The Naked City (1948)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  4 March 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 8,104 users  
Reviews: 75 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.



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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?


Although since the 1980's 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 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: What can you tell me about Mr. Niles' Business?
Perelli: He ain't got a business. It's a dodge. No credit rating. Dropped from his university club for non-payment of dues. Still owes a food and liquor bill of hundred and ten dollars and eighty three cents.
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 New York at the Movies (2002) 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

Mystery Deepens In Dexter Slaying.
8 April 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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

5 of 5 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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