Our Readers’ Picks for Noir Films in the Fall

By Darlene Alvarez, Features Editor

Our readers have chosen! As the days get shorter and the air grows colder, what can be more enjoyable than staying in cozy and thrilled by a good old noir flick? We asked the Marjorie Gals their recommendations, and each one will keep you guessing, and entertained, throughout the nights in.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
When uncle charlie shows up in the sleepy town of Santa Rosa, his family is thrilled, especially his adoring niece young Charlie. Soon after his arrival she comes to suspect that he is “the merry widow killer” that has been evading the police.
Starring: Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright
Movie Trivia: This was Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite piece of work.


The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
A beautiful young woman falls in love with a hired drifter. The two conspire to murder her middle aged husband and make out with his money. But they soon learn that no crime goes unpunished.
Starring: Lana Turner and John Garfield


Leave her to Heaven (1945)
When novelist Richard Harland meets the gorgeous socialite Ellen by chance the two start a whirlwind romance. After rushing to the alter, Richard starts to see Ellen for who she really is, a jealous femme fetal who will stop at nothing to destroy those who come between them.

Starring: Gene Tierney and Cornel Wilde


Gaslight (1944)
A naive young woman returns to her childhood home in London with her new husband. Only a decade before, her aunt, a renowned opera singer, had been murdered there. Upon their arrival she begins to notice strange things happening around her house. Objects missing, being rearranged, and the gaslights dim on their own. With her husband confining her to the home and telling her it’s all in her head, she struggles to hold onto her sanity and finally confront the truth about her new spouse.
Starring: Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Joseph Cotten


Double Indemnity (1944)
An insurance agent gets caught into a murderous scheme after falling for the alluring wife of one of his clients. After being prompted by the late husband’s daughter, an insurance investigator starts to uncover the cruel truth.
Starring: Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray


Mildred Pierce (1945)
After being left by her husband,Mildred starts up in the restaurant business to support her two daughters. She soon finds success and a new love. But nothing is ever enough for her social climbing daughter Veda. What lengths will Mildred go through to give Veda everything? Starring: Joan Crawford, Ann Blythe, and Zachary Scott


Sunset Blvd (1950)
When struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis stumbles upon what he believes to be an abandoned mansion, he encounters fading silent movie star Norma Desmond. Believing he could use her to his advantage, he soon learns he was wrong. Joe finds it hard to escape the clutch of the demented fantasy world that Norma has created for herself while she waits for her triumphant return to the big screen.
Starring: William Holden and Gloria Swanson

Which is first on your list to watch this season? Find these films where available on streaming services today!


Darlene Alvarez is a Los Angeles-based writer who describes herself as a darkling living in Green Gables. Her eclectic love for classic films and recreating vintage fashions makes her the perfect visionary for the Marjorie team as our Features Editor.

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