1,000 Noir Films (C)

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Title / Director / Year / Country
Caged
Caged Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1950, USA, 96m, BW, Prison-Drama-Crime
Screenplay Bernard C. Schoenfeld, Virginia Kellogg Producer Jerry Wald Photography Carl Guthrie Editor Owen Marks Music Max Steiner Cast Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby, Hope Emerson, Betty Garde, Jan Sterling, Lee Patrick, Olive Deering, Jane Darwell, Gertrude Michael.
"The metamorphosis of Eleanor Parker from a tear-streaked pregnant teen, imprisoned as a robbery accomplice, into a steely eyed, con prostituting herself for parole, is compelling cinema that holds up magnificently after six decades. Caged remains a groundbreaking picture that seamlessly melded social commentary with high drama. Caged also initiated important censorship battles that would prove a harbinger of future changes in the Production Code Authority (PCA)... Caged was mostly forgotten until it resurfaced on television, where anew generation could enjoy its heartrending performances and memorably pithy dialogue." - Alan K. Rode (Film Noir of the Week)
Calcutta
Calcutta
1947, USA, 83m, BW, Action-Crime-Mystery
Screenplay Seton I. Miller Producer Seton I. Miller Photography John F. Seitz Editor Archie Marshek Music Victor Young Cast Alan Ladd, Gail Russell, William Bendix, June Duprez, Lowell Gilmore, Edith King, Paul Singh, Gavin Muir, John Whitney, Benson Fong.
"In the end Calcutta is little more than a routine potboiler. John Farrow’s direction and John Seitz’s cinematography are competent yet uninspired — disappointing considering that each made numerous quality film noirs, including two pretty good ones together: The Big Clock and Night Has a Thousand Eyes. Farrow’s pacing is a too deliberate and the middle of the picture drags. Seitz does a fine job of masking the back lot locations, though he isn’t able to reproduce any of the exhilaratingly noirish shots of The Big Clock. There are some good lines in Seton Miller’s script, though there aren’t nearly enough of them. The best one comes in Ladd and Russell’s first scene, when she tells him he’s “cold, sadistic, and egotistical.” His response, “Maybe, but I’m still alive." - Mark Fertig (Where Danger Lives)
Call Northside 777
Call Northside 777 100 Essential Noirs (or the 100 films most often referred to as noir) Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1948, USA, 111m, BW, Drama-Crime
Screenplay Jay Dratler, Jerry Cady (adapted by Leonard Hoffman and Quentin Reynolds based on Chicago Times articles by James P. McGuire) Producer Otto Lang Photography Joseph MacDonald Editor J. Watson Webb Music Alfred Newman Cast James Stewart, Richard Conte, Lee J. Cobb, Helen Walker, Betty Garde, Moroni Olsen, E.G. Marshall, Kasia Orzazewski, Joanna De Bergh, Howard Smith.
"In Call Northside 777, Jimmy Stewart plays a jaded reporter who doesn't expect to find much when he investigates a decade-old cop-killing, and certainly isn't prepared for the utter sincerity of the man in jail for the crime, or the stonewall job he gets from the authorities. The story unfolds in step-by-step procedural detail, pausing to note how a reporter requests an expense voucher from his editor, and how photographs get transmitted by wire. Outstanding location shooting and Stewart's driven performance turn a sober film into a vibrant, exciting one, even though the hero and the jailbird he champions are really too noble for noir." - Noel Murray (A.V. Club)
Canon City
Canon City
1948, USA, 82m, BW, Prison-Crime-Escape Film
Screenplay Crane Wilbur Producers Bryan Foy, Robert T. Kane Photography John Alton Editor Louis Sackin Cast Scott Brady, Jeff Corey, Whit Bissell, Stanley Clements, Charles Russell, DeForest Kelley, Ralph Byrd, Roy Best, Henry Brandon, Alfred Linder.
"Canon City, directed by Crane Wilbur, is based on an actual jailbreak that occurred at this maximum security compound in Colorado in 1947. Although the narrative focuses on an inmate named Sherbondy (Scott Brady) who is blackmailed by some fellow prisoners into escaping from the facility, the film seems closer to a documentary than a Hollywood prison flick. Part of this is due to the director's decision to cast non-professionals with real actors in the film (The "actor" identified as Roy Best is the same warden who was at the prison during the actual jailbreak in 1947!). Another reason the film has such an immediacy to it is due to the exceptional cinematography." - Rod Holliman (Turner Classic Movies)
Cape Fear
Cape Fear Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
LATE NOIR (1960s)
1962, USA, 105m, BW, Thriller-Crime
Screenplay James R. Webb (based on the novel The Executioners by John D. MacDonald) Producer Sy Bartlett Photography Sam Leavitt Editor George Tomasini Music Bernard Herrmann Cast Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen, Lori Martin, Martin Balsam, Jack Kruschen, Telly Savalas, Barrie Chase, Paul Comi, Edward Platt.
"An irredeemable criminal exacts his revenge on the family of a lawyer who put him away. This supremely nasty thriller - originally severely cut by the British censor - boasts great credentials: a source in John D MacDonald's novel The Executioners, Mitchum as the sadistic villain (a bare-chested variant on his Night of the Hunter role), Peck as the epitome of threatened righteousness, seedy locations in the Southern bayous, and whooping music by Bernard Herrmann. If director Thompson isn't quite skilful enough to give the film its final touch of class (many of the shocks are just too planned), the relentlessness of the story and Mitchum's tangibly sordid presence guarantee the viewer's quivering attention." - David Thompson (Time Out)
The Captive City
The Captive City Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1952, USA, 90m, BW, Crime-Drama
Screenplay Alvin Josephy Jr., Karl Kamb (based on a story by Alvin Josephy Jr.) Producer Theron Warth Photography Lee Garmes Editor Robert Swink Music Jerome Moross Cast John Forsythe, Joan Camden, Harold J. Kennedy, Marjorie Crossland, Victor Sutherland, Ray Teal, Martin Milner, Geraldine Hall, Hal K. Dawson, Ian Wolfe.
"Robert Wise is another director who used the B-movie unit as a training ground and graduated to bigger things. His 1952 film The Captive City, made after his big-budget success The Day the Earth Stood Still, is... a tough yet austere little crime story carved out of a small budget. Inspired by the Kefauver hearings into organized crime and anticipating the “Confidential” exposé films of the fifties, it’s a low-key thriller of a small town newspaperman (John Forsythe) who discovers that organized crime has infiltrated and corrupted his picture-perfect little town. After turning down a blatant bribe to keep quiet, a campaign of intimidation from folks he once considered his friends in the community turns deadly and Wise matches the shift by casting darkness over what we’ve seen as a sunny little slice of American values." - Sean Axmaker (Parallax View)
The Capture
The Capture
1950, USA, 91m, BW, Drama-Crime
Screenplay Niven Busch Producer Niven Busch Photography Edward Cronjager Editor George Amy Music Daniele Amfitheatrof Cast Lew Ayres, Teresa Wright, Victor Jory, Jacqueline White, Jimmy Hunt, Barry Kelley, Duncan Renaldo, William Bakewell, Milton Parsons, Frank Matts.
