Top Film Noirs from a Poll of Film Noir Aficionados

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I’ve been collecting film noirs for 25 years plus. I once found a vote taken in 2006 that polled deep devotees, admirers and aficonados on the best American film noirs from the classic era. Here’s their top 25, in order, along with the director:

1 Out of the Past, Tourneur
2 Criss Cross, Siodmak
3 Double Indemnity, Wilder
4 The Asphalt Jungle, Huston
5 The Killers, Siodmak
6 Gun Crazy, Lewis
7 The Maltese Falcon, Huston
8 Touch of Evil, Welles
9 D.O.A., Mate payback
10 The Killing, Kubrick

11 The Big Sleep, Hawks
12 In A Lonely Place, Ray
13 Nightmare Alley, Goulding
14 Night and the City, Dassin
15 Kiss Me Deadly, Aldrich
16 Raw Deal, Mann
17 Detour, Ulmer
18 The Narrow Margin, Fleischer
19 The Set-up, Wise
20 The Big Heat, Lang
21 Scarlet Street, Lang
22 Born To Kill, Wise
23 Postman Always Rings Twice, Garnett
24 Murder, My Sweet, Dmytryk
25 Sunset Boulevard, Wilder

If that’s not enough, here’s more:

26 Laura, Preminger
27 Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Milestone
28 Mildred Pierce, Curtiz
29 Ace In The Hole, Wilder
30 The Big Combo, Lewis
31 Gilda, Vidor
32 Caged, Cromwell
33 Hollow Triumph, Sekely
33 Strangers On A Train, Hitchcock
35 T-Men, Mann
35 Pickup On South Street, Fuller
37 Try And Get Me, Endfield
38 Ride The Pink Horse, Montgomery
39 The Dark Corner, Hathaway
40 White Heat, Walsh
41 Pitfall, de Toth
42 Act of Violence, Zinneman
42 Brute Force, Dassin
44 Vertigo, Hitchcock
45 He Walked By Night, Werker
46 Dead Reckoning, Cromwell
46 The Chase, Ripley
46 Sweet Smell of Success, Mackendrick
49 Phantom Lady, Siodmak
50 Key Largo, Huston

That doesn’t even come close to exhausting the list of noirs that are really good movies. Some additional favorites of theirs are

The Third Man
Shield For Murder
Fallen Angel
Kiss of Death
Odds Against Tomorrow
High Sierra
Shadow Of A Doubt
Crime Wave
Human Desire
Force of Evil
Sudden Fear
Armored Car Robbery
Lady From Shanghai
Border Incident
On Dangerous Ground
Body and Soul
Highway 301
Where The Sidewalk Ends
Cry of the City
This Gun For Hire
99 River Street
Leave Her To Heaven
Somewhere In The Night
The Breaking Point
Night Editor
On The Waterfront
The City That Never Sleeps

Even that list omits such fine noirs as

The Blue Dahlia
The Manchurian Candidate
Desert Fury
Blast of Silence
Thieves Highway
711 Ocean Drive
The Prowler

and more yet.

3:40 pm on December 1, 2013