10 best Humphrey Bogart noir movies, ranked by IMDb



Humphrey Bogart, one of the greats of classic Hollywood cinema, has spent much of his career bringing dark, tragic and complex characters to life in the film noir genre. Bogart would play heroic characters, or at least not so good, like private investigators or journalists.

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Unlike other prominent men of the time like Gary Cooper or Mickey Rooney, Bogart possessed the talent and the will to play villainous characters. He found great success playing gangsters and immoral criminals. Hero or villain, Bogart brought authenticity to his performances in his greatest noir films.

ten High Sierra (1941) – 7.5

A gangster (Bogart) recently released from prisons accepts one final heist before going straight. This job is not as straightforward as he initially thought it would be, struggling to keep budding criminals under control and finding himself caught between two women. If that wasn’t enough, a perhaps cursed dog takes a liking to him.

Humphrey Bogart’s sympathetic gangster, desperate for a normal life, manages to combine the actor’s strengths as a hero with those of his villains for a powerful performance. This first film noir certainly has the tragic and the dark that defines the genre, but it opens with a lot of humor, which makes the tragic ending more impactful.

9 Dark Passage (1947) – 7.5

Vincent Parry was convicted of murdering his wife, a charge he completely denies. To prove his innocence, he escapes from prison, but his face made the headlines and he has plastic surgery behind the scenes to disguise himself. He finds refuge in the house of a sympathetic female artist.

The film noir genre is often known for its memorable and expressionistic cinematography. In Dark passage, the first part of the film was shot from the point of view of the character of Bogart, who is only seen after the operation. With its unique first-person perspective and Byzantine plot, this film could make a list of great but little-known black films. The central relationship is emotionally captivating thanks to the natural chemistry of the protagonists, who are brilliantly embodied by real-life spouses Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

8 The Hardest They Fall (1956) – 7.6

Humphrey Bogart watches a man pointing a gun at a boxing ring in The Harder They Fall.

Eddie Willis is a respected sports journalist whose employer has just closed. Needing money, he took a job as a public relations manager for a future Argentine fighter. Willis begins to suspect that something more is going on, as he notices that this boxer cannot box.

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While private investigators are most commonly associated with the genre, boxing or boxer-centric dramas are also a hallmark of film noir with films as notable as Body and soul and The establishment. This film, which was Humphrey Bogart’s last film before he died of esophageal cancer, received a generally positive critical reception and received an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography. It’s easy to see why like The more they fall expertly mixes documentary-style realism with a bizarre plot involving blackmail and murder.

7 Largo Key (1948) – 7.8

Frank McCloud (Bogart) is a WWII veteran who visits the family of a fallen comrade when he finds himself trapped in their hotel. This is partly due to the hurricane that swept through the city, but mostly to the armed gangsters who took refuge at the hotel. How much is he willing to sacrifice for his longtime friend?

The last movie where Bogart starred alongside his real wife Lauren Bacall, and the last movie he would star with Edward G. Robinson who appeared in five films with Bogart. Bogart’s traumatized veteran is a complex performance, but it was Claire Trevor who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for that film. With a plethora of memorable turns from some of Hollywood’s best stars and character actors, Largo key is one of Bogart’s best gangster movies as well as one of his great noir films.

6 To have and not to have (1944) – 7.8

Harry Morgan (Bogart) and his alcoholic friend run a charter boat departing from the French island of Martinique. When World War II breaks out and France falls into German hands, their clients become almost non-existent and they receive an offer to smuggle members of the French resistance to the island, which they are reluctant to accept. .

Famous director Howard Hawks has freely adapted Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the same name into a film noir filled with intrigue. It was also the first film where Bogart starred with his future wife Lauren Bacall, and his first film appearance. As a result, their scenes together are loaded with romantic tension as the characters and actors fall in love with each other in front of the audience.

5 Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) – 7.9

The Roaring Twenties

A gangster is released from prison and wants to recover the $ 100,000 owed to him for taking the fall, but his partner (Bogart) pretends to ignore his release. While trying to get his money back, the gangster impresses the neighborhood street children, and his childhood friend turned priest begs him to clear the kids up.

The first of two gangster movies where Bogart starred with James Cagney, who starred in some of the American Film Institute’s best gangster movies. Cagney played the criminal with a heart of gold, which left Bogart to shine as a completely evil gangster trying to ruin his former partner. This film proved to be a financial success and an enduring film noir classic. As a cruel antagonist, Bogart has fun with his one-dimensional role and shows why Warner Bros. presented him as the heavyweight in his 1930s films.

4 The Roaring Twenties (1939) – 7.9

Humphrey Bogart talks to James Cagney as he holds a bottle in The Roaring Twenties.

The lives of three men intersect at two very important points in their lives while serving in the Great War and years later when they reunite and start a smuggling business. Is the bond formed by soldiers in combat strong enough to withstand the greed of gangsters and the pressure of the law?

Bogart and James Cagney both made names for themselves playing disreputable characters in Warner Bros. gangster movies. and it’s one of the best classic Hollywood era gangster movies. It was the second and last time they had appeared in a gangster movie together. They bring very different styles to the similar characters they play, and their collaboration makes this movie stand out.

3 The great sleep (1946) – 7.9

Private Detective Philip Marlowe (Bogart) is hired by a wealthy general, whose daughter is blackmailed for gambling debts. However, Marlowe may have bitten more than he can chew as he falls into a hole love triangles, organized crime, blackmail, murder, and he may even have found love.

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This was another team from director Howard Hawks with married couple Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The director’s original cut and theatrical versions can be found and while the original is more understandable than the re-released version, this latest version gave audiences more Bogart and Bacall romance and a stronger element of mystery in the film. .

2 In A Lonely Place (1950) – 8.0

A hat attendant is murdered and screenwriter Dixon Steele (Bogart) becomes the prime suspect, if their lengthy conversation hasn’t aroused suspicions in his temper and dark sense of humor. Fortunately for him, his neighbor provided him with a false alibi, which she might regret.

This film received positive critical attention, and its reputation has only grown since then, making an appearance in Time List of the magazine’s 100 all-time films in 2005. Commentary on Hollywood morality is still relevant today and is considered one of Humphrey Bogart’s most iconic performances.

1 The Maltese Falcon (1941) – 8.0

One evening, a woman walks into the San Francisco private detective agency, Spade and Archer, and says she is looking for her missing sister. Archer follows her and ends up dying, leaving Spade (Bogart) to solve the mystery. This puts Spade in touch with three strange criminals, all after the titular jewel-encrusted hawk statue.

John Huston’s directorial debut (The African Queen, Key Largo) and a film that received consistent critical praise, it received three Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. This is the quintessential PI-focused film noir, and Bogart is utterly believable as a tough and intelligent detective.

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