making their own inimitably crummy boxing movie with a lot of energy and manners.

Crashout (1955)

Crashout (1955) is a prison break gang-on-the-run rebel romance home invasion film noir from when the prison break gang-on-the-run rebel romance home invasion film noir was at its most popular as a style.

The breakout gang bossed over by the man with the knowledge of the stash in Crashout, the wounded William Bendix starts with six members — no need to guess how many there are at the end.

The gang is a sharp slice of actors of the film noir style, playing thug-jawed mooks and hardened cons, one with psychotic tendencies, and one who is the golden hearted con, in stir for the murder he didn't mean to commit — an Arthur Kennedy of a con — and ready to fall in love.

Crack-Up (1946)

Crack-Up (1946) is an amnesia fraudulent artwork persecution noir with psychological elements delving into the amazing practise of narcosynthesis, and featuring some great train-bound action as a paranoid art critic played by Pat O'Brien searches frantically for his unknown tormentors.

Directed by Irving Reis, this fast moving art-crime drama also starred Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall, Erskine Sanford and Wallace Stevens —  a strong film noir showing by any standards.

Dark and mysterious and tugging at undercurrents in the highest echelons of society, as represented by the artworld, Crack-Up has an uncanny feel, largely brought about by its quite distinctive paranoid train sequences.

Dial 1119 (1950)

Dial 1119 (1950) is a psychopath hostage film noir starring Marshall Thompson as a sick young man who steals a gun and then takes a group of hostages in a cosy bar rom, tended by William Conrad in one of his rare non-cop nor killer noir roles.

The telephone number "1119" is the police emergency number used in the film, which could be classed as one of several prominent telephone noirs from the golden age of Hollywood cinema.

Delusional mental patient Gunther Wyckoff (Marshall Thompson) escapes from a mental institution, intent on locating psychiatrist Dr. John Faron (Sam Levene), whose testimony sent him to the asylum. 

Wyckoff arrives by bus in the rather interestingly named Terminal City, and as he disembarks, he is confronted by the bus driver for stealing his Colt pistol. Wyckoff uses it to kill the driver.

Shack Out On 101 (1955)

Shack Out on 101 (1955) is a  roadside-diner anti-Communist espionage film noir with goofball elements set in a crummy but funny roadside diner and on a low-budget, and made by Allied Artists.

Indeed, you could call the joint a shack.

Down at the shack, Lee Marvin plays Slob a lecherous and bullying short-order cook who ain't good for much, other than sniping with his war veteran boss played by Keenan Wynn, whose life is a mixture of sarcasm and PTSD.

In September 1952, Monogram announced that henceforth it would only produce films bearing the Allied Artists name. The studio ceased making movies under the Monogram brand name in 1953, although it was reactivated by AAI by the millennium. The parent company became Allied Artists, with Monogram Pictures becoming an operating division.

In fact French New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard dedicated his 1960 film Breathless to Monogram, citing the studio's films as a major influence.

Boomerang (1947)

Boomerang! (1947) is a semi-documentary style innocent-man-in-the-frame returning veteran PTSD corrupt cop and local politics factually based classic film noir, adapted from details of a real life murder that took place in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1924.

Starring Dana Andrews, Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, Arthur Kennedy and Jane Wyatt, with voiceovers by Reed Hadley, Boomerang also boasts the most comprehensive roster of film noir character actors in all of the styles many movie productions.

By making use of the stentorian voiceover which was becoming increasingly popular as the 1950s fast approached, there is a semi-documentary feel to Boomerang (1947), which seeks noir authenticity not only by broadcasting the action in the voice of authority as it takes place, but under the forward-thinking direction of Elia Kazan, makes good use of New England people and locations, to infuse the film with a special layer of authenticity — a technique becoming more popular as the procedural style evolved.

Running Wild (1955)

Running Wild (1955) is an undercover cop teenage-tearaway hot roddin' 1950s crime movie in which a rookie cop goes undercover to infiltrate an auto-theft ring operated by juvenile delinquents.

