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 Crime/Noir Films:
Sometimes you're just in the mood for one of those dark, sinister films where something goes wrong and only one character seems to have enough gumption to follow his hunches and take matters into his own hands. When I'm in that kind of mood, these are of few of the movies I enjoy. Some are mysterious; some are more just good drama. But they're all that kind of film.
LAURA (1944)

Otto Preminger's wonderful film-noir crime mystery starts off with a murder that isn't and keeps you guessing right along with detective Dana Andrews both as to what happened and what is happening. Interesting characters --especially those of Vincent Price, Clifton Webb and Judith Anderson-- provide potential suspects right and left, and Gene Tierney's beauty is an absolute distraction. One of the best.

GASLIGHT (1944)Review

One of those films where you know what's going on the whole time but don't necessarily know why. Charles Boyer is obviously trying to drive Ingrid Bergman crazy by making her think she's losing her mind, but it's still chilling to watch, and you can't help but wonder where the clues to his motive have been dropped. Bergman is great and fun supporting characters Angela Lansbury and Dame May Whitty provide some nice comic relief. Only a well-made film can have the effects this one does.


Proof that a good crime/mystery movie doesn't always have to be accompanied by haunting organ music. This is a most unusual film-- Joseph Cotten comes to post-war Vienna looking for a friend (Orson Welles) only to discover he has mysteriously been killed in a car accident. When the details don't really add up, Cotten goes in search of the truth-- and then there's this girl (Alida Valli) whom you really don't know what to think of. It's the music that really makes this film one of a kind however. Check out what zither music can do to enhance a thriller-- a risk few filmmakers today would take.

PURSUED (1947)

One of the first (if not the first) film-noir westerns, this story about a feud between families in the old west and a man (Robert Mitchum) who finds himself caught in the middle, not even knowing why he's involved. Mitchum is out to discover the truth about his past, and there's some well-acted, tense romance between him and Teresa Wright. Good supporting characters include Dean Jagger and Judith Anderson.


  • THE BIG SLEEP (1946)
  • CALL NORTHSIDE 777 (1948)
  • DARK CITY (1950)
  • DARK PASSAGE (1947)
  • DEAD RINGER (1964)
  • THE HUSTLER (1961)
  • THE LODGER (1944)
  • OUT OF THE PAST (1947)
  • SUNSET BLVD. (1950)
  • TOUCH OF EVIL (1958)

Return to the Index of Recommended Films.


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Last updated: March 10, 2011.
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