Joe Sullivan is itching to get out of prison. He's taken the rap for Rick, who owes him $50 Grand. Rick sets up an escape for Joe, knowing that Joe will be caught escaping and be shot or ... See full summary »
'Doc' Riedenschneider, legendary crime 'brain' just out of prison, has a brilliant plan for a million-dollar burglary. To pull it off, he recruits safecracker Louis, driver Gus, financial backer Emmerich, and strong-arm man Dix Handley. At first the plan goes like clockwork, but little accidents accumulate and each partner proves to have his own fatal weakness. In the background is a pervasive, grimy urban malaise. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
I hadn't seen The Asphalt Jungle for nearly 30 years until tonight, I think I must have (wrongly) considered it to be a "modern film", ie post rock'n'roll and dismissed it as too earthy as a result. Well I was wrong, it's certainly a Golden Age film made with high production values, with all the right actors, direction, music and story the Golden Age had produced. The music especially links it back to Double Indemnity and of course Huston to The Maltese Falcon, Jaffe to Lost Horizon etc. It was simply a signpost to the type of films to come , the ones I avoid.
It's gritty, as realistic as a gritty fantasy could be in 1950, as realistic as I want. The multi character interplay sticks in the mind, everyone's grafting and ready to dump on the next guy, apart from The Hooligan who dumb as he is really has a heart. It's Sam Jaffe's film though, his calculating but flawed dirty old man character was a classic perv-ormance, nowadays we would not have been spared the sleaze, but he walked a fine line successfully.
And again, the sleazy relationship between Uncle Louis Calhern and young Marilyn Monroe was perfectly handled.
All in all a marvellous film from the twilight years of the Golden Age.
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