Tuesday, November 1, 2022

An Ode to Noirvember

 by Rosalie Lewis

Dear #ScaryMovieMonth,
It’s been fun, don’t get me wrong, but we both knew this wasn’t meant to last. The leaves have fallen, the Spirits have closed, and it’s just about time to wind those clocks backward to the 1940s when shadows contained gunmen, not ghouls. The stage is set for someone new, someone dangerous, someone duplicitous to take the spotlight for the next 30 days. So take a bow, au revoir til next year.

It’s #Noirvember, baby.

Some of us are noiristas already; some are tiptoeing down the road to discovery. No matter where you are on your film noir journey, for the next 30 days we get to celebrate its dark seductive ways together. To be honest, I don’t usually come into this month with a full plan. I make a long list of movies I want to watch and inevitably, I get to watch some but then find myself going down various noir rabbit holes. Before long, to paraphrase the decidedly non-noir Bringing Down the House, “The points are out the window and I’m all twisted up in the game.”

That said, I thought this year I’d give you a jumping off point: A theme for every day of the month, to use or ignore at your leisure. Maybe you’ll find a theme from one of these days especially compelling and decide to watch only movies around it for the rest of the month; maybe you’ll treat this more as a bingo card than a specific day by day guide. Maybe you have even more interesting themes to suggest in the comments! Without further ado, here’s the list:

1. Robert Mitchum
2. San Francisco
3. Argentina
4. RKO
5. Barbara Stanwyck
6. Black filmmakers
7. Drugs
8. Nicholas Musuraca
9. Jim Thompson adaptation
10. Asylums & Psych Wards
11. Gene Tierney
12. Spies
13. Directed by Women
14. French
15. Takeshi Kitano
16. Lizabeth Scott
17. In the Ring
18. British
19. Dorothy Hughes adaptation
20. Ida Lupino
21. Marlowe
22. Charles Laughton
23. John Dahl
24. Patricia Highsmith adaptation
25. Humphrey Bogart
26. Blonde Bombshell
27. Neo Noir
28. Australia
29. Robert Siodmak
30. Heists
This guide aside, I have a lot of movies on my watchlist as always. Just a few of the ones I’m hoping to catch up with:

High Sierra
• Raw Deal
• While the City Sleeps
• Border Incident
• Alphaville
• Get Carter
• To Live & Die in LA
• Pusher
• Blind Shaft
• Dark Blue
• Mystery Road
• Hand Rolled Cigarette

What’s on your Noirvember watchlist?


  1. I don't do month long events, like Octoberfest, too restrincting for me, but i like to read what others are watching, so keep us posted on what you watch

    1. Keeping Scary Movie Month fresh is a challenge, Kunider. For the past couple of years I have participated in a Twitter movie challenge, similar to Junesploitation, to keep my watches varied. A different theme or category every day. I have gotten around to time periods, like the 2000s, that I have previously neglected that way. There are times when I desire to see something else, but I have had around 60 first-time watches the last two Octobers.

  2. I am planning to watch some film noir this month, Rosalie. I would not be able to watch it for a month (not enough variety), but I think I have around 8 watches in me this month. There are several on my DVR, including a couple of Anthony Mann noirs. There are also a few French films in my Netflix DVD queue that have been there too long.

  3. Thanks for the guidance, Rosalie. "Accidentally" kicked off Noirvember yesterday with my first time watch of Fletch (1985) - didn't realize it would have such a mystery and be so neo-noir-y.