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The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Passed  -  Crime | Film-Noir | Drama  -  23 May 1950 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 15,735 users  
Reviews: 119 user | 58 critic

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

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(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Police Commissioner Hardy
...
Cobby
Barry Kelley ...
Lt. Ditrich
...
Louis Ciavelli
Teresa Celli ...
Maria Ciavelli
...
Angela Phinlay
William 'Wee Willie' Davis ...
Timmons (as William Davis)
Dorothy Tree ...
May Emmerich
...
Bob Brannom
John Maxwell ...
Dr. Swanson
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Storyline

When the intelligent criminal Erwin "Doc" Riedenschneider is released from prison, he seeks a fifty thousand-dollar investment from the bookmaker Cobby to recruit a small gang of specialists for a million-dollar heist of jewels from a jewelry. Doc is introduced to the lawyer Alonzo D. Emmerich that offers to finance the whole operation and buy the gems immediately after the burglary. Doc hires the safecracker Louis Ciavelli, the driver Gus Minissi and the gunman Dix Handley to the heist. His plan works perfectly but bad luck and betrayals compromise the steps after the heist and the gangsters need to flee from the police. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The City Under the City

Genres:

Crime | Film-Noir | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 May 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Asphalt Jungle (The City Under the City)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Georgia Holt, mother of Cher, tested for the role of Angela Phinlay. See more »

Goofs

The safe the gang robs has an electronic-eye-alarm along the wall which must be avoided or else the alarm would sound off. Everyone avoids this alarm in the scene except for Dix, who is clearly standing in its way when the gang converses whether they should stay to finish the job or leave prematurely. See more »

Quotes

Angela Phinlay: I had the market send over some salt mackerel for you. I know how you love it for breakfast.
Alonzo D. Emmerich: [Looks at her approvingly] Some sweet kid.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Illegal: Marked for Life (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

No stars and perfect casting make this a masterpiece
2 December 2003 | by (Zurich, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

I suppose the only reason why this movie can be purchased on video (not on DVD though, it seems) is the fact that Marilyn Monroe plays a part in it. If I am right, this shows how much the movie industry has to rely on big names. Sometimes this is a real shame. No movie proves this better than Asphalt Jungle.

This caper movie is one of my all time favorites and frankly the best of its genre. Its brilliance lies for me in the fact that no big name of the Hollywood acting community was involved – Monroe was small fries then. Instead John Huston worked with a cast of reliable, mostly very experienced character actors many people will know as "supports" from numerous other movies of the period. And many of those actors probably gave here the best performances of their lives. Everybody is cast dead right, this is what is so magnificent about Asphalt Jungle. The balance is perfect, the chemistry works all ways. Maybe just one miscast actor or actress would have spoiled the whole atmosphere. No one is overacting at any time, and there are many, many very moving moments as one can observe these characters struggling on the sidelines of urban society.

One is always tempted to name an actress or an actor whose performance one liked best in a movie. Here, I could not do it – I liked them all. Yet I want to mention one actor: Louis Calhern. Seldom has a sudden change of mood and countenance in a character had such an impact on me as a viewer.


32 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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