The Best Laid Plans

People, shady people, up to no good–plotting, planning, and conniving to grab that one big elusive score. Some of film noir’s best movies tell the story of desperate men–and women–scheming to take someone else’s treasure. Here are some of our favorites.

Crime starts with a good breakfast–Reservoir Dogs (1992) (source)
Sterling Hayden stands lookout in The Asphalt Jungle (1950) (source)
Ryan O’Neal doesn’t like guns, but he knows how to use one in The Driver (1978) (source)
Roy Earle (Humphrey Bogart) and his gang at work in High Sierra (1941) (source)
Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle (2013) (source)
Sterling Hayden and his gang plot the perfect robbery in The Killing (1956) (source)
Ryan Gosling finds trouble in Drive (2011) (source)
Steve (Burt Lancaster) and his conspirators in Criss Cross (1949) (source)
Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne) and compadres in The Usual Suspects (1995) (source)
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Dangerous Women

The femme fatale is a staple in film noir: duplicitous, conniving, and of course, drop-dead sexy. She uses her looks to get what she wants. In the process, she wreaks havoc in the lives of men who are fully complicit in their own destruction. Here are just a few of the silver screen’s greatest portrayals of the ultimate dangerous woman.

Linda Fiorentino as Bridget Gregory in The Last Seduction (1994) (source)
Barbara Stanwyk as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity (1944) (source)
Kathleen Turner as Matty Walker in Body Heat (1981) (source)
Jane Greer as Kathie Moffat in Out Of The Past (1947) (source)
Annette Bening as Myra Langtry in The Grifters (1990) (source)
Lana Turner as Cora Smith in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) (source)
Jennifer Tilly as Violet in Bound (1996) (source)
Mary Astor as Brigid O’Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (1941) (source)
Charlotte Rampling as Margaret Krusemark in Angel Heart (1987) (source)
Claire Trevor as Helen Grayle in Murder, My Sweet (1944) (source)
Martha Vickers as Carmen Sternwood in The Big Sleep (1946) (source)
Jennifer Beals as Daphne Monet in Devil In A Blue Dress (1995) (source)

Staircases and Shadows

Joseph Cotten in The Third Man (1947) (ocdviewer.com)
Peter Lorre in Stranger On The Third Floor (1940) (chimeradave.blogspot.com)
Harrison Ford in Blade Runner (1982) (legendarytrips.com)
Ben Gazzara in The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie (1976) (enterfilm.wordpress.com)
Murder My Sweet (1944) (mcmolo.blogspot.com)
Gene Hackman in The French Connection (1972) (decider.com)
John Garfield in Force Of Evil (1948) (dvdbeaver.com)