A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
Amid a semi-documentary portrait of New York and its people, Jean Dexter, an attractive blonde model, is murdered in her apartment. Homicide detectives Dan Muldoon and Jimmy Halloran ... See full summary »
Johnny runs away from Father O'Hara's orphanage and becomes a roller skating star with the help of Mary Reeves. He becomes involved with women, including Polly, who only love him because he... See full summary »
Former burlesque star May and her daughter Peggy dance in the chorus. When May has a fight with featured dancer Bubbles, Bubbles leaves the show and Peggy takes her place. When Peggy falls ... See full summary »
Jim and Connie's postwar New York building troubles keep Jim from working on his novel. Ex-WAC from Jim's army days Roberta moves in, further upsetting Connie but pleasing Jim's friend Ed. ... See full summary »
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
Both director John Huston and star Sterling Hayden were members of the Committee for the First Amendment, which stood against the blacklisting of alleged Communists working in the film industry during the Red Scare. Huston had never been a Communist, although Hayden at one point had been. See more »
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 »
Here's to the drink habit. It's the only one I got that don't get me into trouble.
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No stars and perfect casting make this a masterpiece
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.
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