"The Capture is a lean, crisply directed thriller that plays with interesting questions of morality, innocence and guilt. Playing at times like a Western, at other times like a mystery, and at others like a romance, The Capture perhaps tries a little too hard to be all three types and thus becomes slightly unfocused; but most viewers will be adequately rewarded by its assets and forgive it for being perhaps a little overly ambitious in trying to bridge these genres… Niven Busch's screenplay is well constructed, setting up its situations with a sure hand, utilizing the flashback structure most effectively… John Sturges' direction is spot-on, and there's fine cinematography from Edward Cronjager that adds to the atmosphere and tension. Thos seeking something a little off the beaten path should keep an eye out for The Capture." - Craig Butler (Allmovie)
Cat People
Cat People Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
HORROR NOIR
1942, USA, 73m, BW, Supernatural Thriller-Horror-Mystery
Screenplay DeWitt Bodeen Producer Val Lewton Photography Nicholas Musuraca Editor Mark Robson Music Roy Webb Cast Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph, Jack Holt, Elizabeth Russell, Alan Napier, Elizabeth Dunne, Henrietta Burnside, Alec Craig.
"Like most people with a cat phobia, Val Lewton, the legendary producer of RKO's horror cycle, was fascinated by them. His first film, eerily directed by Jacques Tourneur, is dedicated to his fetish. Based on a wholly fabricated Serbian legend about medieval devil worship, Cat People describes the effects of this legend on the mind of a New York fashion designer (Simone Simon) who believes herself descended from a race of predatory cat women. More a film about unreasoning fear than the supernatural, this work demonstrates what a filmmaker can accomplish when he substitutes taste and intelligence for special effects." - Don Druker (Chicago Reader)
Caught
Caught Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1949, USA, 88m, BW, Psychological Drama
Screenplay Arthur Laurents (based on the novel Wild Calendar by Libbie Block) Producer Wolfgang Reinhardt Photography Lee Garmes Editor Robert Parrish Music Frederick Hollander Cast Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Ryan, James Mason, Curt Bois, Frank Ferguson, Natalie Schafer, Ruth Brady, Art Smith, Sonia Darrin, Bernadene Hayes.
"A key American melodrama: draw a line between Citizen Kane and Written on the Wind, and you'll find Ophuls' noir classic at the heady mid-point. A car-hop Cinderella (Bel Geddes) chases a fashion-plate, charm-school dream; a childishly megalomaniac millionaire (Ryan) marries her to spite his analyst. Ophuls holds back his camera to frame the sour domestic nightmare, but gloriously equates motion with emotion when Bel Geddes takes solace with James Mason's virtuous doctor. The alluring web of hearts and dollars has rarely looked so deadly, and only the studio spared us the sight of the kill." - Paul Taylor (Time Out)
Cause for Alarm!
Cause for Alarm!
1951, USA, 74m, BW, Thriller-Drama
Screenplay Mel Dinelli, Tom Lewis (based on a story by Larry Marcus) Producer Tom Lewis Photography Joseph Ruttenberg Editor James E. Newcom Music Andre Previn Cast Loretta Young, Barry Sullivan, Bruce Cowling, Margalo Gillmore, Brad Morrow, Irving Bacon, Georgia Backus, Don Haggerty, Art Baker, Richard Anderson.
"An effective but unexceptional little thriller, Cause for Alarm is notable for the star power of Loretta Young in this quickly-made (14 days) B-level film... Certainly, Alarm's plot is frequently contrived, but it also all fits together well; we may not really swallow some of it, but it makes a certain structural sense, and we're willing to let it slide... Tay Garnett's slick, smooth direction helps a great deal, as does Barry Sullivan's mentally ill husband. Bruce Cowling is unfortunately bland as the third point of the triangle, but Margalo Gillmore and Irving Bacon help to make up for this. And Joseph Ruttenberg's cinematography and Andre Previn's score are also huge pluses." - Craig Butler (Allmovie)
Champion
Champion Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1949, USA, 99m, BW, Sports-Drama
Screenplay Carl Foreman (based on a short story by Ring Lardner) Producer Robert Stillman Photography Franz Planer Editor Harry Gerstad Music Dimitri Tiomkin Cast Kirk Douglas, Marilyn Maxwell, Arthur Kennedy, Ruth Roman, Lola Albright, Paul Stewart, Luis Van Rooten, John Day, Harry Shannon, Ralph Sanford.
"Mark Robson's Champion was one of three boxing movies that caught the public's interest in the late '40s. Nastier in tone than Body and Soul (1947) or The Set-Up (1949), Champion is perhaps the harshest example of the genre, a descent into a moral abyss in which its hero -- Kirk Douglas at his brashest and most intense -- leads the charge and never looks back at what he's given up... The movie raised some unpleasant truths about human nature, and Douglas was so compelling in a vile and irredeemable role that he almost single-handedly changed the rules for the roles that could be played by Hollywood leading men and in which the public would accept them." - Bruce Eder (Allmovie)
The Chase
The Chase Available on Blu-ray
1946, USA, 86m, BW, Mystery-Thriller
Screenplay Philip Yordan (based on the novel The Black Path of Fear by Cornell Woolrich) Producer Seymour Nebenzal Photography Franz Planer Editor Edward Mann Music Michel Michelet Cast Robert Cummings, Michele Morgan, Steve Cochran, Peter Lorre, Lloyd Corrigan, Jack Holt, Don Wilson, Alexis Minotis, Nina Koshetz, James Westerfield.
"Oppressively nocturnal, arthouse slow, with ebullient players like Cochran and Lorre acting as if underwater - this movie, out of the noir cycle, is the one that most approximates the condition of a dream. At one point, it's revealed that the previous 20 minutes have been a dream, or nightmare, in the mind of the pill popping, shell shocked hero, if 'hero' is a proper description of Cummings' passive chauffeur, limply involved with a mobster's wife. The curious Ripley, a former gag-writer for Harry Langdon, only directed a handful of films, but this adaptation of Cornell Woolrich's The Black Path of Fear, with its Wellesian grotesqueries and its morbid, slightly absurd atmosphere, certainly confirms his oddball status." - Bob Baker (Time Out)
Chicago Confidential
Chicago Confidential
1957, USA, 75m, BW, Crime-Drama
Screenplay Bernard Gordon (from a story by Hugh King, based on the novel by Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer) Producer Robert E. Kent Photography Kenneth Peach Editor Grant Whytock Music Emil Newman Cast Brian Keith, Beverly Garland, Dick Foran, Douglas Kennedy, Paul Langton, Elisha Cook Jr., Gavin Gordon, Beverly Tyler, Buddy Lewis, Anthony George.
