A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Life Magazine wrote that this film was producer Mark Hellinger's "personal love letter to New York" and that he was present on every location in New York, checking details and supervising it. See more »
During the end pursuit, Garzah walks past a plump, dark-haired lady in a floral dress, pushing a baby in a stroller. As Donahue pursues in a following scene, he passes the same woman, now walking without her baby carriage and her left hand bandaged. See more »
Thought you were off the liquor. Liquor is bad. Weakens your character. How can a man like me trust a liar like you? I can't.
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The opening credits are spoken by producer/narrator Mark Hellinger. No credits are seen on the screen. See more »
Tho a fine crime story in essence, and with undoubted superlative location work from Academy Award winning photographer William H. Daniels, The Naked City just doesn't add up to a great movie whole. The story follows a police procedural pattern as Barry Fitzgerald's Lt. Dan Muldoon and his wet behind the ears side-kick Jimmy Halloran (Don Taylor) try to crack the case of a murdered blonde playgirl. With no clues, the pair run down a number of blind alleys chasing weak leads. Can they crack the case? Will young Halloran be able to learn the wily ways of the experienced New York Cop before it's too late?
Perhaps it's the reputation that did it down for this first time viewer? Or maybe the ream of imitations that followed it have put the film so high on a pedestal it's now impossible to achieve expectation levels? Maybe yes to both, but I found it to be very ordinary and bogged down by a too talky core that's executed poorly by a host of mundane acting performances. Fitzgerald hams it for all he is worth, with is comedy moments severely misplaced, while Taylor is out acted by a door. The rest I can't bare to talk about. The one saving grace is Ted de Corsia's villain, a nasty piece of work that gets a nice line in desperation/mania from Corsia.
No doubt about it, Daniels' work, de Corsia and a thrilling last ten minutes, stopped this from hitting the below average mark from this disillusioned observer. 5/10
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