Skip to Main Content

Streaming Video Guides

Use this guide to find streaming alternatives to Media Services DVDs.

Film Noir

Titles Available as of July 2022

This is a selective list of streaming video holdings in the American University Library. Streaming guides are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date streaming holdings, please refer to our streaming catalog.

Bad Times at the El Royale

Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption - before everything goes to hell. 

Black Widow

Award-winning actress Debra Winger gives an outstanding performance in Bob Rafelson's shocking psychological thriller. Winger is a young, Justice Department worker who becomes obsessed with the capture of a cold-blooded killer. Her life takes a dramatic and dangerous turn when she is drawn into an unusual relationship with a beautiful young woman who has a deadly obsession of her own: marrying and then murdering wealthy men. Nicol Williamson and French film star Sami Frey co-star as two of the men who fall victim to Russel's fatal charm. Black Widow holds viewers in its grip as it weaves a hypnotic web of mystery and suspense 

Brighton Rock

This classic adaptation of Graham Greene's 1938 novel stars a memorable Richard Attenborough as Pinkie, a teenage gangster who pretends to fall in love with an innocent girl. The film is known as one of the finest, and darkest, achievements of 1940s film noir. 

The Girl on the Train

In this neo-noir thriller, documentary filmmaker Danny Hart boards a train at Grand Central Terminal, heading to upstate New York to interview the subjects of his latest project. A chance encounter with a mysterious young woman leads him on a journey of a very different sort, and within the blink of an eye, Hart is forced to leave his complacent life behind for a world in which the line between fantasy and reality is blurred. As Hart tells his strange story to police detective Martin, he finds himself being questioned as Martin tries to discover whether Hart is the victim or the suspect in the strange affair. 

Gone Girl

On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick's portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? 

He Walked By Night

This film-noir piece, told in a semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal, who shot and killed a cop.


Dynamite cops-and-robbers saga, with Pacino an obsessive, super smart L.A. detective on the trail of high-tech, high-precision robber De Niro and his tight-knit gang. It turns out that the two of them have more in common than either one might think. 

Kansas City Confidential

In this noir-thriller, three convicts are contracted by a mysterious benefactor to pull a bank heist. The four men, having worn masks during the crime, are complete strangers and are anonymous to one another, but plan to meet up in Mexico to divvy up the loot. Part of their master plan is to frame the robbery on Joe Rolfe, an ex-con himself--but little do they know, Rolfe has convinced the police of his innocence and has now been hired to catch the true culprits. 

L.A. Confidential

In the early 1950s, Los Angeles was a booming, would-be utopia, and anything was possible for those with a dream and the drive to make it happen. But in this heady era, crime and corruption infiltrate the highest corridors of power and threaten to rule the city. Three L.A.P.D. officers whose characters reflect their city -- whose outward images conflict with their inner passions and realities -- become separately entangled in a web of intrigue and deceit that might destroy them all. 

La Bête Humaine

Jean Renoir's melodramatic adaptation of Émile Zola's famous novel (whose title translates to "The Beast in Man") is marked by a grim but poetic view of life. Many critics see this movie as a precursor to the film noir genre. The action revolves around a murder that takes place on a train.


Detective Mark McPherson investigates the killing of Laura, found dead on her apartment floor before the movie starts. McPherson builds a mental picture of the dead girl from the suspects whom he interviews. He is helped by the striking painting of the late lamented Laura hanging on her apartment wall. But who would have wanted to kill a girl with whom every man she met seemed to fall in love? To make matters worse, McPherson finds himself falling under her spell too. Then one night, halfway through his investigations, something seriously bizarre happens to make him re-think the whole case.

The Man with the Golden Arm

The Man with the Golden Arm is an American drama film with elements of film noir, based on the novel of the same name by Nelson Algren, which tells the story of a drug addict who gets clean while in prison, but struggles to stay that way in the outside world.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

A family vacationing in Morocco accidentally stumble on to an assassination plot and the conspirators are determined to prevent them from interfering.

Max Payne

Based on the legendary, hard-hitting interactive video game, MAX PAYNE tells the story of a maverick cop determined to track down those responsible for the brutal murder of his family and partner. Hell-bent on revenge, his obsessive investigation takes him on a nightmare journey into a dark underworld. As the mystery deepens, Max (Wahlberg) is forced to battle enemies beyond the natural world and face an unthinkable betrayal. 

Merchant of Venice

The BBC presentation of the acclaimed Royal National Theatre production, directed by Trevor Nunn, adapted for television. A multi-award winner set in the 1930s with a Berlin film noir look, the production nonetheless preserves every one of Shakespeare's words. Henry Goodman won the Olivier and Critic's Circle Theatre Best Actor awards for his performance as Shylock. Nunn and his masterful team brilliantly transition the stage performance to an outstanding film that looks as though it was written for the camera. 

My Favorite Brunette

My Favorite Brunette stars Bob Hope as baby photographer Ronnie Jackson, who tells his story in flashback as he awaits the San Quentin gas chamber. While looking after his private-eye neighbor's office, Ronnie is mistaken for the sleuth by the beautiful Baroness Montay (Dorothy Lamour), who hires him to find the missing Baron. With very funny surprise cameos by Alan Ladd and Bing Crosby, this is an excellent spoof of the film noir movie detective genre.

Night and the City

In this hard-hitting drama, Robert De Niro stars as Harry Fabian, a smalltime, conniving New York lawyer who impulsively decides to enter the big-time world of boxing promotion. Helen Nasseros, a bar owner's wife with motives of her own, joins Fabian in his schemes with devastating results.


