I've been hooked on hard-boiled crime novels and Film Noir since I picked up my first copy (there have been many) of Dashiel Hammett's Red Harvest back in the mid-1990s. It's bleak, entertaining stuff that I find to be a hell of a lot more honest in its portrayal of human desperation, motivation, rage and lust than most of the drivel that's spoon-fed to us in films, television and a whole lot of books these days.
My personal tastes lean towards stories where the bad guy, or at least, a pretty lousy guy, wins. Richard Stark's (a pen name of the late, great Donald E. Westlake) Parker series, anything written by Lawrence Block or Raymond Chandler, and movies like The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye or more recently, The Drop scratch my need for fatalistic media. Despite their being a glut of crime and detective films out there, set in the city, country or even the future (I'm looking at you, Looper), finding new books to read or movies to veg out to can be a daunting task. Fortunately, the good people at Open Culture have made the latter a whole lot easier.
Open Culture's curated a fine collection of 60 Film Noir gems that are free to watch online, and in some cases, free to download. I won't lie to you, there's a number of stinkers in the movies that they've included on their list, but even a bad film can be worth watching. If nothing else, it'll make you appreciate a good movie that much more. Read the rest