"Framed by a docu-drama introduction with introductory comments on “organized crime in Chicago unions,” this “true story” (well, perhaps loosely inspired by one) stars Brian Keith as a (very young) State’s Attorney fighting to shut down the syndicate while it goes around murdering its way into the union leadership and framing the anti-mob leader for the crime. Director Sidney Salkow takes the script through its paces dutifully but unmemorably. It’s only significant claim to fame is Elisha Cook Jr. at his most pathetic and toadying as a down-and-out rummy used and discarded by the mob." - Sean Axmaker (Parallax View)
Chicago Deadline
Chicago Deadline
1949, USA, 86m, BW, Crime-Drama-Mystery
Screenplay Warren Duff (based on the novel One Woman by Tiffany Thayer) Producer Robert Fellows Photography John F. Seitz Editor LeRoy Stone Music Victor Young Cast Alan Ladd, Donna Reed, June Havoc, Irene Hervey, Arthur Kennedy, Berry Kroeger, Harold Vermilyea, Shepperd Strudwick, Dave Willock, Gavin Muir.
"Chicago Deadline is an enjoyable, if not classic, film noir, a nuts-and-bolts mystery thriller that is immensely entertaining for getting its job done in an efficient and engaging manner. Some will find this efficiency a bit mechanical, and they have a point. It's well constructed, but for some the pieces will just fit into place a bit too easily, and it's hard to argue with the fact that Deadline is rife with clichés. Still, the reconstruction method, the extensive use of flashbacks and the piecing together of the story do work, and that will be more than enough for some. It also helps that Alan Ladd is on hand to add a typically hard-boiled lead performance, and that Donna Reed adds her special presence to her victim role... Lewis Allen directs tightly." - Craig Butler (Allmovie)
Chinatown
Chinatown 100 Essential Noirs (or the 100 films most often referred to as noir) Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
NEO-NOIR / COLOUR NOIR
1974, USA, 131m, Col, Mystery-Crime-Detective Film
Screenplay Robert Towne Producer Robert Evans Photography John A. Alonzo Editor Sam O'Steen Music Jerry Goldsmith Cast Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman, Darrell Zwerling, Diane Ladd, Roman Polanski, Roy Jenson, Dick Bakalyan.
"Politicians, ugly buildings and whores all get respectable if they last long enough," says John Huston's crooked construction magnate Noah Cross in this remarkable neo-noir by Roman Polanski... What the passage of time has done for this superlative 1974 film is progressively lessen our sense of its being simply a modern pastiche of the classic 30s gumshoe thrillers. The time-gap has narrowed, and it now looks like a classic in a direct line of succession to those earlier pictures. Jack Nicholson has the Bogartian role of Jake Gittes, the LA private investigator who sticks his nose into a corrupt conspiracy in the state's Department of Water and Power... Unmissable." - Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)
Christmas Holiday
Christmas Holiday
1944, USA, 92m, BW, Mystery-Drama-Crime
Screenplay Herman J. Mankiewicz (based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham) Producer Felix Jackson Photography Elwood Bredell Editor Ted J. Kent Music Hans J. Salter Cast Deanna Durbin, Gene Kelly, Gale Sondergaard, Richard Whorf, Dean Harens, Gladys George, David Bruce, Richard Davies, John Hamilton, Louise Currie.
"A demented melodrama from 1944, starring the most unlikely film noir couple of all time, Gene Kelly and Deanna Durbin. Kelly is a murderous Creole; Durbin is a sweet young thing from Vermont who supports him through thick but mostly thin. This bizarre film was the product of a collaboration between Germanic stylist Robert Siodmak (Phantom Lady) and scenarist Herman J. Mankiewicz (Citizen Kane). Somewhere in the background lurks a Somerset Maugham story. Highly peculiar, and a must for anyone who has suffered through One Hundred Men and a Girl." - Dave Kehr (Chicago Reader)
Circumstantial Evidence
Circumstantial Evidence
1945, USA, 68m, BW, Crime-Drama-Mystery
Screenplay Robert F. Metzler, Samuel Ornitz (based on a story by Nat Ferber and Sam Duncan) Producer William Girard Photography Harry Jackson Editor Norman Colbert Music David Buttolph Cast Michael O'Shea, Lloyd Nolan, Trudy Marshall, Billy Cummings, Ruth Ford, Reed Hadley, Roy Roberts, Scotty Beckett, Byron Foulger, Dorothy Adams.
"Circumstantial Evidence is so expertly acted and directed that the audience is willing to forget its gaping logic holes. Pugnacious family man Joe Reynolds (Milo O'Shea), blowing his top as usual, threatens violence to an unlikeable storekeeper (Ben Welden). When the latter is killed, Joe is arrested for murder. Thanks to circumstantial evidence and faulty eyewitness accounts, Joe is sentenced to death in what seems to be a matter of days-and never mind that the defense attorney hasn't the presence of mind to enter medical testimony into the record." - Hal Erickson (Allmovie)
Pickup
City Across the River
1949, USA, 91m, BW, Drama-Crime
Screenplay Dennis Cooper, Maxwell Shane (adapted by Irving Schulman from his novel The Amboy Dukes) Producer Maxwell Shane Photography Maury Gertsman Editor Ted J. Kent Music Walter Scharf Cast Peter Fernandez, Al Ramsen, Stephen McNally, Thelma Ritter, Luis Van Rooten, Jeff Corey, Robert Osterloh, Tony Curtis, Sharon McManus, Sue England.
"This slightly bowdlerized version of Irving Shulman's The Amboy Dukes was used by Universal-International to showcase several of its new male contractees. Set in the slums of Brooklyn, the film follows the exploits of the Amboy Dukes, a teenaged street gang. Foremost among the Dukes is Frank Cusack (Peter Fernandez), who loses all opportunity to escape his grim existence when he accidentally kills his high-school teacher. The film tries to demonstrate that the so-called "code of the streets"--never rat on a pal--is possibly more destructive than any brass knuckle or switchblade. Maxwell Shane and Dennis Cooper's screenplay resists any temptation to sentimentalize the kids or trivialize their plight." - Hal Erickson (Allmovie)
City of Fear
City of Fear
1959, USA, 81m, BW, Crime-Thriller
Screenplay Robert Dillon, Steven Ritch Producer Leon Chooluck Photography Lucien Ballard Editor Robert Lawrence Music Jerry Goldsmith Cast Vince Edwards, John Archer, Patricia Blair, Lyle Talbot, Steven Ritch, Kelly Thordsen, Joseph Mell, Sherwood Price, Kathie Browne, Larry J. Blake.
