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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 15,914 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A publicity photo for the film showed Dix between Doll and Angela, who desperately tries to get him to turn away from Doll. Angela and Dix never meet in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Riedenschneider is first led back into Cobby's back room, there are three men visible through the door when it opens. When he gets into the room, they are nowhere to be seen. See more »

Quotes

Doc Riedenschneider: One way or another, we all work for our vice.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Killer vs Killers (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Crime is only a left-handed form of human endeavor"
24 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

"The Asphalt Jungle" is one of the greatest crime films. The movie has its roots in several great film noir projects, such as "Double Indemnity", "The Killers", "Criss Cross", and "Out of the Past". Its lasting impression over time is based upon its quality and its unprecedentedly brilliant use of the "caper" as a plot device. As stated in other comments, this film noir's influence can be seen in hundreds of disparate "caper" movies - "Rififi", "A Simple Plan", "The Guns of Navarone", "The Usual Suspects", and "How to Steal a Million", just to name a few.

I will not give away the results of the "caper", but the film is truly superior in how it explores relationships and deception. This is one of John Huston's greatest works, and the script lays down the tension from the first moment and doesn't let up. Huston uses multiple closeups to literally drain the emotion out of the characters. Hayden, Calhern, Lawrence, Hagen, and Whitmore turn in superb performances with many memorable moments, but Sam Jaffe steals the film in an Oscar-worthy performance as the brain behind the caper. Marilyn Monroe makes an indelible impression in a fairly brief but pivotal role.

Please do not miss this - an easy 10 out of 10.


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