Film Noir : Bleakest Noir Films?

Bleakest Noir Films?

I don't think it gets any bleaker than Kiss Me Deadly.

Runners Up

D.O.A.
The Set-Up
Double Indemnity The original ending would have made it even more bleak.




Go to bed Frank or this is going to get ugly .

Re: Bleakest Noir Films?

Good choices though I think The Set-Up has a hopeful ending. It isn't all doom and gloom in the end.

To me nothing beats Scarlet Street for bleakness. Honorable mention goes to The Killers, Criss Cross and New York Confidential.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Bleakest Noir Films?

Hey Jess,

True, the ending of The Set-Up is not so bleak but the rest of the film certainly is. I really wanted the best for Ryan's character.

Scarlet Street(poor Eddie G!) and The Killers are good choices. Never seen New York Confidential, another to keep an eye out for.




Go to bed Frank or this is going to get ugly .

Re: Bleakest Noir Films?

My choice for the bleakest is Odds Against Tomorrow (1959). The story deals with a group of losers who gather in NYC to plan a heist in upstate NY. Right from the beginning their situation seems hopeless and doomed to failure as racial tensions and disagreements flare. The story takes place in the dead of winter with a howling wind in the city, and a barren, snowy landscape as they drive upstate to pull-off the job. The excellent jazz score is very moody and laid back and exacerbates the hopelessness of the entire endeavor.

Re: Bleakest Noir Films?

How could I forget that one? It should certainly be in the top 5.

Jessica Rabbit
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Re: Bleakest Noir Films?

Never seen this one. Am going to try and find it.



Go to bed Frank or this is going to get ugly .

Re: Bleakest Noir Films?

Odds Against Tomorrow is a great one, a lot of the upstate locations are still there too.

Re: Bleakest Noir Films?

How about "The Asphalt Jungle' (1950)?

Re: Bleakest Noir Films?

If heist pictures can count as noir, I think that Kubrick's The Killing qualifies.

Does it get any bleaker than Edgar Ulmer's Detour? This is a movie in which absolutely nothing goes right. It's like a nightmare, a fever dream.

Re: Bleakest Noir Films?

I would say 'bleak' is pretty much a prerequisite for a Noir film, but some are more so than others. I believe there would be many more without the pressure of the Hays Code and cop-out endings forced in by the Studio powers. The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry and Nightmare Alley come to mind regarding the latter.

I do agree with the films noted here - especially Detour - but I would also agree that The Set-Up isn't particularly bleak. A few omitted that I thought were pretty bleak are In A Lonely Place, Decoy and certainly Leave Her To Heaven - they don't come much bleaker than the twisted Gene Tierney character.

~

"I dont think you fully understand, Bigelow.. You've been murdered."

The Noir future.

Hi Maddy,I want to say thank you for the very kind words on the CFB thread,and that I've also found your posts to be wonderfully detailed,with you also being one of the most polite person I've ever met!

I've created a new Noir page on Reddit,details are on the post at the top of this board.

Thanks,MDF/Chris.
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