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50 Classic Film Noirs Every Cinephile Should Watch

An exact definition of what makes a film noir is still debated today, but several key points can be pulled from those films considered within the classic era of film noir (1940-1950). The cinematography was seen as unconventional by the then-modern standards, such as using unbalanced compositions. Fitting the literal translation of the term - "black film" - all film noirs employ a focus on darker, low-key lighting.
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1
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
2
The Third Man (1949)
The Third Man (1949)
3
Double Indemnity (1944)
Double Indemnity (1944)
4
Touch of Evil (1958)
Touch of Evil (1958)
5
The Killing (1956)
The Killing (1956)
6
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
7
The Big Sleep (1946)
The Big Sleep (1946)
8
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
9
The Lady From Shanghai (1947)
The Lady From Shanghai (1947)
10
Ace in the Hole (1951)
Ace in the Hole (1951)
11
In a Lonely Place (1950)
In a Lonely Place (1950)
12
Out of the Past (1947)
Out of the Past (1947)
13
Laura (1944)
Laura (1944)
14
The Big Heat (1953)
The Big Heat (1953)
15
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
16
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
17
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
18
White Heat (1949)
White Heat (1949)
19
The Stranger (1946)
The Stranger (1946)
20
Scarlet Street (1945)
Scarlet Street (1945)
21
Detour (1945)
Detour (1945)
22
Key Largo (1948)
Key Largo (1948)
23
Gilda (1946)
Gilda (1946)
24
The Killers (1946)
The Killers (1946)
25
Pickup on South Street (1953)
Pickup on South Street (1953)
26
The Woman in the Window (1944)
The Woman in the Window (1944)
27
Mildred Pierce (1945)
Mildred Pierce (1945)
28
Gun Crazy (1950)
Gun Crazy (1950)
29
Night and the City (1950)
Night and the City (1950)
30
They Live by Night (1948)
They Live by Night (1948)
31
Odd Man Out (1947)
Odd Man Out (1947)
32
Dark Passage (1947)
Dark Passage (1947)
33
The Naked City (1948)
The Naked City (1948)
34
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
35
High Sierra (1941)
High Sierra (1941)
36
The Set-Up (1949)
The Set-Up (1949)
37
The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
38
Murder, My Sweet (1944)
Murder, My Sweet (1944)
39
The Big Combo (1955)
The Big Combo (1955)
40
Niagara (1953)
Niagara (1953)
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