The MoFo Top 100 Film Noir Countdown

→ in

Gun Crazy is a bona fide noir classic. I have it at my #15.

In Gun Crazy the cinematography was unusual and innovative for the time (1949). There was lots of location footage, but what was interesting was how many scenes were shot with the camera in the back seat of a car (they used a stretch limousine), showing the action of the people in the front seat, and observing integral action occurring where they were driving-- a great long take. I wondered who the cinematographer was, so I looked him up. Sure enough, it was Russell Harlan, who photographed Witness for the Prosecution, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Hatari. The picture is worth watching just for Harlan's work.

John Dall co-starred with Peggy Cummings. He seemed too refined for the role, but yet he seemed very familiar. I couldn't place what else he'd been in. Then it came to me that he'd co-starred with Farley Granger in
Rope. He was best at portraying sophisticated characters.

A great film, and one of the greatest noirs. I love that long take sequence while the couple were driving to the bank heist. Very innovative for its day.

Peggy Cummins was such a sweet Irish lassie to play such a psychopathic femme fatale killer. And the kinky sexual turn-on from guns and murder was pretty suggestive for 1950.

I'm sure that the screen writers for
Bonnie and Clyde(1967) were strongly influenced by this landmark film.

Rebecca is a classic noir mystery masterpiece and one of my all time/all genres favorite films, had it at #8. Gun Crazy is a great and highly influential noir classic. I have it at #49.

SEEN 33/66

John-Connor's Film-Noir Top 50:  

Rebecca is a memorable landmark picture, although I don't see it as a noir, apart from its dark tone. Veteran DP George Barnes was not known for noir, his only one being Nightmare (1942). He was later to work again with Hitchcock on Spellbound (1945), the 4th and final film Hitch had done under the thumb of David O. Selznick.

It was during filming that Hitchcock learned the trick of filming only what was necessary to present the script as written, so it couldn't be edited differently later. Still, when Selznick was freed up from working on Gone With the Wind, he insisted on some re-shoots for Rebecca.

The famous story is that Selznick had wanted the smoke from the burning mansion to spell out "R", but thankfully Hitch quietly ditched that, and substituted a burning monogrammed clothing case instead..

(1940, Hitchcock)

"I want you to get rid of all these things."
"But these are Mrs. de Winter's things."
"*I* am Mrs. de Winter now!"

Rebecca was Alfred Hitchcock's first film in Hollywood and his first collaboration with David O. Selznick, who was coming hot off the success of Gone With The Wind. The film follows a young woman (Joan Fontaine) who marries widower Maxim De Winter (Laurence Olivier), but has to deal with the constant comparisons and memories of his titular first wife.

Rebecca is unlike any film Hitchcock made before, and on the surface, you can feel Selznick's touch in it more than you can feel Hitchcock's. The scope feels more epic and broader, and the tone is more serious. Despite this "differences", Hitchcock's direction is great. But the cinematography and lighting were breathtaking. The film looks gorgeous in its black and white, shadow-filled majesty. Shades of films to come, like Citizen Kane and Hitchcock's own Vertigo, can be seen in the cinematography and even the plot.

I thought both Olivier and Fontaine filled their roles ably. Olivier, although not perfect, did managed to convey that heaviness and grief-stricken nature of Maxim, while Fontaine showed the necessary naivete and innocence needed for the role. However, Judith Anderson steals her scenes as Mrs. Danvers, the mysterious maid that remains fixated to the late Rebecca. To me, the film peaked in a tense scene between Anderson and Fontaine. The last act did lose some steam, but at least it had George Sanders in it, and he was great.

All in all, Rebecca remains a new direction and a growth of Hitchcock, even if lots of it were controlled by Selznick.

Check out my podcast: The Movie Loot!

I adore Rebecca, easily my favorite Hitch, and it did pop into my mind for this countdown. I just don't view it as noir so I'm surprised to see it show.

Seen Gun Crazy but don't remember it.

Society ennobler, last seen in Medici's Florence
#35. Rebecca (1940) is my #2.