"Like the glowing atomic whatzit in Kiss Me Deadly four years earlier, the Thermos fulla trouble in director Irving Lerner's sweaty LA story can cause serious damage. At one point in City of Fear, a grim pollution control expert (Steven Ritch) calmly runs through the symptoms experienced by those who come into contact with Cobalt 60. "Hoarse coughing, heavy sweat ... horrible retching ... finally you hemorrhage internally ..." The list goes on. The air quality in postwar Los Angeles wasn't much better, of course, but director Lerner's pungent little wonder sets the Geiger counters ticking like mad, even on the comparatively clear days we see in Lerner's picture." - Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune)
City Streets
City Streets
NOIR-PRECURSOR
1931, USA, 82m, BW, Crime-Drama-Gangster Film
Screenplay Max Marcin, Oliver H.P. Garrett (based on a story by Dashiell Hammett) Producer E. Lloyd Sheldon Photography Lee Garmes Editor William Shea Music Sidney Cutner Cast Gary Cooper, Sylvia Sidney, Paul Lukas, William 'Stage' Boyd, Wynne Gibson, Guy Kibbee, Stanley Fields, Betty Sinclair, Robert Homans, Barbara Leonard.
"Strikingly stylised bootlegging yarn, more romance than gangster movie, said to have been an Al Capone favourite because the gang boss (Lukas), far from rampaging Cagney-style with machine-gun in the streets, is always careful to be seen to have clean hands: all deaths take place discreetly off-screen… Mamoulian sometimes over-stresses the visual and aural symbolism he experiments with in support of these ellipses, but creates a wonderfully evocative, low-key atmosphere not dissimilar to Sternberg's Underworld with terrific camerawork from Lee Garmes, and fine performances from Cooper and Sidney as the young lovers enmeshed in the rackets." - Tom Milne (Time Out)
City That Never Sleeps
City That Never Sleeps Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1953, USA, 90m, BW, Crime-Police Drama
Screenplay Steve Fisher Producer Herbert J. Yates Photography John L. Russell Editor Fred Allen Music R. Dale Butts Cast Gig Young, Mala Powers, Edward Arnold, William Talman, Chill Wills, Marie Windsor, Paula Raymond, James Andelin, Philip L. Boddy, Wally Cassell.
"City that Never Sleeps is a gimmicky but very entertaining thriller, a realistic semi-docu noir with amusing fantasy ambitions... Steve Fisher and John H. Auer present an interesting tangle of dangerous people on a night that will see all of them threatened and several shot dead. The nightclub with its cheap floorshow is nicely sketched, as is John Russell's night-for-night filming of downtown Chicago... Filmed just as classic noir was beginning to disappear, City that Never Sleeps has some awkward ideas and feels the need to reinforce the status quo, but it remains an audience pleaser." - Glenn Erickson (DVD Savant)
Clash by Night
Clash by Night 100 Essential Noirs (or the 100 films most often referred to as noir) Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1952, USA, 105m, BW, Melodrama
Screenplay Alfred Hayes (with contributions by David Dortort based on the play by Clifford Odets) Producer Harriet Parsons Photography Nicholas Musuraca Editor George Amy Music Roy Webb Cast Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan, Marilyn Monroe, J. Carrol Naish, Keith Andes, Silvio Minciotti, Diane Stewart, Deborah Stewart, Julius Tannen.
"Clifford Odets' original play was a hoary item of Broadway neo-realism in the Arthur Miller vein: a 'mature' study of a cynical woman's adultery with an equally cynical man. Lang and his producer Jerry Wald transposed the setting from Staten Island to a small fishing village, and had the brilliant idea of grounding the characters in a documentary on the community industry, giving them a substance never intrinsic in the script. What follows is a very Langian picture of the dangerous undercurrents in emotional relationships, excellently acted by the three principals, interestingly counterpointed by Marilyn Monroe (in her first major role) and Keith Andes as uninhibited young lovers." - Tony Rayns (Time Out)
The Clay Pigeon
The Clay Pigeon
1949, USA, 63m, BW, Thriller-Drama
Screenplay Carl Foreman Producer Herman Schlom Photography Robert De Grasse Editor Samuel E. Beetley Music Paul Sawtell Cast Bill Williams, Barbara Hale, Richard Loo, Richard Quine, Frank Fenton, Frank Wilcox, Marya Marco, Robert Bray, Martha Hyer, Harold Landon.
"Richard Fleischer directed The Clay Pigeon for newly minted RKO chief Howard Hughes. Fleischer knew his business (three words: The Narrow Margin), so the direction is up to scratch. This moves quickly and with purpose, the pacing and staging are fine, the acting is competent, it has several stylish scenes (including a nice on location cat and mouse sequence through L.A.’s Chinatown) and more than enough tension in the final reel (especially impressive when the denouement is a no-brainer). The problems here have to do with the script, with the limitations of the running time, and most importantly, with the film’s failure to live up to the responsibility of its premise." - Mark Fertig (Where Danger Lives)
C-Man
C-Man
1949, USA, 75m, BW, Crime-Drama-Detective Film
Screenplay Berne Giler Producer Joseph Lerner Photography Gerard Hirschfeld Editor Geraldine Lerner Music Gail Kubik Cast Dean Jagger, John Carradine, Harry Landers, Lottie Elwen, Rene Paul, Walter Vaughn, Adelaide Klein, Edith Atwater, Walter Brooke, Jean Ellyn.
"In the tradition of such big-budget "docudramas" as House on 92nd Street and Call Northside 777, the modestly budgeted C-Man adopts a quasi-documentary approach to its subject matter. The "C" stands for Customs, and indeed the leading character, Cliff Holden (Dean Jagger), is a detective for the U.S. Customs Department. Against a backdrop of genuine New York locations (with a few rather obvious back-projected shots thrown in), Holden puts the heat on a homicidal jewelry smuggler. John Carradine steals the show as an alcoholic doctor, reduced to fronting for the smugglers. The rest of the cast is populated with such Broadway regulars as Edith Atwater and Walter Brooke. Though it obviously cost next to nothing to produce, C-Man is far more atmospheric and suspenseful than many a major-studio effort." - Hal Erickson (Allmovie)
Collateral
Collateral Available on Blu-ray
NEO-NOIR / COLOUR NOIR
2004, USA, 120m, Col, Thriller-Crime-Action
Screenplay Stuart Beattie Producers Julie Richardson, Michael Mann Photography Dion Beebe, Paul Cameron Editors Jim Miller, Paul Rubell Music James Newton Howard Cast Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Bruce McGill, Irma P. Hall, Barry Shabaka Henley, Richard T. Jones, Javier Bardem.
