Film Noir

The Accused

Beautiful Loretta Young stars as psychology professor Wilma Tuttle, in this 1949 mystery-thriller. The pretty professor puts her career and life in jeopardy when she allows one of her students, Bill Perry (Douglas Dick), to drive her home. Perry attacks the professor and while fighting him off with a tire iron, Wilma kills the would-be rapist. Panic-stricken, she flees and does not report the seemingly justified killing to the police. Guilt, shame and fear haunt Professor Tuttle while a determined policeman (Wendell Corey) closes in.

Affair in Trinidad

Hot tropical passion makes for murder in 1952's Affair in Trinidad. Rita Hayworth stars as a sexy widow and nightclub chanteuse, Chris Emery. Less the grieving widow than a femme fatale, Chris seems to be attracted to the very man who might have murdered her husband. The victim's brother, Steve (Glenn Ford), arrives in Trinidad to discover that not only has his brother has been murdered but he feels alternately outraged at Chris' steamy and sexy demeanor and increasingly physically attracted to his brother's wanton widow.

Angel Face

This mystery, directed by Otto Preminger, is steamy, sexy and more than a bit scary. Diane Tremayne's (a darkly beautiful Jean Simmons) stepmother barely escapes death from a suspicious gas leak at the Tremayne mansion. When the ambulance arrives to care for Mrs. Tremayne, the lovely Diane seems more concerned with the handsome ambulance driver, Frank Jessup (Robert Mitchum), than she does with the near death of her stepmother. Before the night is over a frighteningly psychotic Diane Tremayne is spinning a web to lure Frank into her arms ... or is it to his death?

Another Man's Poison

Bette Davis is deviously at her best in her trademark dangerous diva mode in this 1951 film. Davis plays a power-hungry mystery novelist, Janet Frobisher, who lives on an isolated home in Yorkshire, England. Long separated from her own husband, Janet seduces her secretary's boyfriend, Larry Stevens. When Janet's husband unexpectedly shows up, Janet poisons him. Wonder where she gets the plots for her books ... perhaps, from real life?

Anatomy of a Murder

James Stewart is superb as Paul Biegler, an attorney who is plagued with doubts about the innocence of the man he is defending in a tawdry murder case. A beautiful young wife, Laura Manion (Lee Remick) has a penchant for sleeping around town. Laura tells her husband that she was raped and beaten up in their trailer by a bartender, Barney Quill. Enraged, Laura's husband, Sgt. Fredrick Manion (Ben Gazzara), kills Barney Quill. It's up to attorney Biegler to unravel the truth before the case goes to the jury.

Appointment with Danger

Before the expression 'gone Postal' was commonplace in America, film fans were thrilled by Alan Ladd's performance as postal inspector Al Goddard in this solid mystery from 1954. Investigating a murder of one of his colleagues, Goddard must find the only witness to the murder, an attractive nun, Sister Augustine (Phyllis Calvert). Goddard is forced to go undercover as he tries to track down two murderers, oddly cast with Harry Morgan and an unusually vicious Jack Webb (before Webb would star on TV in his own noir-inspired Dragnet).

The Big Sleep

Humphrey Bogart and a sultry Lauren Bacall starred in this 1946 classic based on the Raymond Chandler mystery. Gumshoe Philip Marlowe is hired by millionaire General Sternwood to investigate a case of blackmail. Sternwood's pouting and petulant daughter Carmen is a sulky sex kitten with a stack of gambling debts. Rare book dealer Arthur Geiger demands that Sternwood make good on the debts, but it's obvious that the 'debts' are really a sham cover for blackmail.

The Blue Dahlia

This fast-paced film, with a screenplay by Raymond Chandler, stars Alan Ladd as Johnny Morrison, a soldier who returns from the war to discover his wife Helen (Doris Dowling) has been two-timing him. Helen is found murdered and Johnny knows he's been set up to take the fall. Enlisting the help of the ex-wife of Helen's former lover (a sexy Veronica Lake as Joyce Haywood), Morrison struggles to clear his name and track down the true murderer. Ladd earned a nomination for an Academy Award in 1947 for The Blue Dahlia and this dark and dramatic mystery is film noir through and through.


This B-Movie thriller from 1949 starring Lawrence Tierney and Priscilla Lane centers on the story of an innocent ex-cop accused of murder. Mike Carter has left the force to work as a P.I., a job where his explosive temper and independent streak work more to his advantage than following the LAPD's rules and regulations. Accused of murder, Carter finds himself hunted down by the cops he used to work with. His only chance of catching the real killer rests with the help of his fiancee, Doris. This black and white murder mystery was made on a budget but still worth a viewing.


Dana Andrews plays a young district attorney, Henry Harvey, who is investigating the murder of a Catholic priest. A homeless drifter has been accused of the crime but something just doesn't add up. The solid cast includes a doe-eyed Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb, Arthur Kennedy, Ed Begley and Karl Malden. Remarkable cinematography and taut direction by Elia Kazan make this well-crafted 1947 film noir film a must-see for murder mystery fans.

Crimson Kimono

Ahead of its time for showcasing an interracial love affair between an Asian cop and an Anglo woman, a volatile and controversial subject in the 1950s. Crimson Kimono stars Glenn Corbett (Sgt. Charlie Bancroft) and James Shigeta (Detective Joe Kojaku) with Victoria Shaw as Christine Downs, the woman both police officers are attracted to. The tension between the cops is palatable as the two police officers must work together to solve a murder in the Little Tokyo community of Los Angeles.