Film Noir Names


The shadowy world of film noir, those stark black-and-white, often low-budget films with single-word titles—Possessed, Pursued, Trapped, Tension, Decoy, Detour, Breakdown, Blackmail—produced in Hollywood from roughly the early 1940s to the late 1950s, were populated with smoldering femmes fatale, hard-boiled detectives, corrupt cops, cynicism, intrigue and suspense

A lot of the female characters had a distinctive style of forgotten two-syllable names like Veda, Velma, Verna, Meta, Mida and Nita, while the tough guys who weren’t named Nick or Tony or Barney were occasionally given some wildly eccentric monikers.

Here, from both classics of the genre like The Maltese Falcon to barely remembered B-movies, some of the more interesting examples:


  • AltheaThe Unsuspected
  • AngelGuilty Bystander
  • BarbyThe Fallen Sparrow, Sleep, My Love
  • BrandyTwo of a Kind
  • BrigidThe Maltese Falcon
  • CandyPickup on South Street, Breakdown
  • Carmen—The Big Sleep
  • CecilyThe Two Mrs Carrolls
  • CeliaThe Secret Behind the Door
  • CoraThe Postman Always Rings Twice, Brute Force
  • DellShadow on the Wall
  • Della — The Burglar
  • EdenMurder is My Beat
  • Edwina/EddieFingers at the Window
  • EffieThe Maltese Falcon
  • EvangelineT-Men
  • FayThe Killing
  • Frennessey – World for Ransom
  • FritzieThe Big Bluff
  • GeorgetteThe Big Clock
  • GretaThey Won’t Believe Me
  • GildaGilda
  • GillyMoonrise
  • HattiBlack Tuesday
  • HolidayKiss Tomorrow Goodbye
  • IvaThe Maltese Falcon
  • JojoParole Inc
  • KittyThe Killers
  • LeonaChicago Deadline
  • LeonoraCaught
  • LeslieThe Letter, Dark Water
  • LilahJohnny Angel
  • LilithNightmare Alley
  • LolaDouble Indemnity
  • LuciaThe Reckless Moment
  • MerlManhandled
  • MetaOut of the Past
  • Mida – Grand Central Murder
  • MillieScarlet Street
  • MonaThe Big Sleep
  • MorganWhere the Sidewalk Ends
  • NitaShakedown
  • NoelThe Web
  • NoraKey Largo
  • PauletteJohnny Angel
  • PeteyThe Man I Love
  • PoppyScarface
  • RicaThieves Highway
  • StellaOut of the Fog
  • StormThe Hidden Room
  • TeenaCry of the City
  • Thor (!) –Pursued
  • VedaMildred Pierce
  • VeraLoophole
  • VelmaI Died a Thousand Times
  • VenusThe Long Wait
  • VernaWhite Heat, They Won’t Believe Me
  • VivianThe Big Sleep
  • WillaThe Night of the Hunter
  • WilmaThe Accused
  • ZeenaNightmare Alley
  • BOYS

  • AlonzoThe Asphalt Jungle
  • AlvahCloak and Dagger
  • AxelEdge of the City
  • Ballin – Gilda
  • Barton – Double Indemnity
  • BowieThey Live By Night
  • BrunoStrangers on a Train, The Raging Tide
  • CalderThis Side of the Law
  • CelestialJohnny Angel
  • CleveThe File on Thelma Jordan
  • CraneShadow on the Wall
  • CricketTo Have and Have Not
  • DixThe Asphalt Jungle
  • DixonIn a Lonely Place
  • GuyStrangers on a Train, Shanghai Gesture
  • HardyThe Dark Corner
  • KasperThe Maltese Falcon
  • LashThe Big Sleep
  • MaximRebecca
  • MilesThe Maltese Falcon
  • MonteMildred Pierce
  • NollI Walk Alone
  • PikeShadow on the Wall
  • Ranney – Cause for Alarm
  • RexWhiplash
  • ShelbyLaura
  • SmithCaught
  • TorstenA Woman’s Face
  • WaldoLaura
  • WalterDouble Indemnity
  • WardRage in Heaven
  • WebbThe Prowler
  • ZiggyBlackmail
  • About the Author

    Linda Rosenkrantz

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