Movie Poll: What’s the Best Golden Age Mystery?

What's the Best Golden Age Mystery?

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  • Cappy

    The Maltese Falcon for sure but don’t sell Laura short fans. Hard choices this time I would hate too bet on this horse race.

  • sonny lachner

    I LOVE THE CHANCE TO COMMENT ON GREAT MOVIES OF THE PAST…I HAVE A HUGE COLLECTION OF CLASSIC MOVIES…ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES IS 20TH CENTURY FOX VERSION OF A CLASSIC MYSTERY “LAURA”, THAT STARRED GENE TIERNEY, DANA ANDREWS, CLIFTON WEBB, AND ONE OF MY IDOLS VINCENT PRICE….IN 1965 WHEN HE WAS AN ART CRITIC FOR SEARS, I HAD THE GREAT PLEASURE OF MEETING HIM AT THE SEARS STORE IN PHOENIX, AZ. HE WAS MOST GRACIOUS AND TALKED WITH ME FOR MORE THEN 15 MINS…HE HAD JUCT COMPLETED ” POE’S “THE TOMB OF LIGEIA” IN ENGLAND…WHAT A THRILL FOR ME AND MY GIRL FRIEND AT THE TIME…I UNFORTANTELY FORGOT MY CAMERA, BUT, JUST TALKING WITH HIM WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE, HE TALKED TO ME LIKE HE HAD KNOWN ME FOR YEARS…HE’S GONE NOW, BUT THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER LIKE HIM HE WAS AND STILL IS A LEGEND IN HIS TIME…-30-

  • Valerie

    Since I would put one of these at the top of my list any given day it’s impossible to choose one! All 10 of them are to be owned & treasured!

  • Jerry

    This was a tough choice. These are 10 of my all-time favorite movies, any one of which could get my vote.

  • Geoffrey Wynkoop

    YOU left out “THE BIG SLEEP”????? How Could you ???

  • John Meyer

    Hey, Double Indemnity has to be in the top three.
    then my choice would be Notorious -the sleekest and chicest Hitchcock- and The Third Man.

    John M. NYC

  • Paul

    Funny thing: my favorite on the list is “Rear Window” (currently #1 in poll results) but it’s not so much a mystery as a suspense thriller, and therefore I chose another title. No matter; they’re all terrific fun!

  • MikeD NYC

    Shadow of a doubt isn’t much of a mystery either, but when Joe Cotten talks about rich women at dinner–he’s in full closeup–it is very scary.

  • John Wilson

    I must agree with Paul, Rear Window is a great movie, but is not really a Mystery. As a Mystery, Laura is better. The others on the list were all great choices as well.

  • Ken A

    Had to go with WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION as the only one that really was a mystery and truly surprised me at the time…the previews admonished us not to reveal the secret of the ending. The others on the list are fine; but I still love watching Marlene in this one!

  • Pat

    I picked “The Thin Man” because is spawned a whole series of mysteries based on that one theme. But I like a good mystery/thriller. All on the poll are good. I almost selected “Rear Window”, but “The Thin Man” and the series have lasted so long and are still a great watch.

  • Ted E. Limpert

    You left out “Spellbound” and Alan Ladd’s “Blue Dahlia,” but my all-time favorite mystery movies were the lamentably little-known “The Scarlet Claw,” starring Basil Rathbone in a non-Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes story and “23 Paces to Baker Street,” starring Van Johnson and Vera Miles in a really pure mystery which had nothing to do with Sherlock despite the titular Baker Street.

  • Marjorie

    While I think you picked the best of the Hitchcock, I agree that The Big Sleep probably should have been included. Overlooking Chandler to include several of Hitchcock’s movies seems a little skewed. I think Rear Window is enough of a mystery to qualify, they’re certainly doing some amatuer sleuthing around. I would consider Notorious more of an espionage thriller than a mystery.

  • Lord Belchmore

    Charlie Chan’ Secret should have been on the list.

