7.7/10
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The Naked City (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 4 March 1948 (USA)
New York City film noir about two detectives investigating the death of an attractive young woman. The apparent suicide turns out to be murder.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Ruth Morrison
...
James Halloran
Frank Conroy ...
Capt. Sam Donahue
...
Willly Garzah (as Ted De Corsia)
House Jameson ...
Dr. Lawrence Stoneman
Anne Sargent ...
Janet Halloran
Adelaide Klein ...
Mrs. Batory
Grover Burgess ...
Mr. Batory
Tom Pedi ...
Detective Perelli
Enid Markey ...
Mrs. Hylton
...
Narrated By (voice)
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

RAW LIFE! REAL LIFE! RECKLESS LIFE! (re-release print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 March 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La ciudad desnuda  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Mark Hellinger, who narrates the movie, died of a heart attack before the film was released. Following his death, Universal Pictures executives were ready to scrap the movie. They had no idea how to market it, and feared it would be a box-office failure. However, Hellinger's family reminded the studio that his contract for the film included a "guarantee of release" clause from Universal. Having no choice, Universal released the film in theaters, and was surprised when it became a hit and received two Oscars. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Muldoon: No, the picnic is over, you've told your last lie. You're knee deep in stolen jewlery. You're involved the the Dexter Murder. You've been trying to obstruct justice all along the line. Now you're gonna tell me what I want to know or so help me if it's the last thing I do in this department, I'll get you twenty years. Now that's the truth Sonny Boy, and you know I'm not bluffing. Who's Henderson? Who's Henderson?
Frank Niles: Stoneman! It's Doctor Stoneman.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Hill Street Blues: Hearts and Minds (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

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.


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