Mickey Rooney gives one of his greatest performances as mechanic Dan Brady, a desperate young man out to impress Vera, a sexy bottle-blonde who dreams of diamonds and furs. Feeling too light in the pocket to show her a good time, Dan embarks on a series of petty crimes to raise money. Dan finds himself in more trouble than he'd bargained for, gradually sinking into the very quicksand of the film's title. Add Peter Lorre as one of Dan's seedy connections, and a dazzling Jeanne Cagney as the femme fatale, and you have the ingredients for a suspenseful baby noir, well-worth its cult following. 

The Raw Deal

Joe Sullivan has taken the rap for Rick who double-crosses him with a flawed escape plan and other means intended to get rid of him. 

The Red House

The Red House stars Edward G. Robinson as Pete Morgan. Along with his spinster sister Ellen (Judith Anderson), Pete has raised Meg (Allene Roberts) as his own on a secluded farm. Now a teen, Meg convinces her friend Nath (Lon McCallister) to come help with chores on the farm. Despite Pete's warning of terrors in an abandoned red house in the woods, Meg and Nath explore deep into the forest and discover troubling secrets. The gorgeous music score is by Oscar winner Miklós Rózsa who also composed for Double Indemnity and Spellbound. The Red House is a moody, atmospheric noir drama at its best.

Scarlet Street

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of some of the fortune she thinks he has.

The Scenesters

Someone is killing beautiful young hipsters in East L.A. But while the bloody trail is cold for the super-apathetic detectives, Charlie - a crime scene cleaner with a penchant for Sherlockian deduction - begins finding some unusual clues in the demo CDs of indie bands left behind at the murder sites, which he shares with two out-of-luck filmmakers turned crime scene videographers. Problem is, nobody is really sure that Charlie isn't the serial killer himself. Meanwhile, the dead hipsters are piling up like pancakes in thrift-store flannel, there's a rival Danish film crew, and on top of everything else, it looks like the killer is now making an experimental film of his own. Simple? Not really, but then murder never is. The Scenesters: a murder-serial killer-film noir-comedy with really great music. 

Strange Days

Lenny Nero sells dreams and hustles nightmares, dealing in real-life experiences through a new technology that makes every sensation immediate. But, on the eve of the new millennium (1999/2000), Lenny and his friend Mace, are suddenly caught in a deadly web of conspiracy, murder, and betrayal - plunging them into their own nightmare world. 

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

When Sam Masterson (Van Heflin) returns to the neighborhood of his youth, he finds that his old friend Martha (Barbara Stanwyck) has married local District Attorney Walter O'Neil (Kirk Douglas, making his screen debut). All seems fine on the surface, but Walter, Martha, and Sam share a horrible secret. Soon Sam finds himself drawn into Martha's web of fear and suspicion, and the results are classic film noir. Directed by Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front) the film also features the iconic noir goddess, Lizabeth Scott.

They Made Me a Fugitive

In this gritty film noir, cynical ex-RAF flyer Morgan, bored with civilian life, joins a break-in gang led by Narcy. On his first job, the getaway car crashes after killing a policeman. Morgan is framed as the driver and sent to jail. Seeking revenge, he escapes and heads for London. Along the way he's helped by a woman (Mrs. Fenshaw), who wants him to murder her husband. In London, Morgan is sheltered by Sally, who falls in love with him. He confronts Narcy and the gang in an abandoned warehouse.


Mickey Rooney gives one of his greatest performances as mechanic Dan Brady, a desperate young man out to impress Vera, a sexy bottle-blonde who dreams of diamonds and furs. Feeling too light in the pocket to show her a good time, Dan embarks on a series of petty crimes to raise money. Dan finds himself in more trouble than he'd bargained for, gradually sinking into the very quicksand of the film's title. Add Peter Lorre as one of Dan's seedy connections, and a dazzling Jeanne Cagney as the femme fatale, and you have the ingredients for a suspenseful baby noir, well-worth its cult following. 

The White Ribbon

The White Ribbon is the tenth feature film by Austrian director Michael Haneke, released in 2009. A small village in Germany firmly anchored in a rigorous Lutheran tradition is the setting for a number of strange incidents in 1913 that little by little reveal themselves as being a ritual against the authorities. The teacher reasons that it must be the children who punish those that do not support the ideas they propagate. These children eventually become the generation leading Hitler to power. Shot in black and white, The White Ribbon won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2009. Subtitled A German Children’s Story, this film shows the educative violence that was exerted in Germany in the early 20th century, forming thus a fertile breeding ground for Nazism. 

Winter of Frozen Dreams

A brilliant biochemistry student who is also a notorious prostitute. A brutally bludgeoned body buried naked in the snow. Thus begins Winter of Frozen Dreams, a sordid love story set against a macabre web of blackmail, lust, and deceit. On a frigid Christmas morning, Barbara Hoffman's (Thora Birch's) distraught young fiancé, Jerry Davies (Brendan Sexton III), led police investigators to a corpse that only hours before he had buried in a snow bank. Davies desperately insists to Detective Lulling (Academy Award-winner Keith Carradine) that he is not a murderer and that he and Hoffman are guilty only of burying the body of a stranger. Shades of film noir blend with true crime as Winter of Frozen Dreams (based on the book by Karl Harter) tells the true-life story of Barbara Hoffman - convicted of a murder she unequivocally denies having committed.