November Noir

November Noir

21 Episodes

Shadowy atmosphere, seedy characters, pulp philosophy, and cynicism as thick as smoke: there’s nothing like film noir. As America returned from World War II, the national unconscious gave rise to a new breed of crime picture, populated by gumshoes, femmes fatales, and fall guys whose labyrinthine entanglements—captured in lush chiaroscuro cinematography—expressed a dark fatalism never before seen on the big screen. Where other Hollywood movies sought to recreate the magic of dreams, film noir aimed for the seductive danger of nightmares. Featuring some of the genre’s most ingenious directors (Edgar G. Ulmer, Otto Preminger, Henry Hathaway, Jules Dassin) and most magnetic stars (John Garfield, Veronica Lake, Burt Lancaster, Ida Lupino), this sampler will lead you down a few of noir’s darkest alleys.

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November Noir
  • November Noir Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Out of the Fog

    Episode 2

    Directed by Anatole Litvak • 1941 • United States
    Starring John Garfield, Ida Lupino, Thomas Mitchell

    John Garfield and Ida Lupino star in the big-screen adaptation of Irwin Shaw’s play “The Gentle People,” a pre–World War II allegory warning of the seductive allure and danger inherent in preten...

  • The Glass Key

    Episode 3

    Directed by Stuart Heisler • 1942 • United States
    Starring Brian Donlevy, Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd

    The second screen adaptation of the novel by Dashiell Hammett reteams popular pairing Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd for a hard-boiled tale of political intrigue, corruption, romance, and murder. Croo...

  • This Gun for Hire

    Episode 4

    Directed by Frank Tuttle • 1942 • United States
    Starring Veronica Lake, Robert Preston, Laird Cregar

    Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd (making a splash in his steely, star-making breakthrough performance) became one of the most iconic screen couples of the 1940s with this tough-as-nails noir classic, ...

  • Detour

    Episode 5

    Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer • 1945 • United States
    Starring Tom Neal, Ann Savage

    From Poverty Row came a movie that, perhaps more than any other, epitomizes the dark fatalism at the heart of film noir. As he hitchhikes his way from New York to Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck nightclub pianist ...

  • Fallen Angel

    Episode 6

    Directed by Otto Preminger • 1945 • United States
    Starring Alice Faye, Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell

    A shady Dana Andrews is caught between pure-hearted Alice Faye and a memorably dissolute Linda Darnell in this fatalistic journey into the dark underbelly of small-town America, which reunited the ...

  • The Blue Dahlia

    Episode 7

    Directed by George Marshall • 1946 • United States
    Starring Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix

    This fast-paced and perfectly cast film noir reflects the grim wit of its Academy Award–nominated screenplay’s author, Raymond Chandler. Johnny Morrison (Alan Ladd) returns from World War II to f...

  • The Dark Corner

    Episode 8

    Directed by Henry Hathaway • 1946 • United States
    Starring Lucille Ball, Clifton Webb, William Bendix

    Bradford Galt (Mark Stevens) is a tough New York private detective with a checkered past. When he discovers that an old adversary has put a tail on him, it proves to be just the first strand in ...

  • The Postman Always Rings Twice

    Episode 9

    Directed by Tay Garnett • 1946 • United States
    Starring Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway

    Lana Turner and John Garfield set the screen ablaze with their smoldering chemistry in this erotically charged noir classic based on the novel by James M. Cain. Down-and-out drifter Frank Chambers ...

  • Kiss of Death

    Episode 10

    Directed by Henry Hathaway • 1947 • United States
    Starring Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray

    Richard Widmark made a sensational screen debut, scoring an Academy Award nomination for his unforgettable turn as menacingly grinning, giggling psychopath Tommy Udo (don’t let him near your gran...

  • Brute Force

    Episode 11

    Directed by Jules Dassin • 1947 • United States
    Starring Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford

    As hard-hitting as its title, BRUTE FORCE was the first of Jules Dassin’s forays into the crime genre, a prison melodrama that takes a critical look at American society as well. Burt Lancaster ...

  • The Naked City

    Episode 12

    Directed by Jules Dassin • 1948 • United States
    Starring Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart

    “There are eight million stories in the Naked City,” as the narrator immortally states at the close of this breathtakingly vivid film and this is one of them. Master noir craftsman Jules Dassin a...

  • Call Northside 777

    Episode 13

    Directed by Henry Hathaway • 1948 • United States
    Starring James Stewart, Richard Conte, Lee J. Cobb

    Lent a gritty authenticity through striking Chicago location shooting and quasi-procedural attention to detail, CALL NORTHSIDE 777 is a prime example of the docudrama-stye noirs that proliferated...

  • Force of Evil

    Episode 14

    Directed by Abraham Polonsky • 1948 • United States
    Starring John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, Marie Windsor

    In this expressively tough and terse noir classic, shady lawyer Joe Morse (John Garfield) joins forces with a ruthless gangster (Roy Roberts) to consolidate control of the numbers racket in Ne...

  • Cry of the City

    Episode 15

    Directed by Robert Siodmak • 1948 • United States
    Starring Victor Mature, Richard Conte, Fred Clark

    Film noir master Robert Siodmak brings a surfeit of expressionistic atmosphere to this gritty tale of two childhood friends whose lives take radically different paths. Lt. Candella (Victor Mature)...

  • Thieves’ Highway

    Episode 16

    Directed by Jules Dassin • 1949 • United States
    Starring Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb

    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-GI Nick Garcos, a ...

  • Caught

    Episode 17

    Directed by Max Ophuls • 1949 • United States
    Starring James Mason, Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Ryan

    One of the outstanding and often overlooked films that the legendary European filmmaker Max Ophuls (THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE . . .) made during his Hollywood exile is a visually superb, noir-ting...

  • The Breaking Point

    Episode 18

    Directed by Michael Curtiz • 1950 • United States
    Starring John Garfield, Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter

    Michael Curtiz brings a master skipper’s hand to the helm of this thriller, Hollywood’s second crack at Ernest Hemingway’s “To Have and Have Not.” John Garfield stars as Harry Morgan, an hone...

  • Panic in the Streets

    Episode 19

    Directed by Elia Kazan • 1950 • United States
    Starring Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes

    One night in the New Orleans slums, vicious hoodlum Blackie (Jack Palance, in his film debut) and his friends kill an undocumented immigrant who won too much in a card game. When Dr. Clint Re...

  • He Ran All the Way

    Episode 20

    Directed by John Berry • 1951 • United States
    Starring John Garfield, Shelley Winters, Wallace Ford

    John Garfield’s final film before his blacklisting and untimely death is a slam-bang pulp noir crackling with tightly wound tension. In one of his finest performances, Garfield plays a hardened so...

  • The House on Telegraph Hill

    Episode 21

    Directed by Robert Wise • 1951 • United States
    Starring Richard Basehart, Valentina Cortese, William Lundigan

    This intriguing, richly atmospheric film noir unfolds in a spooky Victorian mansion below Coit Tower in San Francisco. Victoria Kowelska (Valentina Cortese) has lived through World War I...