  • Mad Grunt

    Tough list I went with Maltese Falcon, but gave Laura serious thought. I was surprised to see that 1944′s Murder, My Sweet a break out role for Dick Powell was omitted from the list. Another omission was another Bogart film, Dark Passage, 1947 and it definitely was a mystery.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.m.henderson Kenneth Henderson

    Ken. Witness for the Prosecution. Marlene plays two roles in this one. One of my favorite films. Many say Elsa Lanchester steals this film as Miss Plimsoll. I agree.

  • christina west

    I love them all but, what about Sorry, Wrong Number with Barbara Stanwyck! And, I agree with Sonny, Vincent Price is better known for his horror films but, on the serious side, Vincent Price was a great actor and was in many classic movies before his ‘horror’ days.

  • Paul R

    What about Ten little indians. That was a great who dunnit!!

  • Chick Natella

    Laura was a great film noir. Gene Tierney was one of the real beauties of her time THAT could act and Clifton Webb was absolutely despicable and he too could act.

  • Luis Montero

    I voted for Aghata Christie’s “Witness for the Prosecution”….very good ending.
    I didn’t vote for Christie’s “And Then There Were None” because…the ending is wrong..it was adultered to please the Studio.
    In the novel there were no survivors at the end….How was that possible?….Who did it then?
    It is all explained in the last chapter..read it.
    What a shame.

  • JIM L

    All great but 2 Bogart movies should have been given credit Conflict and The 2 Mrs. Carrols.

  • John

    I have to agree that Rear Window is more suspense so I voted for a different movie. How can you beat Bogey in the Maltese Falcon with a fast paced script full of quoatable quips.

  • Jeff Schneider

    All of these plus many more as stated. I would like to have been in Sonny Lachner’s shoes to meet & talk with Vincent Price, one of my all time favorites. I’ve read how gracious he was.

    I chose “Witness for the Prosecution” because of the ending, but all of the above films are great. You can talk discuss these films for hours & I would love to.

  • Blythe

    Witness for the Prosecution had one of the best surprise endings!!! Duckie!!!!

  • J Nicholas

    I have to admitt that I voted for Rear Window but I dithered between that and The Lady Vanishes. That movie has been remade soooo many times! There’s one that you are missing though that I can’t at the moment put a name to. Can anyone help me? Starred Jean Simms as a girl who goes to the Paris Exhibition with her brother and he disappears. That’s one that’s been remade a dozen or so times under other names. Not that I can remember the original name??? I too love 23 Steps to Baker Street….

  • Movie Maniac

    That is one tough choice–any answer would be right–as well the ones mentioned by others.

  • Sharon

    There were many of the great ones. Not all though qualified as mysteries. As another “critic” has pointed out that Notorious is a spy thriller. Shadow of a Doubt is also a thriller. I felt that And Then There Were None is a true mystery story. Not until the last 5 minutes does the watcher find out who the killer is.
    I challenge the true mystery lover to read the book And Then There Were None it has a slightly different ending that will blow you away.

  • Porthole Johnny

    I have 9 of the 10 in my collection, and love them all. But I can’t choose other than Maltese Falcon in this case. With Rear Window a close second. Hitch and Bogey. Gotta love those two. They are utterly immortal.

  • Richard Finn

    I chose “Witness for The Prosecution” a great film, but how could you leave out “North by Northwest”? Even though a spy flick, there was alot of mystery to start it off.

  • Alfie

    Many of these films are terrific. Difficult to select one from those listed. Then, I re-read the list with ‘mystery’ as the emphasis.
    “Notorious” won, hands down. Great story, terrific acting by Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, with Claude Raines as the chilling bad guy (not to mention his sinister mother and the nasty Nazis), terrific script, sustained suspense, excellent photography; all make it the best of everything mentioned.

  • Mary Ella

    Although I recently views the Maltese Falcon again and I do love this movie, my fave is Rear Window. The chemistry between nosy, nervous-Nellie voyeur Jimmy Stewart, smart and sophisticated Grace Kelly, and stoic but suspicious Raymond Burr crackles. Add in a dash of Thelma Ritter and you have a fascinating mystery built upon suspense, suspision and inuendo. A riveting murder mystery with some romantic highlights. The best!

