by Rosalie Lewiswww.tarot.com to peep what’s happening horoscope-wise for each sign, and then paired that bit of fortune-telling with a movie whose characters take a similar journey. Let’s get started!
Your Film Noir: Flesh and Fury (1952, directed by Joseph Pevney)
Tony Curtis stars as an amateur boxer with a hearing impairment in this noir from Universal Pictures. He definitely can relate to the Aries horoscope in this movie, as he gets a new mentor in Pop Richardson (Wallace Ford, a noir regular you may also recognize from Freaks). He also has two ladies vying for his attention, but which one has his best interest at heart? Jan Sterling, who made a big impression in Ace in the Hole, plays Sonya. Mona Freeman, who worked with Curtis in I Was a Shoplifter!, portrays a reporter named Ann.
Your Film Noir: Impact (1949, directed by Arthur Lubin)
Brian Donlevy often played a supporting character or heavy, but in this role he gets to be the protagonist, a millionaire whose wife (Helen Walker, who you may know from Nightmare Alley) wants him dead. Not one to let a little murder plot get in the way of his good time, he lays low for a while in a small town and meets someone who seems to prefer him alive: Ella Raines (appearing in Phantom Lady and Brute Force). Their connection is definitely joyful and intense, as the horoscope proclaims.
Your Film Noir: Atlantic City (1980, directed by Louis Malle)
This movie pairs noir favorite Burt Lancaster with Susan Sarandon in a city that’s demolishing buildings and overhauling its reputation. He’s looking back on a life lived just outside the spotlight, always on the outskirts of a big score or a big bust. She’s a waitress learning French so she can be a blackjack dealer in Paris one day, trying to shed the baggage of her small town Saskatchewan roots. They’re both sick of their daily routine, and when an unexpected person comes along and shakes things up, it gives them both a chance to try something new and take the kind of leap of faith the horoscope recommends.
Your Film Noir: Plunder Road (1957, directed by Hubert Cornfield)
We all love a good heist movie, and this is one of the best. The heist happens at the beginning, and it’s a nail biter. Complications arise after the 5-man crew splits up with their loot. Elisha Cook, Jr. is in this movie, so you know it’s a winner; and soap opera fans will recognize longtime The Young and the Restless actor Jeanne Cooper in an early role.
Your Film Noir: No Way Out (1987, directed by Roger Donaldson)
I know it’s technically Adam Riske’s job to recommend Kevin Costner movies on this site, but hopefully he’ll allow it because this is (bold claim coming up) Costner’s best movie. He gets caught up in a CIA coverup when a woman he hooked up with winds up dead. To make things even more complicated, he’s tapped to help with the investigation all while trying not to become a suspect himself. Gene Hackman, Will Patton, and Iman are just a few members of this movie’s all-star cast.
Your Film Noir: Caught (1949, directed by Max Ophuls)
Barbara Bel Geddes marries a rich man (Robert Ryan) who turns out to be a total dickwad. She starts to fall for her boss (James Mason), who is decidedly less toxic and evil, but when she finds out she’s pregnant with her husband’s baby, she feels like her hope and options are running out. “Major wrinkles” definitely need to get ironed out before she can speak her truth.
Your Film Noir: Branded to Kill (1967, directed by Seijun Suzuki)
Here’s the part where I ask myself, “Do I try to explain the plot of a Seijun Suzuki movie?” He’s an awesome director whose movies don’t always adhere to an elevator pitch, which is one of the many reasons they are awesome. What I’ll tell you is that it’s about a professional hit man and it seems that he’s on someone else’s hit list. He also finds himself caught between two women, there’s some kinkiness, and lots of fancy camerawork. I don’t have any tattoos, but if I ever get a movie-themed tattoo it will be something from this movie. How’s that for a recommendation?
Your Film Noir: In the Cut (2003, directed by Jane Campion)
Meg Ryan has never been better or more sexy than she is here, in a grimy erotic thriller that does not care one iota about your expectations about a movie starring Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Jason Leigh. There’s some murder, some masturbation, some mystery, and some hollering at your TV as your suspicions of danger grow harder to ignore. The horoscope applies but I’m not going to tell you more. You’ll just have to discover it for yourself.
Your Film Noir: Rififi (1955, directed by Jules Dassin)
This is the heist film to end all heist films, so if you’ve seen it you already love it; and if you haven’t, you have the best heist film ever in your future. The preparation and execution of the heist are carried out with such precision, reportedly there were attempts to ban the movie from being shown in fear it would inspire real life criminals. But while the centerpiece of the heist is impressive, the characters are equally compelling. Each one has a very specific set of skills, a unique back story, and a lot on the line. If you’ve already seen this one and want a bonus recommendation, watch Logan Lucky.
Your Film Noir: Odd Man Out (1947, directed by Carol Reed)
James Mason plays Johnny McQueen, once a powerful member of a criminal organization (presumably meant as a stand-in for the IRA) who was wounded during a robbery. Now he’s hiding out in the streets and alleys of a snowy Belfast, with lots of time for contemplation. There’s plenty weighing heavily on him in this movie as he waits for some kind of release.
Your Film Noir: The Crimson Kimono (1959, directed by Samuel Fuller)
Two LA detectives (played by Glenn Corbett and James Shigeta) investigate the murder of a stripper in Little Tokyo. Along the way, they both fall for the same woman, threatening their own relationship and forcing them to confront racial issues. Vulnerability always comes into play in Samuel Fuller’s movies, and in this one it might be the key to the whole conundrum.
Your Film Noir: I’m Your Woman (2020, directed by Julia Hart)
Rachel Brosnahan plays Jean, who has many surprises waiting outside her front door. First, a baby, brought home by her outlaw husband as a solution to their infertility. Next, a stranger who tells her to pack a bag and hit the road if she wants to survive the night. That’s just the beginning in this excellent '70s-set noir from the director of Fast Color.