"No crime film in years boasts a cooler vibe than Michael Mann's dazzling Collateral, a head-spinning ride with the devil through a Los Angeles night that gleams with danger. Mann hits a new peak, orchestrating action, atmosphere and bruising humor with a poet's eye for urban darkness. Reporting for duty as a stone-cold contract killer is Tom Cruise, who gives a dynamite performance by undercutting his heroic image even more than he did in Interview With the Vampire and Magnolia. As Vincent, hired by a narco trafficking cartel to off five trial witnesses in the ten hours between dusk and dawn, Cruise freezes all warmth out of his killer smile." - Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)
Conflict
Conflict
1945, USA, 86m, BW, Mystery-Drama-Thriller
Screenplay Arthur T. Horman, Dwight Taylor (based on an original story by Robert Siodmak and Alfred Neumann) Producer William Jacobs Photography Merritt Gerstad Editor David Weisbart Music Frederick Hollander Cast Humphrey Bogart, Alexis Smith, Sydney Greenstreet, Rose Hobart, Charles Drake, Grant Mitchell, Patrick O'Moore, Ann Shoemaker, Frank Wilcox, James Flavin.
"A 1945 programmer starring Humphrey Bogart as a wealthy executive in love with his passionless wife's younger sister. With no chance of divorce, he hatches a slick little murder plot, but noir conventions and Production Code strictures against unpunished crime work against him. The script is studded with charming bits of period pop psychology, but the story never takes Bogart to the depths of torment and guilt he reached in Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place. Director Curtis Bernhardt, a journeyman who churned out noirs and musicals with equal ease, leavens the efficient formula storytelling with a few inventive visuals." - Hank Sartin (Chicago Reader)
The Conversation
The Conversation Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
NEO-NOIR / COLOUR NOIR
1974, USA, 113m, Col, Drama-Crime-Paranoid Thriller
Screenplay Francis Ford Coppola Producer Francis Ford Coppola Photography Bill Butler Editor Walter Murch Music David Shire Cast Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Cindy Williams, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest, Teri Garr, Robert Duvall, Michael Higgins, Elizabeth MacRae, Harrison Ford.
"In an amazing creative outburst between 1970 and 1979, Francis Ford Coppola scripted Patton and The Great Gatsby, produced George Lucas's THX-1138 and American Graffiti, and directed the first two Godfather pictures and this masterly chamber film, which brought him his first Palme d'Or (then called the Grand Prix du Festival) at Cannes. The Conversation is an immaculate thriller, a study in paranoia and loneliness, long in gestation, partly inspired by Antonioni's Blow-Up, and released as the Watergate scandal was unfolding. It features one of Gene Hackman's greatest performances as Harry Caul, a San Francisco surveillance expert, a guilt-ridden, intensely private man devoted to anonymity and ethical neutrality. Harry's drawn into the devious lives of those he eavesdrops on and faces moral decisions about his work. " - Philip French (The Guardian)
Convicted
Convicted
1950, USA, 91m, BW, Drama-Crime-Prison Film
Screenplay Fred Niblo Jr., Seton I. Miller, William Bowers (based on the play Criminal Code by Martin Flavin) Producer Jerry Bresler Photography Burnett Guffey Editor Al Clark Music George Duning Cast Glenn Ford, Broderick Crawford, Millard Mitchell, Dorothy Malone, Carl Benton Reid, Frank Faylen, Will Geer, Martha Stewart, Henry O'Neill, Douglas Kennedy.
"Henry Levin confidently directs this dated routine miscarriage of justice crime drama, a remake of Howard Hawks' 1931 The Criminal Code…. This rare prison picture to be interpreted as film noir, offers a dark and cynical mood piece about how the wheels of justice sometimes become unglued. Though its theme is far from original, its power lies in its conviction that there are innocent people who wind up in jail for various reasons. The protagonist's tale of woe punches holes in the infallibility of the American judicial system. Despite being over-plotted and contrived, it ably gets across its point that prison life is hardly human and a prison sentence is sometimes not the best answer for a felony conviction." - Dennis Schwartz (Movie Reviews)
Le Corbeau
Le Corbeau Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
The Raven (English title)
FRENCH NOIR
1943, France, 92m, BW, Mystery-Drama-Thriller
Screenplay Henri-Georges Clouzot, Louis Chavance Producers Raoul Ploquin, Rene Montis Photography Nicholas Hayer Editor Marguerite Beaugé Music Tony Aubain Cast Pierre Fresnay, Pierre Larquey, Micheline Francey, Noel Roquevert, Ginette Leclerc, Louis Seigner, Sylvie, Roger Blin, Antoine Balpetre, Jean Brochard.
"In Nazi-occupied Paris, opening the door to the Gestapo offices reportedly became impossible because of the mountain of letters from Frenchmen denouncing each other. This clever, dyspeptic whodunnit from 1943 by Henri-Georges Clouzot brilliantly captures a spirit of paranoid pettiness and self-loathing. A French provincial town is plagued by poison-pen letters from Le Corbeau, or "The Raven". Who is the villain? And is there more than one, as the virus of evil replicates itself with copycat letters? A shrewd glimpse into the heart and mind of Vichy France, disclosing a kind of 20-century Salem." - Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)
Cornered
Cornered Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1945, USA, 102m, BW, Thriller-Mystery
Screenplay John Paxton (based on a story by John Wexley) Producer Adrian Scott Photography Harry Wild Editor Joseph Noriega Music Roy Webb Cast Dick Powell, Walter Slezak, Micheline Cheirel, Nina Vale, Morris Carnovsky, Luther Adler, Edgar Barrier, Steven Geray, Jack LaRue, Gregory Gaye.
"Powell's second and definitive attempt to shed his crooner image, as an ex-PoW tracking down the collaborationist responsible for his young French wife's death, is even better than Murder, My Sweet. Dispensing with the expressionistic flurries, it concentrates on bleak ambiguity (abetted by a fine cast) as the hunt goes up in Buenos Aires for a villain whom no one - not even his own wife - has ever seen (a telling metaphor for the hidden face of Fascism). As one might expect of a film whose credits carry at least four blacklist victims (Dmytryk, producer Adrian Scott, actors Adler and Carnovsky), the hard-boiled dialogue is studded with political warnings and forebodings in a manner that now looms as pleasantly period, but is in any case effortlessly carried by Harry Wild's superb noir camerawork." - Tom Milne (Time Out)
Coup de torchon
Coup de torchon
Clean Slate (English title)
NEO-NOIR / FRENCH NOIR / COLOUR NOIR
1981, France, 128m, Col, Crime-Black Comedy-Drama
Screenplay Bertrand Tavernier, Jean Aurenche (based on the novel Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson) Producer Adolphe Viezzi Photography Pierre-William Glenn Editor Armand Psenny Music Bertrand Tavernier, Philippe Sarde Cast Philippe Noiret, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Stephane Audran, Eddy Mitchell, Guy Marchand, Irene Skobline, Michel Beaune, Jean Champion, Victor Garrivier.
