I haven’t really had much time to peruse Netflix lately. For the next month, I am still taking Canvas Network and Turner Classic Movies’ FREE course on film noir. Netflix’ offerings on noir are pretty much non-existent. Their content from the past quarter century is phenomenal but the further back you go, the fewer offerings Netflix has.
Hulu, on the other hand, has been phenomenally helpful. Since the course started, I have watched The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, D.O.A., Kansas City Confidential, The Stranger, Pitfall, The Red House, The Big Combo. I still haven’t exhausted their supply of film noir. I also watched two of the most important precursors to noir: M and La Bete Humaine.
All of them are good but I would most recommend these two:
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
“A ruthless, domineering woman is married to an alcoholic D.A., her childhood companion who is the only living witness to her murder of her rich aunt seventeen years earlier.”
“Don’t ever look back baby, don’t ever look back.” – The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
What a cast! Barbara Stanwyck is always fantastic. Lizabeth Scott was born to play in noir. Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas are the male leads.
The Big Combo (1955)
“A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn’t been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown’s girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.”
“It happens to be against two laws: God’s and Man’s. I’m booking her under the second.”
Look for a young Earl Holliman and a young Lee van Cleef as henchmen.