I am grateful to be asked to contribute to this list, though I am admittedly little more than a dilettante in this genre. I’m sure many of the following pieces are recognizable to many, but they were the first that came to mind, so probably are pretty rock-solid for someone peering around the corner of the dark alley of Noir for the first time. I am learning more about the genre, through the works and recommendations of friends, and listening to them and reading them has been the most surprising gift of late. Many of their recs are included. Listen to them. This is a beginner’s guide from a beginner.
Where the Sidewalk Ends - Otto Preminger — Dana Andrews self-hating demoted cop is violent and scarred and watching him traverse a lurid urban underworld is disturbing and believable. Gene Tierney slays, and Otto Preminger knew how to ride the edge in all his work. Gambling, smoking and a Ben Hecht script. Don’t say no to this one.
Recent watches I enjoyed on Criterion: