The MoFo Top 100 Film Noir Countdown

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I haven't seen Kansas City Confidential but it looks like it's getting reviews here so I may be adding it to the watchlist. D.O.A. is a very good noir that would be top 50 for me. Great concept and execution. It just works.
"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Is this the first movie from your list that made it on to the countdown?
I think if it isn't, that would mean a movie from her ballot made the countdown that she hasn't seen. Which, I guess, possible?

I forgot the opening line.
Seen both, and one is on my ballot - things have really changed around here!

#54 D.O.A. - Classic film noir that I ended up checking out because I enjoyed the 1988 remake (which featured Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Daniel Stern and Charlotte Rampling) when it came out. The very idea of a man bursting into a police station to report a murder, and then announcing that it's his murder that he's reporting, is such a head-spinner. Poisoned Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien) finds out he has only days to live, so he goes back over everything that happened leading up to when he fell ill so he can try to investigate who poisoned him and why. Solving your own murder has to be one of the more unique occupations out there, which is why D.O.A. is such an interesting movie to watch - it has a complex web of conspirators with various motivations and wrong place/wrong time revelations, but there's one overlooked thing Frank overheard on the phone which has much fall into place. Bit of a bummer - knowing for sure the lead character is going to die - but that doesn't affect how exciting the film is at all. I had D.O.A. at #12 on my list.

#53 Kansas City Confidential - This is pretty good - I recently went through it on my watchlist thread, and I'm kind of surprised I didn't vote for it. Anyway - an interesting premise with ex con Joe Rolfe (John Payne) framed for a robbery, being a likely suspect that helps the real robbers get away. After being roughed up, and losing his job, Rolfe decides to track the real crooks down - and as revenge steal the loot for himself. There are a few surprising plot twists that shake everything up though - which makes Kansas City Confidential a film with some enjoyable 90 degree twists and turns. Oh, and Jack Elam is in it - that always makes a film more enjoyable for me. There is a portion of the film where it feels like we're just treading water near the end, and if not for that I'd say Kansas City Confidential would have definitely found a place in my 25.

Seen : 9/48
I'd never even heard of : 35/48
Movies that had been on my radar, but I haven't seen yet : 4/48
Films from my list : 4

#54 - My #12 - D.O.A. (1950)
#58 - My #23 - The Breaking Point (1950)
#61 - My #21 - Act of Violence (1949)
#67 - My #18 - The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
Remember - everything has an ending except hope, and sausages - they have two.
We miss you Takoma

Latest Review : Aftersun (2022)

Is this the first movie from your list that made it on to the countdown?

It's the first movie on the overall list that I've seen, period.

Hence the celebration. 🥳

It's the first movie on the overall list that I've seen, period.

Hence the celebration. 🥳
Wow! I can't wait to see your list. Should be interesting.


D.O.A. is my #25!

We did it, Adrian!
Time for some celebratory fireworks!

All right! D.O.A. wasn't on my list, but I recently gave it a re-watch, the first time in years in fact, and it's still as fine a film. Love it that it's a man (the great Edmond O'Brien) looking for his murderer. Time is against him as he tells his tale. He finds it hard to trust anybody and the fact that he's basically already dead doesn't stop people from trying to kill him! I knew that Beverly Garland was in the film but when she showed I didn't even recognize her, she was so young. Of course having Neville Brand as a psycho itching to kill you doesn't hurt things. Great scene where Brand is driving O'Brien down a nightly boulevard, practically bursting with joy that he's gonna get to kill O'Brien (he thinks). The only debit I'd give it is the scene where our hero first checks into his hotel and everytime he sees a pretty woman, the soundtrack has a slide whistle make a wolf call. Too silly for a noir, IMO. But it doesn't hurt much. And the fact that the film sticks to its guns and ends the only way it can makes it that much stronger. A real winner. Glad to see here.

Kansas City Confidential is a super movie, and like @WHITBISSELL! I only remember seeing John Payne from Miracle on 34th Street. So he was a real revelation for me here, as a man determined to either clear his name, get revenge, or get his hands on some of the money he's accused of stealing, or maybe just the last two. Preston Foster was fine as the mastermind of the heist, and when he shows up later I was fooled for a bit when I realized I was seeing him again because he'd changed his demeanor. And what a trio of bad guys, a practical who's who of future character actors: Jack Elam, Lee Van Cleef, and Neville Brand. You just can't go wrong with them all together. The part in Mexico with Payne and the trio going back-and-forth getting the drop on each other almost had me laughing out loud. I love this movie and I learned about it years ago when my wife was watching a Hallmark movie of all things, and the leading lady's young son was a fan of film noir and he mentioned, believe it or not, both of today's reveals. So I put this one on my list back then (when I was first making a noir list) and finally got to watching it when this countdown started. I'm so glad I did. It made it at #6 on my list.

#6 Kansas City Confidential List Proper #53
#14 Kiss of Death List Proper List Proper #59
#15 He Walked By Night List Proper #88
#16 The Naked City List Proper #60
#22 This Gun For Hire List Proper #78
"Miss Jean Louise, Mr. Arthur Radley."

I think I’ve seen a whopping ONE FILM from this countdown so far. I’m a movie master

(It’s Bob Le Flambeur, which I didn’t even like that much and I only watched it because it was part of a HoF I was in years ago. Oh well… )


D.O.A. is my #25!

We did it, Adrian!

I think we're all very proud of you. I know I am.
Absolutely. Especially as it was actually a good one which broke your duck.
5-time MoFo Award winner.

#52 The Big Combo (1955)

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Production: Security-Theodora
Cast: Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Jean Wallace
69 Points, 8 Lists

'A police lieutenant is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He goes after Brown's girlfriend, who despises him, for information instead.'


#51 Crossfire (1947)

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Production: RKO
Cast: Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Robert Young, Gloria Grahame
73 Points, 10 Lists

'A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of demobilized soldiers he met in a bar. But which one? And why?'


When I was looking for the screenshots from The Big Combo, I found so many stylishly noir images that I could hardly make up my mind which to use. That's one visually good looking noir!