While the ring itself is operated by juveniles, the man behind it is Ken Ossanger, played by Keenan Wynn, and he is a nasty slice of low-life, and up to more than just sarcasm.

In fact, as well as running the operation which steals strips and resprays vehicles stolen on demand, he is also blackmailing the young and attractive Leta Novak (Kathleen Case) into more than just going on dates with him.

Their dates take them to the hive of local night time action, a roadside joint called The Cove, where all the teens meet, dance, drink and make merry, until a punch up breaks up the fun.

Singapore (1947)

Singapore (1947) is a romantic smuggler exotic amnesia noir with Fred MacMurray and Ava Gardner.

Directed by John Brahm Singapore is an enjoyable mix of movie exotica — the style which clichéd the best of the rest of the globe and brought it to Hollywood, minced it, encoded various messages concerning foreign policy and international relations — and presented it on the screen

Despite being a post-World War II drama set in Singapore, there isn't much that one can learn about the Fall of Singapore and the rebuilding of the island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia, which took place after 1945.

Le jour se lève (1939)

Le jour se lève (1939) is a classic French Proto-Noir romantic murder drama that is considered to be one of the finest examples of the style known as poetic realism.

This French all-time classique tells the story of foundry worker François (Jean Gabin) who shoots and kills a man called Valentin (played by Jules Berry). 

François then locks himself in his apartment and is soon besieged by the police, who fail in an attempt to shoot their way into the room. As the police regroup to decide how to apprehend him, and as a crowd forms outside, François begins to reminisce on how he came to be in this predicament.

Although not made in the United States and pre-dating the film noir movement it is incredible how well Le jour se lève (1939) fits within the film noir canon. For a start, its flashback style is more than suggestive of noir — in fact the flashback itself is done with more consideration and emotion that is normally found in typical American noir.

Johnny Angel (1945)

Johnny Angel (1945) is a maritime gold heist mystery murder romance adventure film noir set in New Orleans.

With a sterling film noir cast in George Raft, Claire Trevor, Signe Hasso and Marvin Miller — along with unique local support from Hoagy Carmichael — Johnny Angel is a complex adventure tale set in part at sea and in part in and around the city of New Orleans.

Johnny Angel (1945) was written by Steve Fisher, who had many interesting film noir and Western titles in his credits, including the novel which inspired I Wake Up Screaming (1941) and screenplays for Lady In The Lake (1946), Dead Reckoning (1947), The Hunted (1948), Woman They Almost Lynched (1953), City That Never Sleeps (1953), and Hell's Half Acre (1954) to name a few favourites.

Johnny Apollo (1940)

Johnny Apollo (1940) is an inter-generational double identity crime and prison break film noir from early in the cycle.

Directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Tyrone Power and Dorothy Lamour, Johnny Apollo tells the story of the son of a jailed financial and corporate embezzling broker who turns to crime to pay for his father's release.

Tyrone Power fits the title role of Johnny Apollo well. 

The name Johnny Apollo is a crazy, spontaneous, to-heck-with-it whassin-a-name spur of the moment decision for his character Robert Cain, Jr. whose father (played by Edward Arnold) has been jailed for some white collar securities violations, an event which brings his son's soft and privileged life to an end.

Johnny Belinda (1948)

Johnny Belinda (1948) is a drama which plays with noir and darkish overtones, dealing as it does with a subject matter that was new to the screen in 1948. 

Directed by Jean Negulesco, and based on the 1940 Broadway stage hit of the same name by Elmer Blaney Harris, Johnny Belinda was adapted for the screen by writers Allen Vincent and Irma von Cube.

The story is based on an incident that happened near Harris's summer residence in Fortune Bridge, Bay Fortune, Prince Edward Island. 

The title character is based on the real-life Lydia Dingwell (1852–1931), of Dingwells Mills, Prince Edward Island. The film dramatises the consequences of spreading lies and rumours, and the horror of rape. 

The latter subject had previously been prohibited by the Motion Picture Production Code. Johnny Belinda is therefore often considered to be the first Hollywood film for which the restriction was first relaxed since its implementation in 1934, and as such was controversial at the time of its initial release.