Overlooked Noir

Deenis O'Keefe and Ann Sheridan in WOMAN ON THE RUN
Deenis O’Keefe and Ann Sheridan in WOMAN ON THE RUN

Look, this may be a crummy joint but a nickel still don’t buy more than a cup of coffee.  Nocturne (1946)

OK, so you’ve seen the classics in the film noir canon: Double Indemnity, Out of the Past, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Maltese Falcon, Laura, Sunset Boulevard, The Big Sleep, In a Lonely Place and The Big Heat, and maybe even D.O.A., Detour, Gun Crazy and Kiss Me Deadly.  You’re now hooked on noir.  Here are some less well-known movies that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Some of these are vastly under-appreciated noir masterpieces that belong in the same class as the likes of Double IndemnityNight and the City, Touchez pas au grisbiCry Danger, The Narrow Margin, Pushover, Nightfall, The Burglar.  Others are guilty pleasures (Pickup, Paid to Kill).

99 River Street: can he get off the canvas of life?

The Burglar: loyalty among thieves (highly recommended)

The Crimson Kimono: Sam Fuller and James Shigeta break ground

Cry Danger: getting framed wasn’t the worst part (highly recommended)

The Dark Corner: framed…again

Elevator to the Gallows: one murder is his alibi for another

The Gangster: a seedy empire crumbles

His Kind of Woman: he knows the deal is too good

I Wake Up Screaming: framed by a stalker

The Lineup:  cool killer, volcanic killer careening thru San Francisco

Murder, My Sweet: hardboiled detective as piñata

The Narrow Margin: murderous hide and go seek on a train (highly recommended)

Night and the City: he doesn’t know that he’s the sucker (highly recommended)

Nightfall: hunting loot while on the run (highly recommended)

Paid to Kill: paying for a murder and then changing your mind

The Prowler: Van Heflin takes a dark turn

Pickup:  an old fool and his young blonde

Pitfall: a noir thriller without a sap or a femme fatale

Pushover: stealing the girl from the crook and the loot from the cops (highly recommended)

Raw Deal: ménage à noir

The Set-Up: when the loser surprises

The Strangler: momma’s boy hunts women, then fondles dolls

While the City Sleeps: backstabbing in the board room in a race to find the killer

Woman on the Run: a sassy gal in 1950 San Francisco

Plus these neo-noirs:

Blast of Silence: a cauldron of seething hatred

Gumshoe: a noir fan plays detective

Hard Eight: the indie neo-noir that launched careers

The Woman Chaser: a (very, very) darkly funny once-lost film

Coming up in Overlooked Noir:

        • The Big Combo
        • Decoy
        • The Good Die Young
        • House of Bamboo
        • Human Desire (highly recommended)
        • The Killing
        • The Mob
        • Naked Alibi
        • The Phenix City Story
        • The Prowler
        • Touchez pas au grisbi (highly recommended)
        • Underworld U.S.A.

Also see:

Jayne Mansfield and Dan Duryea in THE BURGLAR
Jayne Mansfield and Dan Duryea in THE BURGLAR:

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