Movie recco filter: detective/noire edition
August 3, 2014 3:22 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a good detective/noire movie.

Here are some movies I loved, am looking for similar:

Blood simple
Miller's crossing
Night falls on Manhattan
LA confidential
French connection
The big sleep
Maltese falcon
The long good Friday
The limey
Out of sight
High and low
posted by askmehow to Media & Arts (35 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Blade Runner.
Mulholland Drive
posted by Sebmojo at 3:24 PM on August 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

The Big Clock
posted by Area Man at 3:31 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Double Indemnity
Touch of Evil
posted by octothorpe at 3:32 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Postman Always Rings Twice (either version)
posted by octothorpe at 3:34 PM on August 3, 2014

Fargo is another Coen Bros. movie that's a detective story. Seconding Brick, as well.
posted by brentajones at 3:35 PM on August 3, 2014

Seconding Double Indemnity. It's astonishing and I love Fred MacMurray in that role.
posted by mochapickle at 3:41 PM on August 3, 2014

I've seen most of the movies recommended. I can't believe I forgot to add double indemnity to the list, it's amazing. Keep'm coming folks.
posted by askmehow at 3:46 PM on August 3, 2014

Anatomy Of A Murder
posted by hydrophonic at 4:05 PM on August 3, 2014

Ah, in that case, I'll swap out my recommendation:

Les Diaboliques (aka Diabolique) - a classic!

And another: Swimming Pool. It's a spiritual cousin to traditional film noir, IMO. The less you know about it going in, the better.
posted by mochapickle at 4:06 PM on August 3, 2014

The Last Seduction
posted by Mchelly at 4:08 PM on August 3, 2014

Inside Man, Devil in a Blue Dress
posted by walkinginsunshine at 4:09 PM on August 3, 2014

Oh, and two more good 'uns with Orson Welles, on the chance you haven't seen them already:
The Third Man
The Lady from Shanghai
posted by scody at 4:23 PM on August 3, 2014

The Departed
posted by fuse theorem at 5:35 PM on August 3, 2014

Out Of The Past
posted by KingEdRa at 5:45 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

The French do make good noir:
Coup de Torchon
Bob La Flambeur
Le Samouri
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:04 PM on August 3, 2014

And check out Swimming With Sharks for more LA noir business.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:05 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
posted by fings at 6:06 PM on August 3, 2014

Detour is on YouTube and is a quick watch at only 67 minutes. It's not exactly a great movie but it's got a rough charm to it.
posted by octothorpe at 6:14 PM on August 3, 2014

Dead Again
Dark City
Shutter Island

Pretty much anything directed by Hitchcock, though based on the others you've listed, maybe start with Vertigo and Notorious. The Trouble With Harry isn't a typical detective one but is awesomely funny in a black sort of way (and noir does mean black after all!)
posted by Athanassiel at 7:13 PM on August 3, 2014

Anything with Van Heflin or Robert Ryan, particularly the pitch black "Act of Violence", in which they both appear. "The Prowler", "On Dangerous Ground" and "The Set-Up" also all highly recommended.

I recently picked up the Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics series, and these are well worth looking into - cheap, gritty B films, for the most part, many of which transcend their budgets and Columbia's expectations ("City of Fear" and "The Line Up" being two good examples.) Get the whole set and you'll have several weeks' worth of tough talk, expressionist lighting, and existential dread.

While it's hard to recommend whole-heartedly, the 3rd ed. of Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward's Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style is the best survey / checklist currently available, and has helped me discover a lot of noirs that I would have otherwise missed.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:21 PM on August 3, 2014

This Gun for Hire and The Narrow Margin. Shadow of a Doubt seems to get mentioned most when Hitchcock's more noirish films are brought up.

Also, Steve Martin's "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," which inserts him into scenes from various noir films, all strung together into a single plot. It's hilarious, and the more films you recognize, the funnier it is.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 9:15 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Rear Window! Rear Window is the most gorgeous, glorious thing.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:24 PM on August 3, 2014

Oh lord, there's a lot of good suggestions here. I'd like add;

Scarlet Street, with Edward G Robinson. An oldie, but a goodie. Famous for being one of the first movies to show a murderer getting away with his crime (although not entirely unpunished).

Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth. Another oldie, but gosh, this still holds up well - nothing like watching two people who love each other hurt each other so much. Plus murder, obviously.
posted by ninazer0 at 11:32 PM on August 3, 2014

Seconding Body Heat. Damn, that's a good movie.

Robert Mitchum - Master of Noir: Paul Newman:
    The Hustler - With the great Jackie Gleason playing Minnesota Fats
Burt Lancaster: Bob Hoskins: Jimmy Stewart:
    Call Northside 777 - Suspenseful use of technology back when data transmission was in its infancy
Comic Noir: Costume Drama Noir: Random noir:
    Rosemary's Baby - yeah, not really noir, but many noirish elements, namely deceit and betrayal

posted by marsha56 at 11:36 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another one: Red Rock West
posted by scody at 11:44 PM on August 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Great thread!

Open Culture have a list of free-to-watch-online (youtube etc) Film Noir Movies here.

Further recommendations:
Kiss Me Deadly
The Big Heat
posted by Joeruckus at 1:58 AM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

You need to get Gun Crazy. It's so great.
posted by Mothlight at 5:57 AM on August 4, 2014

Side Street
posted by interplanetjanet at 6:03 AM on August 4, 2014

So many good recommendations here. I would add:

They Live By Night (Gorgeously put togther)
The Asphalt Jungle (Heist Movie Noir)

It's not classic noir, but Sunset Boulevard sure has lying, murder, allure, betrayal, death, dreams, despair, and lots of shadows.
posted by julen at 6:17 AM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Folks this is awesome, thank you all so much. I can't wait to get started on this
posted by askmehow at 6:54 AM on August 4, 2014

Special seconding to Diabolique and Pickup on South Street.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 8:05 AM on August 4, 2014


Jackie Brown
posted by epj at 4:41 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

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