The Naked City (1948)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  4 March 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 8,103 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 65 critic

New York City film noir about two detectives investigating the death of an attractive young woman. The apparent suicide turns out to be murder.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Ruth Morrison
Don Taylor ...
Jimmy Halloran
Frank Conroy ...
Captain Donahue
Garzah (as Ted De Corsia)
House Jameson ...
Dr. Stoneman
Anne Sargent ...
Mrs. Halloran
Adelaide Klein ...
Mrs. Batory
Grover Burgess ...
Mr. Batory
Tom Pedi ...
Detective Perelli
Enid Markey ...
Mrs. Hylton
Mark Hellinger ...
Narrated By (voice)


Amid a semi-documentary portrait of New York and its people, Jean Dexter, an attractive blonde model, is murdered in her apartment. Homicide detectives Dan Muldoon and Jimmy Halloran investigate. Suspicion falls on various shifty characters who all prove to have some connection with a string of apartment burglaries. Then a burglar is found dead who once had an elusive partner named Willie. The climax is a very rapid manhunt sequence. Filmed entirely on location in New York City. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Soul of a City - HER GLORY STRIPPED! HER PASSIONS BARED! (re-release print ad - many caps) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 March 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La ciudad desnuda  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shot in eighty-four days during the summer of 1947. See more »


In the scene where New York's East Side is being introduced, a set of headlights can be seen appearing and disappearing near the center of the shot. See more »


Muldoon: I don't know anything about medicine, doctor, but that's one prescription that never cured anything.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are spoken by producer/narrator Mark Hellinger. No credits are seen on the screen. See more »


Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
(1887) (uncredited)
Written by Juventino Rosas
Background music for the girls on swings
See more »

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User Reviews

The merging of Film Noir with a realistic police drama
14 March 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film is in many ways a good example of Film Noir--since it portrays a murder and its investigation, has a classic Noir-style ending and has some very "dark" story elements. However, unlike traditional Film Noir, the dialog and lighting are much more like a traditional film--less snappy dialog and more of an emphasis on conventional police work. This is NOT really a bad thing, as the film still was very entertaining but with a lighter and almost documentary feel to it and with a greater emphasis on the police work instead of on the sleazy Noir villains. In fact, since the film focused on the police and the day to day aspects of the investigation, it helped to usher in a style of film making that would be very popular in the 1950s on TV and in theaters (such as the show DRAGNET or the movie HE WALKED BY NIGHT).

The film itself stars Barry Fitzgerald. This is a VERY unusual casting decision but it did work very well. Normally, Fitzgerald is known for cute supporting roles, like the ones he played in GOING MY WAY and THE QUIET MAN. Here, however, he's a detective who coordinates the investigation. I liked it this way because he was far from the macho cop but more like a REAL policeman--experienced, smart and not about to resort to a fist fight with his foes--avoiding the usual movie clichés to say the least! In addition, the rest of the cast also seem more like real policemen when compared to other films of the time. The criminals, likewise, seem real and aren't obviously "bad" like they usually are in crime films--again a big plus.

So overall, this is a very realistic and engaging crime film with elements of Noir but certainly NOT the traditional style for the genre (the familiar Noir dialog, lighting, film angles, femme fatales, etc. are missing because they wouldn't be appropriate). It may disappoint some die-hard Noir fans, but for me it was quite acceptable and a good change of pace.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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narration waterboy995
really shot ONLY on actual locations??? miriamwebster
Whoa! Huge omission from the slice-of-NYC-life aspect theclockticks
Parents of Murdered Girl SusanJL
Who played Jean Dexter the murdered girl? sweetheart87
Horses nycnftm
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