  • DeMeio

    Mystery: something not immediately or easily understood. (Webster)
    AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. The classic surprise “solution-at-the-last-minute” mystery.
    But a write, too, in for PSYCHO.

  • DIRK

    Anyone for SUDDEN FEAR with Joan Crawford and Jack Palance? Mystery & Noir — the scene of her waiting in the closet with that lighting across her eyes and sweat on her upper lip, magnificent. And you won’t see the ending coming either!!

  • Anne

    Didn’t anyone vote for The Third Man? One of my all-time favorite films! The music! The chase through the sewers! Orson Welles! C’mon people!

  • BRIAN

    Phantom Lady(1944)
    Fear In The Night(1947)
    Gilda(1946)
    The Long Wait(1954)
    I Wouldnt Be In Your Shoes(1948)
    99 River Street(1953)
    While The City Sleeps(1956)
    Desperate(1947)
    Follow Me Quietly(1949)
    The Gangster(1947)
    Guilty Bystander(1950)

  • BRIAN

    The Flame(1947)John Carroll,Vera Ralston,Broderick Crawford
    Tattered Dress(1957)
    Talk About A Stranger(1952)
    Impact(1949)
    Witness Is Murder(1954)
    The Killer Is Loose(1956)
    The Letter(1940)
    Stranger On The Third Floor(1940)

  • Steven Fabri

    A three way tussle Maltese Falcon,The Third Man(the Harry Lime Theme,music) and Laura.

  • Grace

    I love all these films and have have watched many of them over and over – practically know the dialog of The Third Man by heart!! But the best “mystery” has to be Witness for the Prosecution” – great surprise ending!!

  • Tlynette

    OH MAN! Who made up this impossible list? ANY one of them works for me. I do have to admit, “23 Paces to Baker Street” (thanks to you, Movies Unlimited, I FINALLY have that in my collection!!!) and “Sudden Fear” just ooze mystery. And I just adore Joseph Cotten in “Shadow of a Doubt” — the ultimate in elegant creeps! I agree with so many of the comments–it’s just too hard to choose.

  • Judy

    I voted for “Witness for the Prosecution” but would suggest mystery lovers check out two British films I found intriguing: “Madeleine” retitled “The Strange Case of Madeleine” with a good ending (by David Lean with Ann Todd) and another film with Ann Todd, also starring Charles Laughton, Gregory Peck, Louis Jourdan and the beautiful (Alida) Valli in Hitchcock’s “The Paradine Case.”

    I want to also mention that the Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Gail Russell 1944 film, “The Uninvited” is a very satisfying ghost story/mystery that takes place in England. Who better than the English for mystery storytelling, especially in black & white?

  • Lee Anne Morgan

    This was a challenge because I own each of these movies. I wonder why “39 Steps” was not included? Or, “Ministry of Fear”?
    I selected “Witness for the Prosecution” but was leaning towards “Rear Window” or “Laura” … a personal favorite and just watched it again for the umpteenth time.

  • Shrink

    The film about the Paris Exhibition is called so long at the fair

  • Earl Schwager

    The ending plus the incredible cast puts Witness For the Prosecution at the top of this four star list. Tough choices.

  • Edward Patrick O’Brien

    Vertigo, is on a very short list of all time great films of all genras. Vertigo is in a class above all the listed mysteries. Of those listed, Rear Window and Laura are one and two. The rest are all good. So pay your nickel and take your choice.

  • Rita

    All great movies but I voted for Laura. How about Gaslight?

  • BRIAN

    Conflict(1945)
    Destination Murder(1950)
    The Chase(1946)
    The Brasher Doubloon(1947)
    Note George Montgomery is Philip Marlowe this time)
    Johnny Oclock(1947)
    Moonrise(1949)

  • Edward

    Vertigo should be added to the very top of the list. I believe that The Maltese Falcon should be first with: 2) The Third Man 3) Laura
    4) Vertigo/Rear Window in a tie 5) The Big Sleep.

  • Noel Bjorndahl

    I love all of those mentioned in the above correspondences but many are not strictly speaking mysteries. I want to put in a plug for the greatest B mystery series of all-The Whistler. Secret of the Whistler was probably the best of the the 7 films starring Richard Dix although this was a consistently quality series given their budgets. I hope Columbia’s new on demand DVD-R releases will eventually include a set of these.

