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The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Passed | | Crime, Film-Noir, Drama | 23 May 1950 (USA)
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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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 11 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
...
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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At least two versions exist as to how Marilyn Monroe came to be cast in the film. One has an employee of MGM's talent department suggesting that John Huston try out Monroe, with Huston immediately recognizing her as perfect for the role after her sensual audition. Another version, as supported by MGM archives, has Monroe as a "dark horse" contender for the role. Huston had reportedly already chosen blond actress Lola Albright for the role. When a very nervous Monroe auditioned for the part, Huston was not impressed. However, Albright had recently found success with a supporting role in Champion (1949), so it was unlikely she would accept a small role in a crime melodrama. Huston tested eight other starlets, but Monroe stayed in the running, mainly because of the persistence of MGM talent director Lucille Ryman Carroll. Huston remained adamant that Monroe wouldn't fit the bill, until Carroll prevailed by taking advantage of an ironic coincidence. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Ciavelli was inside of a long narrow tunnel. He chisels through the thin brick wall of the tunnel and goes inside of a room, and along that same wall is a door leading upstairs. On the other side of the wall, there was no evidence of a door. See more »

Quotes

Cobby: [Telephone rings twice; Cobby answers] Yeah, hello, hello. Yeah, this is Cobby. What?
Cobby: [Cobby gets off the telephone in to talk to Dix and Doc] It's Gus. Dragnet's out and they're combing the district.
Cobby: [Cobby holds out telephone] He wants to talk to you. You, Dix.
Dix Handley: [Dix takes telephone from Cobby; Cobby leaves] Gus, Dix.
Gus Minissi: [the scene switches from Cobby's hideout to a telephone booth where Gus is; Gus talks to Dix] Yeah, now, listen careful, pal. The cops are knocking over all the joints along the ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in El crack dos (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant crime thriller that had a profound influence on the caper genre.
19 June 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

I'm a sucker for a good heist film, and three of the best I've ever seen were made around 1955/56 - 'Rififi', 'Bob le flambeur' and 'The Killing'. Now they are still three of the greatest crime thrillers ever made, but now that I've finally seen 'The Asphalt Jungle' it's obvious what source those movies were drawing on! Not that I'm saying they're rip offs, they're not, but they are kind of three (excellent) variations on Huston's theme. 'The Asphalt Jungle' must therefore be seen as the most influential crime movie of the modern era, and the blueprint for every subsequent caper movie ('The Anderson Tapes', 'Thief', 'Reservoir Dogs', 'The Usual Suspects', 'The Score',etc.etc.) This superb film noir is almost impossible to fault. The script is first rate, John Huston's direction is inspired, Sterling Hayden - possibly America's most underrated actor - is fantastic as troubled ex-con Dix Handley, and the ensemble cast are all excellent, especially James Whitmore ('Them!'), Louis Calhern ('Notorious'), Sam Jaffe ('The Day The Earth Stood Still') and John McIntire ('Psycho'). The early role for Marilyn Monroe made a strong impact on a lot of people, but I was even more impressed by Jean Hagen as Doll. She is unforgettable and her scenes with Hayden are wonderful. Why did she never become a major star? This is a crime classic and brilliant entertainment. Highly recommended!


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