November Noir

November Noir

16 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, Jules Dassin) and most magnetic stars (Veronica Lake, Richard Widmark, Burt Lancaster, Gene Tierney), this sampler will lead you down a few of noir’s darkest alleys.

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November Noir
  • The Glass Key

    Episode 1

    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...

  • Laura

    Episode 2

    Directed by Otto Preminger • 1944 • United States
    Starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb

    One of the most sophisticated noirs of the 1940s, Otto Preminger’s classic mystery stars Gene Tierney as Laura Hunt, a Manhattan advertising executive who is murdered just before she is set to mar...

  • Detour

    Episode 3

    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 4

    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 ...

  • Green for Danger

    Episode 5

    Directed by Sidney Gilliat • 1946 • United Kingdom
    Starring Trevor Howard, Sally Gray, Alastair Sim

    In the midst of Nazi air raids, a postman dies on the operating table at a rural English hospital. But was the death accidental? A delightful and wholly unexpected murder mystery, British writer/d...

  • Brute Force

    Episode 6

    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 ...

  • Nightmare Alley

    Episode 7

    Directed by Edmund Goulding • 1947 • United States
    Starring Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray

    Darkness lurks behind the bright lights of a traveling carnival in one of the most haunting and perverse film noirs of the 1940s. Adapted from the scandalous best seller by William Lindsay Gresha...

  • The Naked City

    Episode 8

    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...

  • The Third Man

    Episode 9

    Directed by Carol Reed • 1949 • United Kingdom
    Starring Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli

    Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime—and thus begins this l...

  • Madeleine

    Episode 10

    Directed by David Lean • 1950 • United Kingdom
    Starring Ann Todd, Ivan Desny, Norman Wooland

    One of David Lean’s most neglected and atypical works is an engrossing dramatization of the true crime that shocked nineteenth-century Scotland. Ann Todd stars in the title role of the wealthy socialite ...

  • No Way Out

    Episode 11

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1950 • United States
    Starring Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Sidney Poitier

    Sidney Poitier was launched to stardom with his powerful performance in this intense, unflinching exploration of racial hatred from writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. When a white p...

  • Panic in the Streets

    Episode 12

    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...

  • So Long at the Fair

    Episode 13

    Directed by Terence Fisher and Antony Darnborough • 1950 • United Kingdom
    Starring Jean Simmons, Dirk Bogarde, David Tomlinson

    Mystery and menace are afoot at the 1889 Paris Exposition in this tense thriller from the studio that made atmospheric period dramas its specialty, Gainsborough Pictures...

  • The House on Telegraph Hill

    Episode 14

    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...

  • Sapphire

    Episode 15

    Directed by Basil Dearden • 1959 • United Kingdom

    A beautiful female college student is found dead in a public park; the police soon discover that her murder may have been racially motivated. Basil Dearden's bold, direct police procedural, starring Nigel Patrick as the detective in charge of t...

  • All Night Long

    Episode 16

    Directed by Basil Dearden • 1962 • United Kingdom

    Othello is translated to the world of sixties London jazz clubs in Basil Dearden's smoky and sensational All Night Long. Over the course of one eventful evening, the anniversary celebration of the musical and romantic partners Aurelius Rex (Pau...