1997 • 97 minutes • 1.85:1 • Norway
Spine: #47 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, DVD, iTunes
The success of Erik Skjoldbjærg’s chilling procedural anticipated the international hunger for Scandinavian noirs and serial- killer fictions, and the film features one of Skarsgård’s greatest performances.
1946 • 102 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Edition: Collector’s Sets
The first screen incarnation of Ernest Hemingway’s short story “The Killers” came in 1946, when director Robert Siodmak unleashed The Killers, helping to define the film noir style and launching the careers of Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner.
1964 • 94 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Edition: Collector’s Sets
Ernest Hemingway’s gripping short story “The Killers” has fascinated readers and filmmakers for generations. In 1964, Don Siegel took it on, creating the first-ever made-for-TV feature, which would prove too violent for American audiences in the wake of JFK’s assassination.
1976 • 135 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #254 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
John Cassavetes engages with film noir in his own inimitable style with The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Ben Gazzara brilliantly portrays a gentleman’s club owner, Cosmo Vitelli, desperately committed to maintaining a facade of suave gentility despite the seediness of his environment.
1960 • 116 minutes • 1.66:1 • United Kingdom
Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
A delightful cast of British all-stars, including Richard Attenborough, Bryan Forbes, and Roger Livesey, brings to life this precisely calibrated caper, which was immensely popular and influenced countless Hollywood heist films.
1979 • 114 minutes • 1.77:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #26 Edition: DVD
Bob Hoskins, in his breakthrough film role, stars as a London racketeer fast losing control of his gangland empire; Helen Mirren shines as his classy moll.
1986 • 104 minutes • 1.77:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #107 Edition: DVD
Bob Hoskins (who snagged an Oscar nomination for his performance) plays George, a small-time loser employed as a chauffeur to an enigmatic, high-class call girl in writer-director Neil Jordan’s brilliant, noir-infused love story.
1948 • 96 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #380 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Master noir craftsman Jules Dassin’s dazzling police procedural The Naked City was shot entirely on location in New York. As influenced by Italian neorealism as American crime fiction, this double Academy Award winner remains a benchmark for naturalism in noir.
1964 • 90 minutes • 1.75:1 • United States
Spine: #18 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The setup is pure pulp: A former prostitute (a crackerjack Constance Towers) relocates to a buttoned-down suburb, determined to fit in with mainstream society.
1950 • 95 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #274 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Two-bit hustler Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) longs for “a life of ease and plenty.” Trailed by an inglorious history of go-nowhere schemes, he tries to hatch a lucrative plan with a famous wrestler.
1953 • 80 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #224 Edition: DVD
In Sam Fuller’s hardboiled classic, a petty crook and an unsuspecting woman find themselves on the run from Communists in a precarious gambit.
1955 • 118 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #115 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, Collector’s Sets
After making such American noir classics as Brute Force and The Naked City, the blacklisted director Jules Dassin went to Paris and embarked on his masterpiece: a twisting, turning tale of four ex-cons who hatch one last glorious robbery in the City of Light.
1958 • 90 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
In Toshio Masuda’s smash Rusty Knife, Yujiro Ishihara and fellow top Nikkatsu star Akira Kobayashi play former hoodlums trying to leave behind a life of crime, but their past comes back to haunt them when the authorities seek them out as murder witnesses.
1967 • 105 minutes • 1.85:1 • France
Spine: #306 Editions: DVD, iTunes
In a career-defining performance, Alain Delon plays a contract killer with samurai instincts. A razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture, maverick director Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterpiece Le Samouraï defines cool.
1959 • 92 minutes • 1.66:1 • United Kingdom
Editions: Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Basil Dearden’s bold, direct police procedural, starring Nigel Patrick as the detective in charge of the investigation, is a devastating look at the way bigotry crosses class divides, and a snapshot of the increasingly interracial culture of England in the late fifties.
1960 • 81 minutes • 2.35:1 • France
Spine: #315 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Part thriller, part comedy, part tragedy, Shoot the Piano Player relates the adventures of mild-mannered piano player Charlie (Charles Aznavour) as he stumbles into the criminal underworld and a whirlwind love affair.
1949 • 122 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #233 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
When a pickpocket steals a rookie detective’s gun on a hot, crowded bus, the cop goes undercover in a desperate attempt to right the wrong. Kurosawa’s thrilling noir probes the squalid world of postwar Japan and the nature of the criminal mind.
1960 • 84 minutes • 2.45:1 • Japan
Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
At the beginning of Seijun Suzuki’s taut and twisty whodunit, a prison truck is attacked and a convict inside is murdered. The penitentiary warden on duty, Daijiro (Michitaro Mizushima), is accused of negligence and suspended, only to take it upon himself to track down the killers.
1949 • 94 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #273 Edition: DVD
Thieves’ Highway vividly depicts the perilous world of “long-haul boys,” who drive by night to bring their goods to the markets of America’s cities. Richard Conte stars as ex-G.I. Nick Garcos, a tyro trucker bent on satisfaction from the man responsible for crippling his father.
1949 • 104 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #64 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime—and thus begins this legendary tale of love, deception, and murder.
1966 • 82 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #39 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Tetsu’s attempt to go straight is thwarted when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang.
1954 • 96 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #271 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets
Having pulled off the heist of a lifetime, Max looks forward to spending his remaining days relaxing with his beautiful young girlfriend. But when Max’s hapless partner lets word of the loot slip to loose-lipped, two-timing Josy (Jeanne Moreau), Max is reluctantly drawn back into the underworld.
1960 • 131 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #129 Edition: DVD
In a Paris prison cell, five inmates use every ounce of their tenacity and ingenuity in an elaborate attempt to tunnel to freedom. Based on the novel by José Giovanni, Jacques Becker’s Le trou (The Hole) balances lyrical humanism with a tense, unshakable air of imminent danger.
Josef von Sternberg
1927 • 81 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #529 Edition: Collector’s Sets
Josef von Sternberg’s riveting breakthrough is widely considered the film that launched the American gangster genre as we know it.
1979 • 140 minutes • 1.66:1 • Japan
Spine: #384 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Director Shohei Imamura turns this fact-based story—about the seventy-eight-day killing spree of a remorseless man from a devoutly Catholic family—into a cold, perverse, and at times diabolically funny examination of the primitive coexisting with the modern.