"Bertrand Tavernier's rowdy, broad, unsettling moral tale of a corrupt minor law-enforcement official in French colonial Africa who, tired of being pushed around by his wife, colleagues, friends, and the local pimps, decides to enforce more law than anybody wants. Like Jacques Becker in Goupi Mains Rouges, Tavernier follows screwball comedy out to its other side as madness: you're n ever sure whether what you're watching is high spirits or insanity, and the characters keep reversing themselves. Working with two veterans of the French “tradition of quality,” set designer Alexandre Trauner and coscenarist Jean Aurenche, Tavernier created one of the freshest French films in years—it has wit, dash, and fiber." - Dave Kehr (Chicago Reader)
Crack-Up
Crack-Up Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1946, USA, 93m, BW, Mystery-Drama-Thriller
Screenplay Ben Bengal, John Paxton, Ray Spencer (based on the short story Madman's Holiday by Fredric Brown) Producer Jack J. Gross Photography Robert De Grasse Editor Frederic Knudtson Music Leigh Harline Cast Pat O'Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall, Ray Collins, Wallace Ford, Dean Harens, Erskine Sanford, Damian O'Flynn, Mary Ware, Harry Harvey.
"Alienation, amnesia, and corruption are all common ingredients of film noir, and Crack-Up is a trim, neglected example of the style... The plot finds an art expert (Pat O'Brien), who specializes in detecting forgeries, losing his job at an art museum after he mysteriously has a mental breakdown. He claims he was in a train wreck but the police can find no record of such an accident. So he teams up with his reporter girlfriend (Claire Trevor) to get at the bottom of the mystery and starts to unravel a deep trail of corruption and forgery in the art world.... Crack-Up was the only noir that Irving Reis directed, but it's perhaps his best film, if not his best known." - Jeremy Arnold (Turner Classic Movies)
Crashout
Crashout Available on Blu-ray
1955, USA, 90m, BW, Crime-Thriller-Escape Film
Screenplay Hal E. Chester, Lewis R. Foster Producer Hal E. Chester Photography Russell Metty Editor Robert Swink Music Leith Stevens Cast William Bendix, Arthur Kennedy, Luther Adler, William Talman, Gene Evans, Marshall Thompson, Beverly Michaels, Gloria Talbott, Adam Williams, Percy Helton.
"Prison break movies during the classic film noir cycle tended to pessimism and summary justice, futile battles with rough terrain and bloodhounds, gunshot wounds, and road-blocks, with few if any of the escapees left standing… Crashout fits the bill with interesting twists. Directed with muscle by stringer Lewis R. Foster, who had a hand in the screenplay, and lensed by noir veteran Russell Metty, the scenario plays out in brutally violent chapters, as a man falls never to get up again, with only one left alive when the story ends during a blizzard atop a mountain. Featuring an ensemble cast of players who give strong performances, the picture has a resonance beyond what you would expect from a programmer. The script has a lot to offer with deep characterisations from solid actors including William Bendix, Arthur Kennedy, and William Talman." - Tony D'Ambra (FilmsNoir.net)
Crime in the Streets
Crime in the Streets
1956, USA, 91m, BW, Crime-Drama-Juvenile Delinquency Film
Screenplay Reginald Rose (adapted from his teleplay) Producer Vincent M. Fennelly Photography Sam Leavitt Editor Richard C. Meyer Music Franz Waxman Cast James Whitmore, John Cassavetes, Sal Mineo, Mark Rydell, Virginia Gregg, Peter J. Votrian, Will Kuluva, Malcolm Atterbury, Denise Alexander, Dan Terranova.
"Don Siegel followed his classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers with this 1956 problem drama about juvenile delinquency, adapted by Reginald Rose (12 Angry Men) from his teleplay. The leader of a street gang (John Cassavetes) enlists two loyal buddies (Mark Rydell and Sal Mineo, both wonderful) in a murder plot against a neighbor who's slapped him around, while a concerned social worker (James Whitmore) tries to straighten the kids out. Siegel manages to keep the action wound pretty tight, though he doesn't seem to sympathize much with Rose's bleeding-heart liberalism." - J.R. Jones (Chicago Reader)
Crime of Passion
Crime of Passion
1957, USA, 84m, BW, Crime-Melodrama
Screenplay Joe Eisinger Producer Herman Cohen Photography Joseph LaShelle Editor Marjorie Fowler Music Paul Dunlap Cast Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, Raymond Burr, Fay Wray, Royal Dano, Virginia Grey, Dennis Cross, Robert Griffin, Jay Adler, Malcolm Atterbury.
"Crime of Passion is a fascinating film that goes head-on with the classic conception of the femme fatale character. Screenwriter Jo Eisinger wrote the delirious 1946 Gilda, noir's most romantically perverse epic, but here she dissects the murderous female from a 50s perspective. It's hard-edged, direct in its theme and both dated and progressive at the same time. Barbara Stanwyck and Sterling Hayden make an exceptional screen couple... Crime of Passion is a noir domestique like Andre de Toth's superb Pitfall, dealing with the roots of despair in suburbia." - Glenn Erickson (DVD Savant)
Crime Wave
Crime Wave Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1954, USA, 74m, BW, Drama-Crime
Screenplay Crane Wilbur (adapted by Bernard Gordon and Richard Wormser from the story Criminals Mark by John Hawkins and Ward Hawkins, published in Saturday Evening Post) Producer Bryan Foy Photography Bert Glennon Editor Thomas Reilly Music David Buttolph Cast Sterling Hayden, Gene Nelson, Phyllis Kirk, Ted De Corsia, Charles Bronson, Jay Novello, Nedrick Young, James Bell, Dub Taylor, Timothy Carey.