  • charlotte h.

    I wonder about how many people who voted had actually seen all the movies in the poll!!!!! I agree with a previous person that “Sorry Wrong Number” with Barbara Stanwick should have been included, but maybe that’s because I’m a woman!!!! A previous person also mentioned “The 39 Steps” which I think should also have been included. My vote was for “Witness for the Prosecution” because it showed HOW FAR a person would go to cover up EVIL because she loved a man who wasn’t worthy of her love!!!!!

  • Wayne L Whitehill

    The Jean Simmons movie is entitled “So Long At the Fair” which was the Paris Expedition.

  • christina west

    All the above including: A Letter To Three Wives! Not only is the movie good but, I love any movie with Kirk Douglas.

  • sonny lachner

    HEY FOLKS I HAVE GOT A MURDER MYSTERY THAT COULD TOP ALL OF THE SELECTIONS WE HAVE ALL PUT TOGETHER, IT HAS NOT BEEN SEEN IN YEARS AND IS STILL NOT AVAILABLE ON DVD….THE TITLE OF THIS EXCELLANT MYSTERY IS…ARE YOU READY FOR THIS ONE???? ” THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER” IN THE KEY ROLES WERE KIRK DOUGLAS…DANA WYNTER…AND AS THE TOP COP….THE GREAT GEORGE C. SCOTT…WHATS SO UNUSUAL ABOUT THIS, IS TO FIGURE OUT WHO THE GREAT STARS ARE IN ALL OF THEIR DISGUISES….SEE IF YOU CAN PICK OUT TONY CURTIS…ROBERT MITCHUM…BURT LANCASTER AND FRANK SINATRA….MITCH WAS THE EASIEST…THIS IS ONE HELL OF A GREAT MYSTERY…I HAVE IT ON VHS, BUT, IT IS AS I SAID VERY HARD TO FIND…I’D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU FOLKS OUT THERE…MY E-MAIL ADDRESS IS KARL_PEGGY @ ATT.NET…. HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU…-30-

    • Cougar

      This is out on DVD.

    • REP

      I ALSO HAVE A COPY ON DVD……..

  • Jeanette

    Alastair Sim as Scrooge? There is no replacement for this wonderful Brit.MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

  • rocky-o

    great movies one and all, but since the question specifically asked for best ‘mystery’, i had to go with agatha christie’s “and then there were none”…many of the titles on the list i wouldn’t qualify as mysteries, per se…but, still, all great films…

    • Johnny Sherman

      Same vote here for the same reason. Suspense and mystery are two different genres. I watch “And Then There Were None” at least once a year. The drunk butler scene, played by Richard Haydn, is hilarious.

      • Antone

        I agree. It is a great mystery with an outstanding comic relief scene involving the butler. If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, this must be a classic. No mystery premise has been exploited more than innocent bystanders stranded in a spooky place; who are being killed—one by one.

    • dave

      i too had to go with “And Then There were none”…

  • Joseph23006

    That was tough. I like all of them except the zither in The Third Man gets on my nerves after a while. Any Hitchcock would get my vote and I love The Thin Man series.

  • Cara

    Thanks for giving us an impossible task. I’d vote Laura for the beginning voice over. Notorious for the chemistry between Grant and Bergman and for the intense suspense near the end of the film. I’d vote Rear Window for the brilliant exploration of claustrophobia and voyeurism. The Third Man, well, because of Carol Reed, Orson Wells and the zither. Shadow of a Doubt because of the resourceful young heroine. The Lady Vanishes because it’s vintage British Hitchcock. Witness for the Prosecution for the surprise ending. The Thin Man because of its humor. And I’d add North by Northwest because nobody gets by the censors as cannily as Hitchcock did.

  • N

    What about The Spiral Staircase?

  • jbourne5181

    how I loved Nick and Nora. I have the box set and watch them often

  • Alexander

    I voted for The Maltese Falcon but was surprised not to see The Big Sleep up there. All the movies listed are great though. What about D.O.A, just thought of it!