Films/Chronological

A Timeline, Plotting the History and Development of the Private Eye Film

“Remember all the movies, Terry, we’d go see,
Tryin’ to walk like the heroes we thought we had to be?”
Bruce Springsteen, “Hiding in the Backstreets”

Since the beginning, even before there were talkies, the private eye has proven to be popular on the Big Screen. In fact, certain private detective films have represented their eras so well that they’ve become classics.

SEE ALSO:


1912

1914

1915

1916

1918

1921

1922

1925

1926

1927

1928

1929

1930

1931

1933

1934

1935

1936

1937

1938

1939

1940

1941

1942

1943

1944

1945

1946

1947

1948

1949

1950

1951

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956

1957

1959

1960

1961

  • Three Blondes in His Life (1961)
  • Twenty Plus Two (1961)

1962

  • Secret File: Hollywood (1962, Crown International)

1963

1964

1966

  • Harper (1966, Warner Brothers)

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

  • Adventures of a Private Eye (1987)
  • Angel Heart (1987, TriStar)
  • Deadly Illusion (1987, Pound Ridge Films; aka “Love You to Death”)
  • The Squeeze (1987, TriStar)

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Respectfully compiled by Kevin Burton Smith.

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