The MoFo Top 100 Film Noir Countdown

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There was a national holiday going on over here, the King's birthday, so sadly I missed the grand finale. The countdown ended perfectly, it's a beautiful Film-Noir Top 100 we can all be proud of. Thanks to all participants! Special thanks to @Thief, @Holden Pike, @Citizen Rules, @Yoda, your work is very much appreciated.

Full Ballot Reveal

1. Double Indemnity (1944)
2. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
3. The Narrow Margin (1952)
4. Out of the Past (1947)
5. Murder, My Sweet (1944)
6. In a Lonely Place (1950)
7. The Big Heat (1953)
8. Rebecca (1940)
9. Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
10. Bob Le Flambeur (1956)
11. The Breaking Point (1950)
12. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
13. The Killing (1956)
14. Gilda (1946)
15. Notorious (1946)
16. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
17. The Wrong Man (1956)
18. Night and the City (1950)
19. The Mob (1951) DNP
20. Kansas City Confidential (1952)
21. The Third Man (1949)
22. Laura (1944)
23. The Set-Up (1949)
24. I Walk Alone (1947) DNP
25. Kiss of Death (1947)

... it took me about 4 tries to love Sunset Blvd.
Nice to know I've got at least 2 viewings to go.

The Maltese Falcon was on the most lists eh? It's at 49 vs Double Indemnity at 48, out of 57 in total. Interesting.
"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."

Yearly Breakdown
  • 1940 = 4
  • 1941 = 2
  • 1942 = 1
  • 1943 = 2
  • 1944 = 8
  • 1945 = 7
  • 1946 = 11
  • 1947 = 11
  • 1948 = 10
  • 1949 = 7
  • 1950 = 11
  • 1951 = 4
  • 1952 = 3
  • 1953 = 5
  • 1954 = 0
  • 1955 = 6
  • 1956 = 4
  • 1957 = 1
  • 1958 = 3
  • 1959 = 0
Also "quality" at least based on the stats seem to peak for the five years after the war and then taper off considerably.

Thanks, Citizen. Here's my (incomplete) ballot. I bolded the ones that didn't make it.

1. The Third Man
2. The Killing
3. In a Lonely Place
4. Double Indemnity
5. The Maltese Falcon
6. Touch of Evil
7. Notorious
8. Detour
9. Out of the Past
10. Act of Violence
11. White Heat
12. On Dangerous Ground
13. Phenix City Story
14. Key Largo
15. Crossfire
16. The Hitch-Hiker
17. Kansas City Confidential
18. The Big Steal
19. Stray Dog

Trouble with a capital "T"
I don't know if it's crazier that I didn't care for Double Indemnity the 1st time I watched it, or that it took me about 4 tries to love Sunset Blvd. At least I got there.
Nice to know I've got at least 2 viewings to go.
I didn't like Sunset Blvd. on my first watch either. Now after a couple more viewings I love it, and it made my ballot.

I do want to give CR a big thanks on hosting this countdown.

I was initially somewhat skeptical about splitting the neo vs classic, but I think, the final list actually serves as a decent list for someone, like me, who would like to have seen more classic noir, but doesn't have a great sense of what are the big ones I'm missing. And it's actually kind of hard to get a list of film noir movies on the major movie sites.

Thursday Next's Avatar
I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
53/100 seen

Including two I caught up with yesterday, The Woman in the window and The Stranger . Both good films.

You over achiever you
He did 100/100 at the Neo-noir too.

Check out my podcast: The Movie Loot!

2 for 2 on this final day to finish up the countdown with 66 films out of the 100 watched.
Actually it was 69 out of 100 since I watched The Big Combo, Pickup on South Street and Notorious. Didn't want to include them while the countdown was going on.

I didn't participate much but I really appreciate the list, the work you've done, and everyone's insightful comments. Also thanks to Holden, I enjoy your trivia and musings, as well as the videos you linked.

I am the greatest movie watching person of all time.

Captain Spaulding's Noir Ballot

#1) Sunset Boulevard

#2) Double Indemnity

#3) The Maltese Falcon

#4) Night and the City

#5) In a Lonely Place

#6) Notorious

#7) Shadow of a Doubt

#8) Pickup on South Street

#9) Rififi

#10) Scarlet Street

#11) The Big Sleep

#12) The Third Man

#13) White Heat

#14) Strangers on a Train

#15) The Stranger

#16) The Harder They Fall

#17) He Ran All the Way

#18) Kansas City Confidential

#19) The Killing

#20) Mildred Pierce

#21) Hangover Square

#22) Key Largo

#23) Touch of Evil

#24) The Asphalt Jungle

#25) I Wake Up Screaming


Bacall for sure. The images came up in a search for Musso and Franks celebrities. Though I can't say for sure as I've never been there. I did see another image of a young Dennis Hooper that was supposedly in Musso and Franks.
Oh yeah, I'm sure Hopper was there. His father too (William Hopper-- Paul Drake, Perry Mason's investigator from the original series)... I can almost guarantee you that every name actor --and many lesser ones-- have all dined at Musso & Franks. I've seen dozens of celebrities there. One night we sat right beside Bob Hope. Saw Steve Landesberg, Debbie Reynolds; got waved at by Roger Ebert. At one time or another all of Hollywood ate there.

Repeating Directors
Alfred Hitchcock ends at the top with 7 entries, but Billy Wilder's remarkable closing with the Top 2 entries ties him for second place, along with Welles who also played 1 more to get to 4. Huston earned his third one, while Carol Reed earned his second one.
That's funny.. I'm sure Hitchcock would have been surprised to hear that he'd been credited with 7 noirs. 4 maybe. 7? Nah.

Outside of our own countdown world, Siodmak directed more noirs than anyone. I'd have to check, but I believe Cornell Woolrich's stories were used for the most noir screenplays.