"Gritty policier is an unusually convincing peek into Los Angeles' mid-50s underworld. Three tough-nut prison escapees (including an improbably youthful Charles 'Buchinsky' Bronson as a leather-jacketed lout) hit Los Angeles, imperilling the straight-arrow life-style of nice-guy ex-con Gene Nelson – who's got broodingly cynical cop Sterling Hayden on his case. The story is a handy pretext to explore various atmospheric night-town locales, while the dialogue is vivid hard-boil with a few dashes of quirk. Hayden, great value, lands just the right side of ham – with Jay Novello (drink-sodden animal-doctor) and Timothy Carey (scary-weirdo crim) effortlessly attention-grabbing on the sidelines." - Neil Young (Film Lounge)
The Criminal
The Criminal Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
Concrete Jungle (USA title)
BRIT-NOIR / LATE NOIR (1960s)
1960, UK, 86m, BW, Prison-Crime-Drama
Screenplay Alun Owen (from a story by Jimmy Sangster) Producer Jack Greenwood Photography Robert Krasker Editor Reginald Mills Music John Dankworth Cast Stanley Baker, Sam Wanamaker, Margit Saad, Gregoire Aslan, Jill Bennett, Rupert Davies, Laurence Naismith, John Van Eyssen, Noel Willman, Patrick Magee.
"Terrific performance from Baker as the criminal, an existential loner whose violence is essentially self-destructive as, literally trapped within the bars of a prison, he finds himself metaphorically caught between two complementary systems: one represented by the sadistic chief warder (Magee), who feeds his sense of power by fomenting a dog-eat-dog code in the cells, the other by the underworld kingpin (Wanamaker) waiting outside to kill Baker and hijack his stashed loot. Losey's American eye and expertise make it jaggedly explosive and visually brilliant, a million miles beyond other British crime movies." - Tom Milne (Time Out)
The Crimson Kimono
The Crimson Kimono Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1959, USA, 82m, BW, Crime-Mystery-Police Detective Film
Screenplay Samuel Fuller Producer Samuel Fuller Photography Sam Leavitt Editor Jerome Thoms Music Harry Sukman Cast Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta, Anna Lee, Paul Dubov, Jaclynne Greene, Neyle Morrow, Gloria Pall, Barbara Hayden, George Yoshinaga.
"The tenor of the film oscillates between tight-fisted noir and chamber drama, but the theme is always the same: cultural and romantic unrest. Two detectives, Charlie Bancroft (Glenn Corbett) and Joe Kojaku (James Shigeta), travel to the Japanese quarter of the city to break the thorny case but fall in love with Christine Downs (Victoria Shaw). Harry Sukman's score courts condescension whenever the action shifts to Little Tokyo, but it's the film's only slip. Fuller's feat is giving the film's nonstop interrogations, meetings and confrontations profound racial and political meaning." - Ed Gonzalez (Slant Magazine)
Criss Cross
Criss Cross 100 Essential Noirs (or the 100 films most often referred to as noir) Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1949, USA, 87m, BW, Thriller-Crime-Drama
Screenplay Daniel Fuchs (based on the novel by Don Tracy) Producer Michael Kraike Photography Franz Planer Editor Ted J. Kent Music Miklos Rozsa Cast Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally, Richard Long, Esy Morales, Tom Pedi, Percy Helton, Alan Napier, Griff Barnett.
"Wonderfully seedy tale of betrayal and obsession from superb noir-thriller stylist Siodmak. Beautifully shot (Franz Planer) and scripted (Daniel Fuchs), it bears more than a slight resemblance to the same director's The Killers. Again Lancaster is the fall guy, an armoured-car payroll guard still brooding over his ex-wife (De Carlo), who has taken up with gangster Slim Dundee (Duryea) but leads Lancaster to believe that they can make a new start with booty gained from a daring heist if he will go through with it. As always with Siodmak, the suspense is maintained throughout by taut pacing, visual precision, and excellent characterisation." - Geoff Andrew (Time Out)
The Crooked Way
The Crooked Way Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1949, USA, 90m, BW, Crime-Drama-Thriller
Screenplay Richard H. Landau (based on the radio play No Blade Too Sharp by Robert Monroe) Producer Benedict Bogeaus Photography John Alton Editor Frank Sullivan Music Louis Forbes Cast John Payne, Sonny Tufts, Ellen Drew, Rhys Williams, Percy Helton, John Doucette, Charles Evans, Greta Granstedt, Raymond Largay, Harry Bronson.
"Amnesia has served as a popular plot device in countless genre films but it provides a particularly satisfying narrative hook in the obscure but stylish film noir, The Crooked Way. Eddie Rice (John Payne), a World War II veteran and recipient of a Silver Star, returns home to Los Angeles after his release from a veterans hospital. Eddie's head injuries have impaired his memory but he begins to piece together his former life as a notorious mobster... This independently produced B-movie released by United Artists proves to be a striking minor triumph highlighted by the taut direction of Robert Florey, John Alton's shadow-laden cinematography, baroque art direction by Van Nest Polglase, evocative, on-location glimpses of a postwar Los Angeles and scenes of intense violence which were considered extreme for its era." - Jeff Stafford (Turner Classic Movies)
Crossfire
Crossfire 100 Essential Noirs (or the 100 films most often referred to as noir) Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1947, USA, 86m, BW, Drama-Crime-Social Problem Film
Screenplay John Paxton (based on the novel The Brick Foxhole by Richard Brooks) Producer Adrian Scott Photography J. Roy Hunt Editor Harry Gerstad Music Roy Webb Cast Robert Ryan, Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Gloria Grahame, Paul Kelly, Sam Levene, Jacqueline White, Steve Brodie, George Cooper, Richard Benedict.
"A fascinating and biting film noir, Crossfire is a good example of the message film disguised as entertainment. It is one of a series of films produced in the later 1940s when the American motion picture industry discovered that adult themes and social problems could produce good box office. The first of two films released in 1947 dealing with anti-Semitism, Crossfire was both a commercial smash and a critical success... The film's message and its good intentions deserve respect but, over time, have lost their forcefulness. What remains striking and powerful is the framework in which the message of the film was set. Crossfire is a well-crafted, carefully organized, beautifully presented melodrama which still retains its audience's interest in the story's unfolding." - Daniel Leab (Film Reference)
Cry Danger
Cry Danger Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1951, USA, 79m, BW, Mystery-Crime-Thriller
Screenplay William Bowers (based on a story by Jerome Cady) Producer Sam Wiesenthal, W.R. Frank Photography Joseph Biroc Editor Bernard W. Burton Music Emil Newman, Paul Dunlap Cast Dick Powell, Rhonda Fleming, Richard Erdman, William Conrad, Regis Toomey, Jean Porter, Jay Adler, Joan Banks, Gloria Saunders, Hy Averback.
