1. This is absolutely extraordinary in every sense of that oft-used term. I’ve been waiting for something like this for a very long time, even while fully understanding the difficulties inherent in such an undertaking. There will always be revisions, seond guessing and indeed some new additions. But the great ones will always be there, and you’ve done a painstaking job closing the deal. By including some genre treasures from Japan, the UK, and especially from France you’ve given this venture wider scope and fairness in delineating what noir has come to be in a wordwide sense. Yes, this is a US genre, and yes, one could with every bit of sense stick with the classic US period to make things less complicated, but this would be at the expense of some very great films like RIFIFI, BRIGHTON ROCK and STRAY DOG among others. As you note my beloved NIGHT AND THE CITY is a co-production. I’ve followed the arc of your various presentations of all of these films over the past few years at these hallowed halls, and I’ve seen the scholarly insights you’ve imparted in setting the groudwork for the decision-making you’ve posted here, and it’s fully consistent. I absolutely adore THE SET-YP< NIGHT AND THE CITY, ON DANGEROUS GROUND, BRIGHTON ROCK, THEY CLASH BY NIGHT, RAW DEAL, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, RIFIFI, OUT OF THE PAST, FORCE OF EVIL, THE BIG HEAT, ACE IN THE HOLE and a number of others here, nearly every one in fact, though I am not yet equipped to do what you have done here so magnificently.

    I also love the grid setup, and the short and precise points that quality each one. Numerical listing is not necessary, even if I employ it strictly for drama.

  2. I really like your carefully discovered list of greatest noirs, Tony, in its tipoff that the darkness of interest travels through and above uplifting motives. Along this sightline, you leave room for the works’ portraying struggles between crushing odds and significant freedom. I think the fatedness underway in great noirs neither precludes effective verve nor installs predetermined cosmic manipulation. Your references to the often inspired wry humor (from sources like Raymond Chandler)trace to the irony of redeeming instincts being bulldozed by a critical mass of rabid appetites. As such, the glory of these films—as your excellent and more extensive commentaries particularly reveal—is their sizzling open-endedness, their profound wildness. (Their visual and sonic audacity speaks to this.) Like, you, I see noir not as a product of a limited era, and not as confirming ancient verities, but, rather, as pointing ahead to a hitherto unattended historical dilemma. And thereby they anticipate and bounce off of (rather than stand apart from, in the form of nostalgia) many challenging cinematic bids going into the twenty-first century.

  3. kilgort

    hi Tony!

    the list is fucking ultimate!
    But where is High Sierra and pick-up on the south street?

    Why haven’t you been writing for so long? i hope it’s not your last post. i really missed you, man

    PS. me and my friend made our first short feature film called “Evil story”. you can watch it here:


    it’s in russian, but we’ll make an english version soon. in many ways it was inspired by classic noirs. i hope you’ll enjoy it. your comments are welcomed (especially on cinematography)

    your greatest fan from Russia

  4. Privet kilgort! Great to hear from you. You may be right on High Sierra – I will definitely need to reconsider. Pickup is a ‘nearly’ – I will be posting a nearlies list soon.

    I am in a funk and so my writing on noir is in limbo – it’s complicated so I won’t bore you with the my banal angst – essentially I’d “rather have the blues”.

    The MP4 file at Vimeo is corrupted and freezes at 01:30. What I have seen makes me very excited – looks cool and an intriguing opening scene! Fix the file so I can see the rest and feature the movie here at filmsnoir.net! It would be great to have English subs down the line.


  5. Matthew Anderson

    Thank you so much Tony for this great list. I have been using your ratings and reviews to build my film Noir collection. Thanks for all the hard work.

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