Top 10 Las Vegas Noir Films

Las Vegas. The Entertainment Capital of the World. Sin City. What Happens in Vegas…Stays in Vegas. Is this a perfect combination for noir? You bet! Las Vegas has been the world’s playground ever since the first casino opened on a “strip” of desert in 1941. From mobsters to gamblers, playboys to showgirls, dancing fountains to exotic dancing, this city offers something for everyone.

They say that Las Vegas has more lights than in any other city in the world. But more lights means more shadows. Only five hours by car from Hollywood, filmmakers love to flock to Las Vegas to set their scenes in the shadows of the city. The following “top 10” list highlights films set in Las Vegas with noir themes.

10. Guns, Girls, and Gangsters (1959)
The title says it all.

9. The Las Vegas Story (1952)
A sultry singer, a shady businessman, and an ex-lover cop. Smells like noir to me.

8. Ocean’s 11 (1960)
Five “Rat Packers” propel this classic heist film.

7. Dark City (1950)
Charlton Heston’s first Hollywood film has him in the poker seat of this classic noir.

6. Bugsy (1991)
A mobster kick-starting the desert city we know and love as Las Vegas. We should thank him!

5. Top of the World (1997)
Not just the name of the exquisite restaurant on top of the Stratosphere. Who doesn’t like Dennis Hopper and Tia Carrere?

4. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
This remake not only stars a modern day “Rat Pack,” it has the brilliant directing of Steven Soderbergh.

3. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Sean Connery as James Bond racing around Fremont Street in a red Ford Mustang. Now this is a film you can’t miss!

2. The Cooler (2003)
A sleeper hit capturing the style of old Vegas still alive today. Mysterious cinematography and a sad soundtrack provide you with a noir feel that lasts. One of William H. Macy’s best performances!

1. Casino (1995)
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone. One of Martin Scorsese’s very best! The Riviera was used to shoot most of the casino scenes. I drive by this nostalgic casino every day. Its lights are still shining.

Are there any films that missed the list? Leave a comment with your favorites!

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