"In his directorial debut, former editor Robert Parrish skillfully illuminates screenwriter Bill Bowers’ equally acerbic and droll Cry Danger into an underappreciated noir gem... The tersely pitch-perfect Dick Powell portrays protagonist ex-convict Rocky Mulloy who returns to Los Angeles to find the gang that framed him for a crime he did not commit. Aided by a hard-drinking, crippled ex-marine (brilliantly realized by Richard Erdman), Mulloy sets up home-base at a Bunker Hill trailer camp that is home to his ex-girlfriend Nancy, played by the graceful Rhonda Fleming... Film Noir Foundation President Eddie Muller calls it a "crackerjack crime film—short, smart, sassy, and full of surprises." - Todd Wiener (UCLA Film & Television Archive)
A Cry in the Night
A Cry in the Night
1956, USA, 75m, BW, Drama-Crime
Screenplay David Dortort (based on the novel All Through the Night by Whit Masterson) Producer George C. Berthelon Photography John F. Seitz Editor Folmar Blangsted Music David Buttolph Cast Edmond O'Brien, Brian Donlevy, Natalie Wood, Raymond Burr, Richard Anderson, Irene Hervey, Carol Veazie, Mary Lawrence, Anthony Caruso, George J. Lewis.
"A Cry in the Night is a solid Warner Bros. b of 75 minutes from director Frank Tuttle (This Gun for Hire (1942), Suspense (1946), Hell on Frisco Bay (1955)), in which an intelligent script by David Dortort, from a novel by Whit Masterson (aka H. William Miller), manages to survey parenthood and rebellious teens while telling the story of an 18-yo girl’s abduction by a disturbed 32-yo loner still tied to his mother’s apron-strings. The story of the abduction and the police search takes place over a few hours after midnight. Raymond Burr excels as the mama’s boy, and Natalie Wood is really impressive as the abducted girl. Edmund O’Brien plays the girl’s father, a blustery off-duty cop, and Brian Donlevy is the steady police captain heading the search." - Tony D'Ambra (FilmsNoir.net)
Cry of the City
Cry of the City 100 Essential Noirs (or the 100 films most often referred to as noir) Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1948, USA, 95m, BW, Crime-Thriller-Police Detective Film
Screenplay Richard Murphy (based on the novel The Chair for Martin Rome by Henry Edward Helseth) Producer Sol C. Siegel Photography Lloyd Ahern Editor Harmon Jones Music Alfred Newman Cast Victor Mature, Richard Conte, Shelley Winters, Fred Clark, Betty Garde, Debra Paget, Hope Emerson, Berry Kroeger, Tommy Cook, Roland Winters.
"One of the best of Fox's late-'40s film noirs and an under-appreciated achievement by director Robert Siodmak, 1948's Cry of the City is tops in every department. It has what may be Victor Mature's best performance, atop a cast of interesting actors in truly memorable parts. Best of all, the story draws together a number of key crime movie themes -- the immigrant experience, the comparison of cops to crooks, the parasitical, treacherous nature of crime -- without resorting to clichés or a story gimmick. Although only partly filmed on the mean streets of New York, it has the full flavor of the era's prominent docu noirs." - Glenn Erickson (Film Noir of the Week)
Cry Terror!
Cry Terror!
1958, USA, 96m, BW, Crime-Thriller
Screenplay Andrew L. Stone Producer Andrew L. Stone, Virginia L. Stone Photography Walter Strenge Editor Virginia L. Stone Music Howard Jackson Cast James Mason, Rod Steiger, Inger Stevens, Neville Brand, Angie Dickinson, Kenneth Tobey, Jack Klugman, Jack Kruschen, Carleton Young, Barney Phillips.
"The husband and wife team of Andrew and Virginia Stone wrote, produced and directed a number of successful thrillers in the 1950s, hiring name stars to be threatened by cruel thieves or cunning blackmailers… 1958's Cry Terror! delivers fairly well on its promise of realistic thrills and unbearable suspense, but its appeal today lies mostly in its powerhouse cast. It's easy to say that none of the actors are used to their full potential, and that typecasting lessens the film's impact somewhat. But like most of the Stones' movies, Cry Terror! is highly watchable, the matinee equivalent of a drugstore page-turner… Cry Terror! gains a lot of realism by being shot on location; the production is very impressive for 1958." - Glenn Erickson (DVD Savant)
Cry Vengeance
Cry Vengeance Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
1954, USA, 82m, BW, Crime-Drama
Screenplay George Bricker, Warren Douglas Producer John H. Burrows, Lindsley Parsons Photography William A. Sickner Editor Elmo Veron Music Paul Dunlap Cast Mark Stevens, Martha Hyer, Skip Homeier, Joan Vohs, Douglas Kennedy, Cheryl Callaway, Mort Mills, Warren Douglas, Lewis Martin, Don Haggerty.
"Technically speaking Cry Vengeance is a crime story with a noir premise, that soon resolves itself away from the noir ethos. It's a therapeutic story in which the scarred, hate-filled Vic Barron (Stevens) slowly drops his heartless vendetta and regains his humanity… This impressively mounted show took a filming unit and a number of actors to Ketchikan, Alaskas. The local flavor is very nicely sketched, even if many of the interiors revert to the two rooms-no windows norm of Allied Artists work. All of the parts are carefully cast and thoughtfully played, which reflects well on Stevens' qualifications as a director… Cry Vengeance is one of the better pictures about blind, hate-driven heroes. It's very satisfying to see Vic Barron overcome what seems a fatal obsession. - Glenn Erickson (DVD Savant)
Cutter
Cutter's Way Available on Blu-ray
Cutter and Bone (alternative title)
NEO-NOIR / COLOUR NOIR
1981, USA, 105m, Col, Mystery-Drama-Crime
Screenplay Jeffrey Alan Fiskin (based on the novel Cutter and Bone by Newton Thornburg) Producer Paul R. Gurian Photography Jordan Cronenweth Editor Caroline Ferriol Music Jack Nitzche Cast Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn, Ann Dusenberry, Stephen Elliott, Nina Van Pallandt, Arthur Rosenberg, Patricia Donahue, Geraldine Baron, Katherine Pass.
"Ivan Passer's note-perfect, sun-splashed neo-noir thriller Cutter's Way has slowly fought its way up from cult obscurity… Released in 1981, it's like the last Hollywood movie of the 1960s, in which the aspirations and ideals of that long-gone decade finally soured irrevocably on its dazed, burnt-out survivors. It belongs alongside Karel Reisz's Who'll Stop The Rain (its perfect double-bill doppelganger), and Arthur Penn and Alan Sharpe's Night Moves – both visions of a post-Vietnam, post-Watergate American malaise… Cutter's Way is a movie that starts yielding up its real treasures around the third viewing, so stick with it (you'll hate the ending first time out). I've seen it perhaps 30 times – it may be my favourite American movie – and, unlike its three broken leads, I have still yet to hit bottom. For once, the word is appropriate: masterpiece." - John Patterson (The Guardian)
100 Essential Noirs (or the 100 films most often referred to as noir) The 100 Most Cited Noir Films Available on Blu-ray Available on Blu-ray Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT) Recommended Viewing (by TSPDT)
Introduction / Updates / Links
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