Seeing this film outside of top 20 is a bit of surprise.
The character of Mrs. Danvers portrayed by Judith Anderson is a cult for cine-lovers. Quite obvious, the film-producers hired her several years later to repeat the same thing for the introduction scenes of The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (Mrs. Ivers).
Applause for Joan Fontaine too, a role she actually repeated the next year in Suspicion.



My Ballot

2. Rebecca (1940) [#35]
4. The Wrong Man (1956) [#39]
5. Suspicion (1941) [#49]
12. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) [#40]
21. Spellbound (1945) [#68]
23. Woman on the Run (1950) [#91]
24. High Sierra (1940) [#50]
25. Niagara (1953) [#56]

"Population don't imitate art, population imitate bad television." W.A.
"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." M.T.

My guess is Pickup on South Street.

A great one that isn't on my list, because I didn't see it until after my list was submitted.

Gun Crazy is one I love so it definitely went on my list. The tale of the gun-loving lovers on the lam is exceptionally well-done with Peggy Cummins especially shining as the more bloodthirsty of the pair. I think she's one of the more lovely femme fatales in Noir. This is a total winner. Had it at #20.

I always thought of Rebecca as a gothic thriller rather than Noir. Still, it's great to see it place in the top half of any list. A terrific film that always makes me think of Judith Anderson first, and the rest of the cast and crew second. Very deserving of its Best Picture win.

#4 The Big Combo List Proper List Proper #52
#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
#20 Gun Crazy List Proper #36
#22 This Gun For Hire List Proper #78
#23 The Narrow Margin List Proper #43
#25 Crossfire List Proper #51
"Miss Jean Louise, Mr. Arthur Radley."

Welcome to the human race...
six new films and still no votes. most of them are pretty good, except for the strange loves of martha ivers (think it's just alright) and the wrong man (which i haven't seen).
I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.
Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0

Can a noir be in colour? Purists can debate that but once I knew they were allowed Leave Her To Heaven was making my list because, if there can be colour noir, then this is it. Beautiful, stylish, hard as steel and cold as ice. That's not just Ellen, but a descrition of the whole film. It, and she, are stunning. Had it not counted I wouldn't have minded, but as it did, it was a certainty for my list because, even though I have Niagara higher, this is feels more noir if that makes any sense.

I also had Gun Crazy at #15, a film I was completely unaware of until I saw the Drew Barrymore version in the early/mid 90's. Minus Drew, I prefer the original and as a bona fide noir, it was a shoo-in for my list.

I don't know when you add to your overall list @Citizen Rules but the last two haven't been added yet.
5-time MoFo Award winner.

Gun Crazy - I finally watched it for the first time recently. It was alright, with the get away scenes seeming quite impressive for the time, but I'm also not really a car chase movie type of person. It was in consideration for the ballot but didn't make it.

Rebecca - I haven't seen this since I was a teen and don't remember much. I remember liking it though. It didn't even cross my mind for this ballot for a revisit because I remembered it as a gothic mystery or gothic thriller.

Trouble with a capital "T"
#34 The Lost Weekend (1945)

Director: Billy Wilder
Production: Paramount Pictures
Cast: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry
149 Points, 12 Lists

'The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.'


Trouble with a capital "T"
#33 Nightmare Alley (1947)

Director: Edmund Goulding
Production: Twentieth Century Fox
Cast: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray
164 Points, 17 Lists

'The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist whose lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.'


Women will be your undoing, Pépé
Nightmare Alley I had a VERY strong feeling that was what you meant, CR. VERY cool!
What I actually said to win MovieGal's heart:
- I might not be a real King of Kinkiness, but I make good pancakes
~Mr Minio

Trouble with a capital "T"
Nightmare Alley I had a VERY strong feeling that was what you meant, CR. VERY cool!
Love that film, so much that I 'choose' to believe that Stanton Carlisle (Tyrone Power) actually didn't fall for Helen Walker's scheming bag of tricks. I mean he's gotta be way too smart to not see through her. I just make up my own movie where him and Molly (Coleen Gray) live happily ever after performing their mentalist act in Vegas

Welcome to the human race...
no votes. the lost weekend is really good - didn't think of it for this list, which does make me wonder how many different titles i'd have voted for if i'd really gone to the trouble of verifying them as eligible.