Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Archive for the ‘Film-Noir’ Category

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1950

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110 min – view video trailer

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim

Genres: Drama, Film-Noir

IMDB 8.7 / Amazon 4.7 / MRQE 94% / Zagat 28

Oscars: nominated for 11, won 3 (best art, music and writing)

Ranked #13 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie, included in 23 of the 37 lists of Greatest Movies

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity. IMDB rating 8.7 from over 76,072 users

Zagat summary snippet: Some of the greatest dialogue ever (most famously, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille”) graces this hybrid of “Gothic” and “film noir”, a scabrous take on Hollywood from the standpoint of a struggling screenwriter trying to resurrect the career of a silent movie star who’s not exactly in touch with reality, with an inside joke laced script and pitch-perfect performances from a larger than life Swanson and hunky Holden. Zagat Ratings: Overall 28 / Acting 28 / Story 27 / Production 27 / Total 110

Joe Gillis (William Holden), a broke and cynical young screenwriter, is attempting to ditch a pair of repo men late one afternoon when he pulls off L.A.’s storied Sunset Boulevard and into the driveway of a seedy mansion belonging to Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), a forgotten silent movie luminary whose brilliant acting career withered with the coming of talkies. The demented old movie queen lives in the past, assisted by her devoted (but intimidating) butler, Max. Amazon 4.7 stars from over 293 users.

SUNSET BOULEVARD is the sad recounting of the tale of silent movie queen Norma Desmond, played by Gloria Swanson. Receiving several Academy Awards, this classic movie deserves a dramatic A+, even if the story is a bit melancholic. MovieGuide gave it 4 stars, A+ grade with content light violence, light sex, no nudity and no bad language

MRQE gave it 94% rating with links to more than 87 reviews

Madison Public Library (note: three of us watched it and it was unanimous that none of us like the movie at all)

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The Third Man (1949)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1949

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104 min – view video trailer

Director: Carol Reed
Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli

Genres: Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

IMDB 8.5 / Amazon 4.6 / MRQE 91% / ReelViews 4 stars

Oscars: nominated for 3, won 1 (Best Cinamatography)

Ranked #17 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie, included in 19 of 37 lists of Greatest Movies

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime. IMDB rating 8.5 from over 66,630 users

Zagat summary snippet: Hailed as all around perfect with a memorable final fade, this masterful postwar noir simmers with shadowy intrigue as an alienated Cotten encounters romance and betrayal while searching bombed out Vienna for a mysterious black marketeer (Welles).

In this all-time classic thriller with stunning cinematography, twisting plot and unforgettable zither score, Martins searches for Lime through the seedy underworld of postwar Vienna and gets caught up in a web of love, deception, racketeering, and murder. Amazon 4.6 stars from over 338 users

From a visual standpoint, The Third Man consistently impresses. The black-and-white cinematography is crisp and clean. Orson Welles is credited as once saying that every performance is better in black-and-white, and, viewing something like The Third Man, it’s not hard to understand why. The atmosphere is deeper and the images are more striking. ReelViews highest 4 star rating

MRQE gave it 91% rating with links to more than 114 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Out of the Past (1947)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1947

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97 min – view video trailer

IMDB 8.1 / Amazon 4.5 / Rotten Tomatoes 96%

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Starring: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas

Genres: Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

IMDB 8.1 / Amazon 4.5 / Rotten Tomatoes 96%

Oscars: none

Ranked #121 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames. IMDB rating: 8.1 from over 13,636 users

Mitchum, in absolute prime, sleepy-eyed form, relates a complicated flashback about getting hired by gangster Kirk Douglas to find femme fatale Jane Greer. The chain of film noir elements–love, money, lies–drags Mitchum into the lower depths. Director Jacques Tourneur gets the edgy negotiations between men and women as exactly right as he gets the inky shadows of the noir landscape. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 88 users

Out of the Past is so perfect a film noir that it is considered practically a textbook example of the genre. In his first starring role (it had previously been offered to John Garfield and Dick Powell), Robert Mitchum plays Jeff Bailey, the friendly but secretive proprietor of a mountain-village gas station. Rotten Tomatoes rating 96% reviewers, 90% audience

MRQE – over 59 reviews linked

Madison Public Library

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The Big Sleep (1946)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1946

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114 min – rated PG – view video trailer

Director: Howard Hawks
Writers: William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely

Genres: Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

IMDB 8.2 / Amazon 4.5 / MRQE 92% / Decent Films A

Oscars: none

Ranked #56 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he’s seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love. IMDB 8.2 rating from over 38,595 users

Legendarily complicated (so much so that even Chandler had trouble following the plot), the film is nonetheless hugely entertaining and atmospheric, an electrifying plunge into the exotica of detective fiction. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 163 users

The dialogue is hard-boiled and crackles with wit, the plot is fast-paced and nearly impenetrable, and Humphrey Bogart is coolly unflappable in Howard Hawkes’s stylish noirclassic The Big Sleep, based on the Raymond Chandler novel. Read full Decent Films review (rated A, Superior artistic-entertainment for Teens & Up)

MRQE 92% from over 45 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Double Indemnity (1944)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1944

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107 min – view video trailer

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Robinson

Genres: Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

IMDB 8.5 / Amazon 4.7 / MRQE 91% / Zagat 28

Oscars: nominated for 7, won 0 (Best Picture, Actress, Director, Cinematography, Music, Sound, Writing)

Ranked #29 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie, included in 19 of 37 greatest movie lists

An insurance rep lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator’s suspicions. IMDB 8.5 rating from over 52,595 users

Zagat summary snippet: The story of another dumb cluck done in by a woman, it features a fast-talking MacMurray, knockout Stanwyck (love the anklet) and fantastic Robinson, with plenty of plot twists. Best scene: shopping at the supermarket. Zagat Ratings: Overall 28 / Acting 27 / Story 28 / Production 25 / Total 108

As the would-be lovers plot the unsuspecting husband’s murder, they are pursued by a suspicious claims manager (Edward G. Robinson). It’s a race against time to get away with the perfect crime in this heart-racing Academy Award-nominated masterpiece. Amazon 4.7 stars from over 187 users

MRQE 91% rating with over 67 reviews linked

Madison Public Library

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The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1941

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100 min – view video trailer

Director: John Huston
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George

IMDB 8.3 / Amazon 4.6 / MRQE 93% / Movie Mom A+

Genre: Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

Oscars: nominated for 3, won 0

Ranked #30 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette. IMDB 8.3 rating from over 67,453 users

Still the tightest, sharpest, and most cynical of Hollywood’s official deathless classics, bracingly tough even by post-Tarantino standards. Humphrey Bogart is Dashiell Hammett’s definitive private eye, Sam Spade, struggling to keep his hard-boiled cool as the double-crosses pile up around his ankles.  Amazon 4.6 stars from over 252 users

One of the most interesting aspects of this classic movie is the way that Sam Spade thinks though the moral dilemmas. When he is deciding whether to tell the police about Brigid, he is very explicit about weighing every aspect of his choices. It is not an easy decision for him; he has no moral absolutes. BeliefNet Movie Mom A+

MRQE 93% from over 69 reviews

Madison Public Library

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