Best Film NoirPrivate eyes and smoke-filled rooms. Tons of hard alcohol. Fedoras and overcoats. Femme fatales and a protagonist with a cynical worldview.

Mix these all together and what do you have? Film noir, French for “black film”, is a distinctive term used to describe the popular Hollywood crime dramas produced in the 1940s to 1950s. Film noir combines a black and white visual style with the hardboiled crime fiction that spawned during America’s Great Depression. It is a fan favorite of both casual movie fans and cult classic movies aficionados alike. People are drawn to these films because of the sexy stars, complicated storylines filled with plot twists, and the danger that the movies represent. Urban life is dangerous… and no one can be trusted.

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A new film noir fan might be surprised at just how much attentionBest Film Noir they will have to pay when they are watching these movies.  It’s something to keep in mind when you start making your way through some of the best film noir that’s out there.  It used to frustrate me sometimes when I would miss a crucial point in a plot just because I wasn’t paying attention during some dialog from earlier.  You have to train yourself to really pay attention because you’re probably used to contemporary movies, which tend to be heavier on action and less focused on dialog.  The good news is that even if you don’t understand the plot the first time through, film noir is fascinating enough to make you watch the same movies over and over again!

Here’s a list of the some of the best film noir over the years:

These ten noir films listed above should be more than enough to get you started into the fascinating world of film noir.  Soon enough you’ll be well acquainted with the genre’s most prominent characters  and the sexy femme fatales… just don’t take up their smoking habits.As a side note, the genesis of film noir had a lot to do with some of the detective literature of the time.  Raymond Chandler’s novels are some of the most well-loved, and deservedly so.  For those that still like to read the book AND watch the movie adaptation, you can’t go wrong checking him out!

Best Film Noir

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