L.A. Noire Film Reel Project – Film Noir Reviews

L.A. Noire – An Authentic Noir Experience

Rockstar’s latest blockbuster gaming hit L.A. Noire is is  game developed by Team Bondi and seeks to provide an authentic representation of 1947 Los Angeles. This is through the eyes of Cole Phelps, a newly returned “hero” of World War II, making his way from traffic cop and up through the ranks of detective for the L.A.P.D.. The game receives an authenticFilm Noir - Maltese Falcon setting a feel from real 1940s aerial photography, a quality selection of licensed music (L.A. Noire Licensed Music List) and a beautiful score and original songs fitting the period (L.A. Noire Soundtrack List).

Hidden throughout the game are 50 gold film reels featuring actual film titles from classic Hollywood yesteryear.  These films are listed below.  The Film Noir status of some of these is debatable.  People have argued over the Noir qualities of Notorious for decades. Angels with Dirty Faces for example is more a gangster film than anything, though it is sometimes referred to as a proto-Noir film. Many People point to the Maltese Falcon as the first A Film Noir, but Noir aficionados will point to 1940’s B-picture Stranger on the Third Floor as the first true Film Noir.

L.A. Noire Film Review Project

The goal here is to review the 50 L.A. Noire gold film reels and perhaps some related films influenced by the genre. Complete films will be hyper-linked to their reviews.  Films in italics are in process, in my possession or have been previously viewed (or someone else has agreed to review them).

L.A. Noire Gold Film Reel List
Film Title Year
Angels With Dirty Faces 1938
Body and Soul 1947
Brute Force 1947
Crossfire 1947
Detour 1945
Double Indemnity 1944
Gilda 1946
Gun Crazy 1950
House of Bamboo 1955
In A Lonely Place 1950
Key Largo 1948
Laura 1944
Leave Her to Heaven 1945
M (1951) 1951
Mildred Pierce 1945
Murder, My Sweet 1944
Night and the City 1950
Nightmare Alley 1947
Notorious 1946
Odd Man Out 1947
Out of the Past 1947
Pickup on South Street 1953
Rififi 1955
Scarlet Street 1945
Shadow of a Doubt 1943
Strangers on a Train 1951
Sunset Boulevard 1950
Sweet Smell of Success 1957
The Asphalt Jungle 1950
The Big Carnival aka Ace in the Hole 1951
The Big Clock 1948
The Big Heat 1953
The Big Sleep 1946
The Killers 1946
The Killing 1956
The Lady From Shanghai 1947
The Letter 1940
The Maltese Falcon 1941
The Naked City 1948
The Narrow Margin 1952
The Night of the Hunter 1955
The Set-Up 1949
The Spiral Staircase 1945
The Third Man 1949
The Woman In the  Window 1944
Thieves Highway 1949
This Gun for Hire 1942
Touch of Evil 1958
Where The Sidewalk  Ends 1950
White Heat 1949

These are films in the Noir tradition.  They are films directly in the Noir style, or so-called Neo-Noir. Blade Runner for example is cyberpunk in genre, which is heavily influenced by Noir characteristics.

Film Noir Honorable Mentions (Not in L.A. Noire)
Film Title Year
A History of Violence 2005
Blade Runner 1982
Blood Simple 1984
Cape Fear 1962
Chinatown 1970
Dark City 1998
Gattaca 1997
Ghost in the Shell 1995
Heat 1995
L.A. Confidential 1997
Memento 2000
Miller’s Crossing 1990
Moonlighting (TV) 1985-89
Mulholand Drive 2001
Raging Bull 1980
Reservoir Dogs 1992
Road to Perdition 2002
Stranger on the Third Floor 1940
The Fugitive (TV) 1963-67
Thief 1981
Twelve Monkeys 1995
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 1988
Wonder Man 1945

This is a big project obviously and any help is appreciated.  If you wish to submit a review, please write a minimum of 300 words and break your review into sensible paragraphs (plot, actors, music, etc). Send them to JamesInDigital. They will be edited for grammar, spelling, optimization and images will be added where appropriate/possible. Reviewers will get an about the author paragraph and link back to your own page.