11 Comments

  1. johnnymak

    I cant quibble except for the absence of ‘the killing’. all the right classics…no surprises. its a good stab at a purist noir canon alright: the best of the best.
    jm

  2. Well Tony, every last choice here has been championed by you in your stupendous back-catalog reviews, and I pretty much remember your general feelings on each one. No surprises at all here, though the placement of RIDE THE PINK HORSE may be slightly such. I am a huge fan of just about every one of these and my own absolute top dozen favorites would be:

    Night and the City
    The Third Man
    Out of the Past
    On Dangerous Ground
    Double Indemnity
    The Maltese Falcon
    Port of Shadows
    Odds Against Tomorrow
    Force of Evil
    The Big Heat
    The Set Up
    Raw Deal

    But heck, who am I kidding? The truth is that I love them all and can watch any at any time or any place, anywhere. I will never forget how you turned me on to ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW, writing for it one of your all-time great reviews.

  3. Yes Sam, I admit that my placement of Ride The Pink Horse is idiosyncratic. It appeals to me at an emotional level with the great potrayals of Wanda Hendrix and Thomas Gomez, who have a genuine pathos that is rarely matched. Character actor Fred Clark is at his best as the bad guy, and his spiel on why anyone would be stupid not to be crooked has to be the most subversive in classic film noir. But hey it is my list after all -:)

    I can never thank you enough for your unwavering support over the years.

  4. cigar joe

    On a purely visually dark level here is my list of those Films Noir that I’ve seen (some obviously are not top shelf):

    Armored Car Robbery
    The Asphalt Jungle
    The Big Combo
    Black Angel
    Border Incident
    The City That Never Sleeps
    Crack Up
    Crime Wave
    Criss Cross
    The Crooked Way
    Crossfire
    Cry Of The City
    The Dark Corner
    Dead Reckoning
    Desperate
    Detour
    Double Indemnity
    Edge of Doom
    Fallen Angel
    Force of Evil
    He Walked By Night
    Hollow Triumph (The Scar)
    Journey Into Fear
    Killers Kiss
    The Killers
    The Killing
    Kiss Me Deadly
    Moonrise
    The Narrow Margin
    Night And The City
    99 River Street
    The Phantom Lady
    Raw Deal
    Red Light
    Scarlett Street
    The Seventh Victim
    The Strange Lives of Martha Ivers
    Sudden Fear
    Storm Warming
    T Men
    The Set Up
    The Street With No Name
    They Live By Night
    They Made me a Fugitive
    Too Late For Tears
    Touch Of Evil
    Where Danger Lives
    Where The Sidewalk Ends
    The Window

  5. Great list Ray! Each noir fan has their unique perspective, and I know that your appreciation of film noir owes a lot to the ‘look’ of noir. Thanks for posting this. The more lists the better :)

  6. Simeon Moss

    Some classic noirs that should be on any definitive list are not listed above (the first one is now, rightly, considered a noir classic): “Gun Crazy”, “In a Lonely Place”, “I Wake Up Screaming,” “Born to Kill”, “The Hitch-Hiker”, “Angel Face” and “Thieves Highway” — and how can “D.O.A”, despite its minor silliness, be overlooked? Love Cigar Joe’s inclusion of “Criss Cross” (definitely a top 10) and “The Seventh Victim” — and I’d also include, although some might say it’s horror rather than noir (I’d argue that all the noir iconography and brooding menace are evident — and it’s a great film): “I Walked with a Zombie.” Val Lewton was noir to the core.

  7. Thanks for your visit Simeon. All the films you mention are classics. It is just that I rank the others a bit higher. Sorry for the delay in responding – I have been on sabbatical.

  8. Muscle Mike

    Anyone who ranks Ride the Pink Horse in their top 25 is all right in my book. It says to me that such a person “gets” the human dimension of films noir. I don’t go by the look of the film, I go by humanist criteria: e.g., does the film and its characters reveal something not only true but profound about human nature? Does it show us something that might comprise a fresh or nuanced angle on what it means to be human and face all the external ugliness and internal turmoil that humans do, and certainly did in a noir world often enough.

    In the spirit of holding Pink Horse up as a humanist classic, I offer my list of top noir:

    Night and the City
    City that Never Sleeps
    Act of Violence
    The Set-up
    In a Lonely Place
    Johnny Eager
    M (Joseph Losey)
    Sunset Boulevard
    Christmas Holiday
    Moonrise
    Cry of the City
    Leave Her to Heaven

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *