Four Favorite Noirs

In honor of National Classic Movie Day (May 16th), Classic Film & TV Cafe is hosting the Four Favorite Noirs Blogathon. I am delighted to spotlight some of my favorite film noirs as part of the festivities! It was hard to whittle my favorites down to just four, but here is my best attempt:

Double Indemnity (1944)

It’s so difficult to pinpoint which of Barbara Stanwyck‘s performances was her best but this one certainly ranks among one of the most memorable. As callous as she is alluring in this role, Stanwyck epitomizes the femme fatale role through and through in this film.

Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

A noir in color! Gene Tierney and Jeanne Crain are exceptional in this film as foils but it is Tierney who steals the show, weaving a web of plot twists as the film progresses. While seemingly demure and softspoken on the outside, her character’s innermost evil and villainous actions speak volumes.

Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Dick Powell was well-established as a singing star before he ultimately grew tired of being typecast in roles and hungered for new dramatic challenges. Seeing Fred MacMurray’s renewed success as a darker character in Double Indemnity, a role for which Powell himself vied, Powell actively sought more dramatic roles in film noir. Murder, My Sweet launched him into reimagined success as a serious actor, soon thriving in numerous noir films.

Sunset Blvd. (1950)

One of Billy Wilder’s greatest directorial efforts, Sunset Blvd. is atmospheric, expertly written, and haunting. Gloria Swanson shines as the illustrious Norma Desmond, as seen through the eyes of Willam Holden’s Joe Gillis. Classic film fans will no doubt recognize many other famed visages throughout this film–including that of a Silent Era Swanson.

Enjoy additional submissions for the Four Favorite Noirs Blogathon here.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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2 Responses to Four Favorite Noirs

  1. All great picks with terrific leads. Barbara Stanwyck arguably the best of the bunch. I have a soft spot for Gene Tierney though. No Laura?

  2. Robin R. says:

    Ooooh my favorite topic!
    Forgive my inability to stop at 4.
    1. Double Indemnity
    2. The Asphalt Jungle
    3. Ace in the Hole
    4. Odd Man Out
    5. The Killers
    6. The Set-Up
    7. Sunset Boulevard
    8. Detour
    9. The Narrow Margin
    10. Rififi
    My order changes often.

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