Let's talk about noirs! 🕵 👀 🕵️‍♀

Making this in an effort to split some of the more genre-y discussions away from the general film threads, and this felt like a big/significant enough category to be worthwhile



I love basically everything about the classic noir period (and the associated novels), and anything labelled as a neo-noir is usually good in my books too. I’ve seen most of the classics (The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity etc.) but found real joy in some of the slightly lesser entries too. Sometimes shocked by how dark and brutal they can get, or how brilliant some of the female characters are written given how badly women in that period were often served.

Some of them do blend together a bit in my head given they share so many characteristics, but that’s part of the charm. They’re a real change of pace from the other stuff I usually watch so I’m always glad when I do put one on.


Bloody love a good noir. I’ve been slowly working through a BFI 100 Best Film Noirs book I picked up in a charity shop through lockdown. I’m 20 films in and I think Out of the Past/Build My Gallows High is probably my favourite so far. Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas with an absolute blinding script is just a wonderful thing.

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Carlotta was the kind of town where they spell trouble T-R-U-B-I-L, and if you try to correct them, they kill you.


I saw a good chunk of mine during a noir showcase at my fav cinema at the end of 2019. Seeing them on the big screen just felt right too, and really made me focus and get lost in the worlds

Was quite amusing being the youngest in most of the audiences by a good 20 years though


Oooh yes please! Went through a real stage of watching them in my late teens and weirdly, they remind me of Christmas. For a genre that deals with dark subjects, I find them oddly comforting.

They take some real risks too, and some quite innovative things are going on - the heist scene in Gun Crazy, the glowing briefcase of Kiss Me Deadly, the whole thing being in first person in Lady In The Lake. Some real oddities out there


That sounds grand - I’d love to see some of these films on the big screen! Might send some polite nagging emails to my local arthouse cinemas when things open up.

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I’ve got that down as one of my favourites from the last couple of years too, something about the small town setting and being out of the big cities added a new layer to things - plus I thought The Kid was a pretty good character/relatively well handled given his disabilities

Criss Cross is my favourite outside of the big hitters too, absolutely packed with action for something less than 90 mins long. Also the way the actual robbery scenes were done and all the smoke clouds really stuck in my mind

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Me too. I think it’s just something about rapid fire snappy dialogue. Give me a script full of dry one liners and I’ll watch just about anything and feel warm and cosy.


ooh very intriguing. Just read the novel a few months back so will bump this to the top of the list

Also your posts have added a lot of noirs to my watchlist so cheers for that

Ditto, basically all of the upsides of screwball-comedies without some of the quirkiest/ most annoying elements

Criss Cross is on the list but I haven’t gotten to it yet. It seems to be on archive.org (along with a fair few more 40s noirs) so I’ll give that a go soon.

This is the BFI Best 100 Film Noirs list if anyone wants it btw -


.i think it got quite a muted reception but I liked it, the gimmick works well and there’s enough in the story to make it stand up.

Thanks! The BFi have a page with the top 3 noirs per year so I’ve been working through them.

LA Noire is also a surprisingly good resource, there’s a hell of a lot of homages and references in that

Can we talk books as well?

Currently re-reading The Crying of Lot 49 for the first time in years and its striking me how much of it is noir-ish.


I’m looking forward to watching this eventually, as I bet there’ll be a lot of noirs referenced given how often they’re set in and around LA

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In a Lonely Place is one of my under appreciated favourites.

Coincidentally I watched Blade Runner yesterday with my girlfriend, I think it counts a a sci-fi neo-noir.

Its one of my top 10 films so was excited for her to see it.

She hated it and then told me that she doesn’t like films set in a dystopian future with neon lights where it rains a lot… I couldn’t really have shown her a worse film then.


BR 2049?


A lot of those post modern authors were very into hardboiled detective fiction.

You’ll see the PI tropes right across his other novels.


watched Pickup on South Street last week. Enjoyed it loads: didn’t really have a main character as it kept switching storylines, had a couple of great female characters that didn’t quite fit any of the main tropes (Moe is frankly hilarious), some very cool longer takes (especially the fight/domestic abuse scene in the apartment towards the end), fun capital-P Political links with the focus on Commies. Also, 80 minutes? Hell yeah

All round tier-2 classic

Not seen that but I will check it out, Samuel Fuller is great. The Naked Kiss and Shock Corridor are both top