Noirvember 2017: 30 Films in 30 Days


Noirvember 2017 is almost over… For the third consecutive year I watched and commented (sometimes briefly) on one film noir each day during the month. (You can read about my 2015 and 2016 Noirvember adventures if you so desire.) For 2017 I decided to watch only films that were new to me (plus two bonus episodes that were rewatches) and stayed mostly within the bounds of the classic noir era 1940-1959, straying just a couple of times.

Now for some nerdy statistics for those who enjoy such things…

The distribution of years goes as follows:

1945 – 1
1946 – 1
1947 – 3
1948 – 1
1949 – 4
1950 – 5
1951 – 1
1952 – 3
1953 – 3
1954 – 3
1955 – 1
1956 – 0
1957 – 2
1958 – 0
1959 – 1
1960 – 0
1961 – 0
1962 – 1


Clearly I was in a 50s mood, which is certainly not a bad place to be. I chose a fairly wide selection of studios, but the best represented were Warner Bros. (not counting their RKO and MGM acquisitions), Paramount, and United Artists with three films each, and a whopping 11 films from Columbia. Three films appeared with “dark” in their titles: Dark City, The Dark Mirror and The Dark Past. All were in black-and-white and with the exception of the French film Two Men in Manhattan, all were in English. The shortest ran for just 69 minutes (Jeopardy), the longest at two hours and three minutes (Experiment in Terror). 

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Several actors turned up twice during these 30 films, far too many to list here, but two players appeared three times: character actor Jay Adler (The Underworld Story, Scandal Sheet, The Mob) and Dan Duryea (Manhandled, The Underworld Story, The Burglar). I almost had a Gilligan’s Island reunion going with appearances by Jim Backus (The Killer Who Stalked New York), Natalie Schafer (Repeat Performance), Russell Johnson (Rogue Cop), and Alan Hale, Jr. (Rogue Cop, The Underworld Story). 

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As for directors, two showed up twice: Robert Rossen (Body and Soul, Johnny O’Clock) and Phil Karlson (Tight Spot, Scandal Sheet). And I can’t leave out the cinematographers! Charles Lawton, Jr. with two (Shockproof, Drive a Crooked Road) and Burnett Guffey with three (Tight Spot, Scandal Sheet, Johnny O’Clock).  

Enough nerdy stuff already; let’s get to the movies themselves:

Body and Soul (1947)

Alias Nick Beal (1949)

Beware, My Lovely (1952)

Caged (1950)

City That Never Sleeps (1953)

Jeopardy (1953)

Wicked Woman (1953)

The Mob (1951)

Shockproof (1949)

This Woman is Dangerous (1952)

Drive a Crooked Road (1954)

Repeat Performance (1947)

Cry Vengeance (1954)

Roadblock (1951)

The Burglar (1957)

The Dark Mirror (1946)

Manhandled (1949)

Tight Spot (1955)

Dark City (1950)

Scandal Sheet (1952)

Two Men in Manhattan (1959)

White Heat (1949)

The Underworld Story (1950)

The Long Haul (1957)

Rogue Cop (1954)

Johnny O’Clock (1947)

Experiment in Terror (1962)

The Dark Past (1948)

The Killer That Stalked New York (1950)

Hangover Square (1945)

Bonus Episodes:

T-Men (1947)

He Walked by Night (1948)

Even the worst of the films I saw were still pretty enjoyable. I’d recommend them all for at least a look. Others have already become favorites. Keep an eye out for my Best of 2017 lists, which will include films by decade as well as a separate film noir list. In the meantime, I hope I’ve given you at least one film noir to investigate. If you do see one of the films on this list, let me know your thoughts. Happy viewing!

Photos: IMDb

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