At the start of this month Turner Classic Movies begun their ‘Noirvember’ season and have been showing some true noir greats from the classic American Noir era, this has sent me scurrying back to my movie collection to dig out my favourite film noirs. Noir is such a hard genre if it is even a genre to define but for the purposes of this list I have stuck to movies in the classic noir period roughly early 1940’s to mid 1950’s. I’ll no doubt come back at a later date to include different eras, neo-noir and other related types but here are my five favourite classic noirs recommended to anyone new to the genre:
Double Indemnity – If you wanted to define noir in one movie or perhaps even in one monologue it would be Double Indemnity you’d choose.
“Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money – and a woman – and I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman. Pretty, isn’t it? ”
It’s the story of insurance salesman Walter Neff who trying to sell an insurance policy meets the glamorous and devious Mrs Dietrichson. When the two get involved can they get away with murder and cashing in her husband’s insurance policy? The movie uses Neff’s confession to his friend and boss as a framing device to bookend the movie and its Neff who provides the voice over as we see his tale through to the bitter end. But just what drove Neff to do it?