Neonoir

Neonoir

27 Episodes

While film noir had its heyday in the disillusioned postwar era of the 1940s and ’50s, its seductively moody style and dark, cynical edge have continued to inspire more recent filmmakers—freed from the constraints of the Production Code—to put their own, often subversive stamps on the genre. Featuring unforgettable femmes fatales (Kathleen Turner in the DOUBLE INDEMNITY–inspired BODY HEAT, Linda Fiorentino’s ice-cold bad girl in THE LAST SEDUCTION) and world-weary private eyes (Jack Nicholson in CHINATOWN; Elliott Gould and Robert Mitchum offering their respective takes on Raymond Chandler’s legendary detective Philip Marlowe in THE LONG GOODBYE and FAREWELL, MY LOVELY), this selection of some of the finest neonoirs spotlights the myriad ways in which the hard-boiled vocabulary of noir has endured and evolved over the decades. From the blaxploitation boom (ACROSS 110TH STREET) to Hollywood’s post-Watergate cynicism (NIGHT MOVES, CUTTER’S WAY) to the New Queer Cinema (SWOON) and beyond, these films prove that noir is more than just a single era or movement—it’s a state of mind.

Subscribe Share
Neonoir
  • Neonoir Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Cotton Comes to Harlem

    Episode 2

    Directed by Ossie Davis • 1970 • United States
    Starring Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St. Jacques, Calvin Lockhart

    Acclaimed actor and filmmaker Ossie Davis directs this rollicking blend of gritty neonoir and buddy-cop comedy, one of the first and most influential of the cycle of Blaxploitation fil...

  • Across 110th Street

    Episode 3

    Directed by Barry Shear • 1972 • United States
    Starring Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Anthony Franciosa

    Evocatively shot on location in 1970s Harlem, this gut-punching crime drama combines film noir and blaxploitation tropes into an explosive portrait of simmering social and racial tensions. Yaph...

  • The Long Goodbye

    Episode 4

    Directed by Robert Altman • 1973 • United States
    Starring Elliott Gould, Nina van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden

    Robert Altman updates Raymond Chandler for the liberated, hedonistic 1970s in this brilliantly idiosyncratic adaptation of one of the writer’s most renowned novels. Elliott Gould brings a ...

  • Chinatown

    Episode 5

    Directed by Roman Polanski • 1974 • United States
    Starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

    An Oscar-winning screenplay by Robert Towne, career-defining performances from Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, and Roman Polanski’s atmospheric direction come together in one of the greatest fil...

  • Night Moves

    Episode 6

    Directed by Arthur Penn • 1975 • United States
    Starring Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren, Edward Binns

    Harry Moseby (Gene Hackman) is a run-of-the-mill, bottom-of-the-barrel private eye who spends his working hours staking out divorce disputants, chasing runaways, and tracing missing persons. That ...

  • Farewell, My Lovely

    Episode 7

    Directed by Dick Richards • 1975 • United States
    Starring Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland

    The immortal Robert Mitchum, a veteran of the original noir era, stars as Raymond Chandler’s legendary detective Philip Marlowe in this complex neonoir mystery. The hard-boiled Marlowe’s la...

  • The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    Episode 8

    Directed by John Cassavetes • 1976 • United States
    Starring Ben Gazzara, Timothy Agoglia Carey, Seymour Cassel

    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, desper...

  • The American Friend

    Episode 9

    Directed by Wim Wenders • 1977 • Germany
    Starring Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz

    Wim Wenders pays loving homage to rough-and-tumble Hollywood film noir with THE AMERICAN FRIEND, a loose adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel “Ripley’s Game.” Dennis Hopper oozes quirky menace as an amoral American a...

  • The Big Sleep

    Episode 10

    Directed by Michael Winner • 1978 • United States
    Starring Robert Mitchum, Sarah Miles, Richard Boone

    Robert Mitchum steps into the gumshoes of detective Philip Marlowe in this bold 1970s reimagining of the Raymond Chandler classic set in England. When Marlowe takes on what appears to be a routi...

  • Eyes of Laura Mars

    Episode 11

    Directed by Irvin Kershner • 1978 • United States
    Starring Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif

    A Hollywood take on the Italian giallo genre, this stylishly suspenseful thriller stars Faye Dunaway as Laura Mars, a controversial high-fashion photographer whose sensational, erotic-violent po...

