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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

Notice the silhouette of the B-17 on the wall behind Sam Jaffe's head when the hired hands--Anthony Caruso and Sterling Hayden--are being paid off prior to the caper in Cobby's office. 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

Police Commissioner Hardy: In some ways, he's the most dangerous of them all. A hardened killer. A hooligan. A man without human feeling or human mercy.
See more »

Connections

Version of Cool Breeze (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
John Huston defines the caper.
23 September 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

John Huston, one of the great film makers of all times, was at the top of his craft when he undertook the direction of "The Asphalt Jungle". The book by W.R. Barnett was brilliantly adapted by Mr. Huston and Ben Maddox and the result stunned everyone. In fact, the film has been so influential one sees parts of it in other movies of the genre. The magnificent cinematography created by Harold Rosson speaks by itself. The music score by Miklos Rozsa stays in the background and never interferes with the action.

This is a film that looks as good today, as when it first was released. In fact, one discovers more nuances as one watches it again, when it's shown on cable. The cast of the film is one of its best assets going for "The Asphalt Jungle". Mr. Huston assembled some of the best talent working in the American cinema of that time.

Sterling Hayden, as Dix, gives a tremendous performance. The excellent Louis Calhern, though, steals the picture with his take on Lon Emmerich, the man who finds he is broke and wants to be at the center of the caper, without risking anything. Marilyn Monroe has only two scenes in the movie, but she shines in them. Also Jean Hagen, an actress that should have gone far, but didn't, makes a valuable contribution with her Doll Conovan.

The supporting cast is amazing. James Whitmore, Sam Jaffe, Anthony Caruso, Brad Dexter, and the rest, play well together to give the film a seamless look.

"The Asphalt Jungle" shows why John Huston was one of the most influential men in pictures. His films are a must see for all movie lovers and studied by his successors and people working today owe a lot to this master, who pioneered a style that stands as his legacy.


37 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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