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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.



(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
Jimmy Halloran
Frank Conroy ...
Capt. Donahue
Willly 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
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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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?


Although since the 1980s it has been the norm rather than the exception, this is one of the first films to list technical (non-acting) credits at the end of the movie. See more »


In the scene near the end where Garza is running along a street in New York, the car holding the camera (in the passenger window) is visible in the store windows, keeping pace with the actor as he stops and starts. See more »


Muldoon: After Niles has been rifling through his valise apparently to check whether a supposed burglar has struck: "He got it didn't they?
Frank Niles: Looking crestfallen: "No, there's nothing missing. I don't have any valuables".
Muldoon: Suspiciously: "What were you looking for so hard just now - your BVD's?"
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Hollywood on Trial (1976) 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

Raw and naked emotions makes the city of New York the real star in this classic crime drama
25 May 2004 | by (brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

****SPOILERS**** Made on the hot and sweltering streets of New York City in the broiling summer of 1947 "The Naked City" is the first of many thousands, 4,450 according to the IMDb, of movies and TV shows that was filmed on location in the city of New York. Released in March of 1948 " The Naked City" at first became a major movie success in that year and now is considered by many to be one of the best crime/film noir/ movies ever made. In the dark and early morning hours in an apartment high-rise on the quiet and chic upper West Side of Manhattan to a blazing afternoon sun on the top of a tower over the East River on the heavily traveled crowded and noisy Williamsburg Bridge a story is played out that will lay bare and strip naked every emotion that can be packed into a motion picture. Fashion model Jean Dexter is brutally murdered in her apartment and then dumped into the bathtub to make it look like she overdosed on drugs and drowned. Later one of her killers, who had second thoughts about what he did, is murdered by his partner and then thrown into the East River. With the city medical examiner determining that Miss. Dexter's death was a homicide Lt. Muldoon & Det.Halloran, Barry Fitzgerald & Don Taylor, are put on the case. The police find a number of jewelry items in Jean's apartment that it turned out were stolen in a string of burglaries of people that she knew. Keying in on a Frank Niles(Howard Duff), who was one of Jean's close friends, who's stories about himself being a combat veteran and successful businessman turned out to be total hokum but his alibi about him being at a nightclub at the time of Jean's murder with his fiancé Ruth Morrison, Dorothy Heart, checked out. later in an emotionally packed sequence at the City Morgue with Jean's parents Mr & Mrs Batory( Adeliade Kline & Grover Burgess) Mrs. Batory who hated her daughter, for changing her name to Dexter and leaving home and mixing with the crowd that lead to her murder, breaks down and sobs uncontrollably when she and her husband are shown Jean's body for them to make a positive identification. Niles in a panic pawns off a number of stolen jewels from friends of his and Jean that he somehow came into possession of that had the police, with Niles' fiancé Ruth, go to his apartment just in time to stop him from being murdered, by Jean's murderer? As the frustrated would-be killer escapes by getting away on a city EL train. Confronted with the news of his lying and with the revelation of Niles engagement ring to Ruth being stolen from her mother and him having a plane ticket for him to skip out of the country to Mexico. Ruth, in another emotionally packed scene in the movie, break down in tears and then smacks the almost comatose Niles around so hard that Det. Halloran had to step in and stop her. The police get a big break in the Dexter murder case when Pete Backalis, Walter Burke, is found floating not far from Jean's apartment in the East River. It's determined that Backalis was killed just after Jean's murder and that he had a rap sheet of burglaries, just like the one at Jean's apartment, and worked with a fellow burglar named Willie Gazah, Ted De Corsia. The police putting all the pieces together connect Niles and Jean with the prominent physician and high society party-thrower Dr. Stoneman, House Jameson, who seems to have more then a passing acquaintance with her. Police detectives Muldoon & Halloran going to Dr.Stoneman office and taking Niels along with them. Dr. Stoneman when confronted with Niels and the news of Jean's murder in yet another emotionally charged scene in the movie, tearfully break down as the shocking truth comes out about his secret life as Jean's lover. As well as the person who tipped her off about the people who were to attend his and his wife's parties, so Jean's criminal associates can break into their homes and rob their jewelry. Dr. Stoneman reaching a state of total despair and having what seems like a complete emotional breakdown all at once attempts to jump out of his high-rise office window. Niels, who for once in his life did something good and heroic,stopped him just before he could get to the window ledge. Tracking down the elusive Garzah to his Lower East Side apartment Det. Halloran is knocked out by him when he realized that he's a cop instead a hospital worker who's checking on him about his friend Peter Backalis who Halloran tells him is alive but Garzah knows that Pete's dead because he murdered him. With the police dragnet slowly closing in on him Garzah takes off to the only avenue of escape left open to him the East River Williamsburg Bridge. Panicking when he collides on the bridges walk-path with a person who's blind, and then shoots his seeing-eye dog who attacked him, Garzah makes a run for it as the police are alerted, by the gunshot, and chase him to the bridge's Manhattan side tower. With nowhere for him to run, as the bridge is cut off on both the Manhattan and Brooklyn sides by the police, Garzah desperately climbs to the top and is shot in a blazing gun battle, when he refused to surrender. The killer falls to his death in a scene that made the Williamsburg Bridge almost as famous as the scene at the end of the movie "King Kong" that made the Empire State Building a piece of motion picture folklore. With the murder of Jean Dexter now solved, and out of the newspaper headlines and in the garbage can,the film ends with the now famous line: "There Are Eight Million Stories In The Naked City; This Has Been ONE Of THEM".

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