Anyway, I was gonna try to irk you by saying the oldest film I'd call noir from my essential films list is Miller's Crossing, but you consider Night of the Hunter to be noir so that is actually the oldest noir on my essential films with Miller's Crossing being second. I can't say Hunter struck me as very noir, which is perhaps part of why I liked it.
Yeah, that stuck out to me on the list too, Martin. I adore Night of the Hunter, but it doesn't have the same vibe as the other noir films with which I'm familiar. What for you makes it a factor on a top 100 noir list?
It's borderline, but despite the somewhat surreal vibe, I think it fits. Stark, high-contrast photography, man's darker side, evil comes to a small town, aura of doom (until the Lillian Gish part, at least, and even then at times). It's along the same lines as Sunset Blvd
, being a movie that doesn't really contain what I look for in a noir
per se, but is so often lumped in with the genre (and is so damn good) that I give it a little leeway.