  • The Onion Field

    Episode 12

    Directed by Harold Becker • 1979 • United States
    Starring John Savage, James Woods, Franklyn Seales

    Los Angeles, 1963: a psychotic criminal (James Woods) and his reluctant partner (Franklyn Seales) are pulled over while driving by two LAPD officers (John Savage and Ted Danson). What begins as a ...

  • Body Heat

    Episode 13

    Directed by Lawrence Kasdan • 1981 • United States
    Starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna

    William Hurt and Kathleen Turner strike sparks in this taut, South Florida–set tale of lust, greed, and murder that echoes 1940s film noir but is charged with a steamy passion that could onl...

  • Blow Out

    Episode 14

    Directed by Brian De Palma • 1981 • United States
    Starring John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow

    In the enthralling BLOW OUT, brilliantly crafted by Brian De Palma, John Travolta gives one of his greatest performances, as a movie sound-effects man who believes he has accidentally recorded a p...

  • Cutter’s Way

    Episode 15

    Directed by Ivan Passer • 1981 • United States
    Starring Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn

    One of the unsung gems of 1980s American cinema, CUTTER’S WAY represents a career high point for its director, Czechoslovak New Wave veteran Ivan Passer. After Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges) witnesses wh...

  • Blood Simple

    Episode 16

    Directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen • 1984 • United States

    Joel and Ethan Coen's career-long darkly comic road trip through misfit America began with this razor-sharp, hard-boiled neonoir set somewhere in Texas, where a sleazy bar owner releases a torrent of violence with one murderous though...

  • Body Double

    Episode 17

    Directed by Brian De Palma • 1984 • United States
    Starring Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, Gregg Henry

    Brian DePalma weaves a sleekly stylish tale of seduction, mystery, and murder in the Hitchcock tradition. Jake Scully (Craig Wasson), an unemployed actor, is asked to house-sit a luxurious apar...

  • The Hit

    Episode 18

    Directed by Stephen Frears • 1984 • United Kingdom
    Starring Terence Stamp, John Hurt, Tim Roth

    Terence Stamp is Willie, a gangster’s henchman turned “supergrass” (informer) trying to live in peaceful hiding in a remote Spanish village. Sun-dappled bliss turns to nerve-racking suspense, however, ...

  • Trouble in Mind

    Episode 19

    Directed by Alan Rudolph • 1985 • United States
    Starring Kris Kristofferson, Keith Carradine, Lori Singer

    In a down-and-out corner of Rain City—a mysterious, moody metropolis that seems to exist partly in the future, partly in the past—a collection of social cast-offs are drawn together by fate,...

  • Manhunter

    Episode 20

    Directed by Michael Mann • 1986 • United States
    Starring William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen

    Michael Mann’s hypnotic, hyperstylized adaptation of Thomas Harris’s novel “Red Dragon” was the first film to introduce audiences to the infamous Hannibal Lecter. Will Graham (William Petersen) is a...

  • Mona Lisa

    Episode 21

    Directed by Neil Jordan • 1986 • United Kingdom

    Writer-director Neil Jordan's breakthrough film is a brilliant, noir-infused love story. 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 gir...

  • The Bedroom Window

    Episode 22

    Directed by Curtis Hanson • 1987 • United States
    Starring Steve Guttenberg, Elizabeth McGovern, Isabelle Huppert

    Voyeurism, violence, and a wrong man: Hitchcockian themes abound in this clever homage to the Master of Suspense from writer-director Curtis Hanson (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL). Terry (Steve G...

  • Homicide

    Episode 23

    Directed by David Mamet • 1991 • United States
    Starring Joe Mantegna, William H. Macy, Ving Rhames

    In David Mamet’s cinema, nothing is as it seems—so you better know what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, the protagonist of Mamet’s nightmarish urban odyssey HOMICIDE, inner-city police detective...

  • Swoon

    Episode 24

    Directed by Tom Kalin • 1992 • United States
    Starring Daniel Schlachet, Craig Chester, Ron Vawter

    The notorious case of Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Loeb—two young, gay University of Chicago students whose 1924 thrill-killing of fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks captured headlines as the “crime o...