by Rosalie Lewis
Would you prefer classic noir or neo noir?
If you answered classic, start with title #1.
If you answered neo, start with title #5.
1. Ace in the Hole
Nightcrawler, and also predicted the spectacles of reality television and clickbait. As with most Wilder films, this one has its fair share of fast talkers and funny lines, but the humor here is acerbic and the characters despicable. It’s a great introduction to film noir without going the route of the innocent man wrongly accused or the cop who’s on the wrong side of the law.
If you enjoy this film, you can pick up the Criterion release for half price all month long thanks to the Barnes and Noble sale.
Do you want more Kirk Douglas or would you rather spend some time in the company of a beautiful woman?
If you answered more Kirk, go to title #2.
If you prefer a lady, go to title #3.
2. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
Who do you want to see more of: Barbara Stanwyck or Lizabeth Scott?
If you said Stanwyck, go to #3.
If you said Scott, go to #4.
3. Sorry, Wrong Number
You can rent this via Amazon and a few other online platforms.
Do you want to stick with classic noir or try something different?
If you said classic, go to #4.
If you said something different, go to #5.
4. The Racket
This one is available for online rental on a number of outlets, including Amazon and iTunes.
Time to mix it up! Do you want to try American neo noir, or flee across international borders?
If you said American, go to #5.
If you said international, go to #6.
5. Art School Confidential
Rent this on Amazon or Google Play.
Let’s try some noir from another country. Would you prefer Japan or France?
If you said Japan, proceed to #6.
If you said France, proceed to #7.
6. A Colt Is My Passport
You can watch this via Criterion Channel or take your chances on YouTube; it’s also part of Criterion’s Nikkatsu Noir collection that’s on sale for half price this month.
Let’s jump around in time. Do you want to travel into the future or into the past?
If you said future, proceed to #7.
If you said past, proceed to #8.
7. Le Cercle Rouge
This movie was out of print for a while but you can stream it right now on Criterion Channel, so take advantage if you can. You can also rent it on YouTube.
Now we’ll try some British noir on for size. Would you prefer something offbeat or something traditional?
If you said offbeat, proceed to #8.
If you said traditional, proceed to #9.
8. The Frightened City
I’ll admit this might be tough to track down via streaming, but that’s why interlibrary loan was invented. Put those tax dollars to work!
And now for a directorial debut. UK or USA?
If you want to stay in the UK, go to #9.
If you want something made in the USA, go to #10.
If you don’t have this in your collection already, you can pick it up on Criterion or rent before you buy via Amazon.
Ready for the final film in this little noir journey?
If you said yes, proceed to #10.
If you said no, comment with your favorite 2019 movie and I’ll give you another recommendation.
10. Kill Me Again
You can rent this on Amazon and iTunes.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your mini-marathon of noir! Let me know in the comments what you’ve been watching this month, and what’s on your radar.