The MoFo Top 100 Film Noir Countdown

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I feel the music adds considerably to the quality of the film and does not detract. There is the obvious contrast between the new post-war and old world Europe. The juxtaposition of this upbeat and lighthearted music and the subject and events of the film. Harry Lime himself as a friendly and jovial fellow on the outside but in reality he's amoral and has done some pretty awful things. A lot of the world is like this. Zither on!
Perfectly stated, HL. The zither, along with the performance of some of the popular European songs of the day, such as "Lili Marlene", wonderfully evoked post WWII Vienna.

Roger Ebert stated, "Has there ever been a film where the music more perfectly suited the action than in Carol Reed's The Third Man?"



Not liking The Third Man score makes about as much sense as not liking Suspiria's score. Yes, I know a lot of these people exist, but that only makes it all the more baffling.



Trouble with a capital "T"
Continuing along with my rectifications, I watched In a Lonely Place last night....Gloria Grahame was a knockout in this one, also.
You get bonus points for that! She had a great look in the film, really well put together which adds to her character quite a bit.

Everyone voted for Third Man but the host. What kind of counter culture hipster did we let run this thing?
Ha, I also didn't vote for In a Lonely Place and Touch of Evil.



You get bonus points for that! She had a great look in the film, really well put together which adds to her character quite a bit.

Ha, I also didn't vote for In a Lonely Place and Touch of Evil.
"Blasphemy!"



*Throws holy water at you*


*Holy water misses*


*Holy water destroys wall, revealing a secret room, where a man sells garlic*





Trouble with a capital "T"
That may be the view of some today, looking back at a 65 year old film through a contemporary lens; but I assure you that no one felt that [Charlton Heston's brown face] was an issue in 1958. Actors play roles.
Glad you said that because I know you were there so you would know. I was wanting to look up old reviews of Touch of Evil from back when it was first released. I wanted to see if critics back then complained about Heston's brown face. I'm guessing when people first complained about started after this clip in Ed Wood (1994). Like I pointed out Marlene Dietrich is in brown face too and I've never seen anyone complain about that.




Seriously through, what interests me most about this thread is how diverse everyone's tastes are. All in all, considering that there were 57 entries, we don't seem to have much of a consensus.


We don't even reach a movie that appears on over half the submitted lists until we get to #11, The Killing, appearing on 35 (mine included).


Rebecca is #35 on the main list despite only being voted for by 8 people (again, myself included).



Trouble with a capital "T"
Seriously through, what interests me most about this thread is how diverse everyone's tastes are. All in all, considering that there were 57 entries, we don't seem to have much of a consensus.

We don't even reach a movie that appears on over half the submitted lists until we get to #11, The Killing, appearing on 35 (mine included).

Rebecca is #35 on the main list despite only being voted for by 8 people (again, myself included).
Well said...Yup we all have some pretty diverse taste in noirs and we all seem to define what is noir differently...Which is fine by me! I think it's been a great countdown and we all made a really solid noir Top 100 list. It sure beats that BFI Noir list that we have.



Well said...Yup we all have some pretty diverse taste in noirs and we all seem to define what is noir differently...Which is fine by me! I think it's been a great countdown and we all made a really solid noir Top 100 list. It sure beats that BFI Noir list that we have.

I concur! It's always less interesting when everyone agrees.



That may be the view of some today, looking back at a 65 year old film through a contemporary lens; but I assure you that no one felt that was an issue in 1958. Actors play roles.
No one but Mexicans?
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Yes, I don't want to derail the thread or get into politics, but 'no one felt it was an issue' is surely untrue and I'm not talking about the odd one or two, either. I'm guessing here, but if you were to do a tickbox list of the reviewers of the time in the US/UK/France/etc, white, male and from the country of publication would probably cover 98%+ of them.

But that isn't to condemn or belittle them or those of the time. I believe it wasn't an issue for most people because most people were unaffected by it or aware it was an issue for others. Most people are good, decent people who will makes changes/allowances for others if aware of the need.
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Before we officially leave Welles behind on the countdown, for your listening and dining pleasure, the classic among classics...

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"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra



Yes, I don't want to derail the thread or get into politics, but 'no one felt it was an issue' is surely untrue and I'm not talking about the odd one or two, either. I'm guessing here, but if you were to do a tickbox list of the reviewers of the time in the US/UK/France/etc, white, male and from the country of publication would probably cover 98%+ of them.
One thing worth noting, I'm not sure how much power the Hays Code still had by 1958 for Touch of Evil (people noted it had lost power with Some Like it Hot in 59 and Psycho and 60), but one aspect of it that people often aren't aware of is, it explicitly forbade interracial couples (there was a weird loophole, where the characters could be, but the actors could not). This has some long term, morally ugly consequences. However, as evidenced by the practice of having white stars play people of color into the 21st century, that isn't necessarily the only reason such a casting decision might have been made and I'm less certain if that rule extended to Hispanics as it did to African Americans (presumably, yes?). However I'm guessing it's likely the Production Code would have prevented a Mexican from playing a Mexican married to a white, American woman.



Well said...Yup we all have some pretty diverse taste in noirs and we all seem to define what is noir differently...Which is fine by me! I think it's been a great countdown and we all made a really solid noir Top 100 list. It sure beats that BFI Noir list that we have.
I'm trying to find their list now. I've seen it in the past (I'm finding their top 10 Great American Noirs, and I remember there's a "One Noir from Every Year (between 40 and 59)"), which would probably be more to your taste. But I recall the main list (which my google skills are failing me at the moment) is both classic noir and neo-noir, and um, the neo-noir countdown has had some... interesting choices.



Trouble with a capital "T"
#3 The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Director: John Huston
Production: Warner Bros.
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George
799 Points, 49 Lists

'San Francisco private detective Sam Spade takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar and their quest for a priceless statuette, with the stakes rising after his partner is murdered.'

_______________________________________



Trouble with a capital "T"
Glad to see The Maltese Falcon land so high on our countdown

From the often quoted Film Noir IV...which was a blast and we watched a bunch of great noirs, more should've joined!


The Maltese Falcon (1941)

I remember hearing about this movie all my life but I'd never seen it until I got into 'old movies', like 20 years ago. They say you get out of a movie, what you take into it. I took high expectations into my first viewing 20 years ago and came out scratching my head at how this film could be considered so great.

Then I joined MoFo and got into HoFs and hosted the first Noir HoFwhere The Maltese Falcon was nominated and the second time around I liked it a whole lot more! I was impressed with Bogart's performance and Sydney Greenstreet...Peter Lorre as well.

So I watched this for the third time and my opinion went up, way up...The Maltese Falcon is the kinda movie I like to spend time with, it's rewarding in that way. Funny thing is I still think Bogart and Greenstreet were solid and I enjoyed their performances but this time it was Mary Astor who had the acting chops. She pulled off a character who's suppose to be lying and yet seem like she might be telling the truth. She never overplayed it. I watched her performance closely and I'd say she as talented as an actress as any of the greats ever were.

So third watch, loved it.



Itís A Classic Rope-A-Dope
I had already seen Maltese Falcon a couple times, and liked it well enough that it would have been on the back end of my list. So I probably wouldnít have rewatched it if it hadnít been nominated for the HOF. Boy was I glad it was, because that script just clicked into place this time. This movie is dark and funny. The humor just really hit me this watch. I finally understood why itís held up as one of the all time greats. I put it at 8, and that was probably too low.
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