William Holden and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard

Not precisely a Halloween post, but already getting in the mood... Film Noir. A fabulous genre, circa 1940s-50s - and modern film makers just haven't got it right.

The opening sequence in the video below is Fred McMurray in Double Indemnity (have you seen that pale imitation of a remake?) These films were made by caring directors, a cast acting its socks off - and plots To Die For (often literally). Nowadays, special effects seem to have taken over from the story, which is why so many are such a disappointment. Go and rent these oldies, and wallow in some of the best films ever made.

The Endless Night - a Valentine to Film Noir (by RubyTuesday717)

How many stars can you recognise? 
I'm ashamed to say I can't name all of them. Players include (the ones I can name, anyway):

Fred MacMurray   Joseph Cotton        Orson Welles         Edward G Robinson
Bette Davis           Carole Lombard      Burt Lancaster       Richard Widmark
Ingrid Bergman     Cary Grant              Robert Mitchum     Jean Simmons
Rita Hayworth       Barbara Stanwyck  Humphrey Bogart   Googie Withers
Gloria Swanson    Michael Rennie       Lillian Gish              Ann Savage
Glenn Ford           Ava Gardner            Gene Tierney          Peter Lorre

They had style, they had class - and the black&white photography only added to the effect. The lighting was superb, the atmosphere second to none...

If I've now got you interested in Film Noir, do rent out some of these films (my all-time favourites):
  • Double Indemnity (Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G Robinson)
  • All About Eve (Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders)
  • Casablanca (Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman)
  • Night of the Hunter (Robert Mitchum, Lillian Gish) 
  • The Maltese Falcon (Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet)
  • The Third Man (Michael Rennie, Orson Welles)
  • Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (Bette Davis, Joan Crawford)
  • Gilda (Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford)
  • Cat People (Simone Simon)
  • The Asphalt Jungle (Sterling Hayden)
Brassai - free background and header set

And if you fancy a freebie Film Noir-style blog background and header set rather than a conventional Halloween one, here's one of mine: Brassai

I hope you enjoyed this little trip to the Darker Side. More Film Noir posters on my Pinterest board.


  1. Oh, I love all these movies! Cat People makes me shiver every time!

  2. These are the films that are worth watching. These are the films of my childhood!! I can remember wanting to see Whatever Happened to Baby Jane & my Mother wouldn't let me......LOL!!

  3. I'm so glad to find some more Film Noir fans! I'm renting a few of these over the weekend, buyng some popcorn, and Himself and I are just going to wallow...

  4. Anne Huskey-Lockard26 October 2011 at 18:04


    Love the header!!!


  5. Anne Huskey-Lockard26 October 2011 at 18:04

    Okay, I am officially OLDER THAN DIRT because I recognized every one of the stars you had listed.
    (well, I love old movies too.....)
    Cool post on a neat film genre!


  6. I don't recognize all of the players, but I do remember thinking "Sunset Boulevard" was a good movie!

  7. I recognize about three quarters of those stars Suzie showing my age now

  8. Old movies are the best! I remember going to the movie theater with my cousin to see "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" and being so scared! Also, "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte" with Bette Davis - remember that one?? P.S. I hope you're feeling better!


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