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The Asphalt Jungle
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The Asphalt Jungle (1950) More at IMDbPro »

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The Asphalt Jungle -- Led by an aging professional, a gang of thieves discover betrayal and death following a successful jewel heist.


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7.9/10   16,868 votes »
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Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ben Maddow (screen play) and
John Huston (screen play) ...
View company contact information for The Asphalt Jungle on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 May 1950 (USA) See more »
The City Under the City
A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"Crime is only a left-handed form of human endeavor" See more (123 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sterling Hayden ... Dix Handley

Louis Calhern ... Alonzo D. Emmerich

Jean Hagen ... Doll Conovan

James Whitmore ... Gus Minissi

Sam Jaffe ... Doc Erwin Riedenschneider

John McIntire ... Police Commissioner Hardy

Marc Lawrence ... Cobby
Barry Kelley ... Lt. Ditrich

Anthony Caruso ... Louis Ciavelli
Teresa Celli ... Maria Ciavelli

Marilyn Monroe ... Angela Phinlay
William 'Wee Willie' Davis ... Timmons (as William Davis)
Dorothy Tree ... May Emmerich

Brad Dexter ... Bob Brannom
John Maxwell ... Dr. Swanson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Mary Anderson ... Police Broadcaster (voice) (uncredited)
Ray Bennett ... Detective in Hardy's Office (uncredited)
David Bond ... Father Sortine (uncredited)
Chet Brandenburg ... Man at Line-Up (uncredited)
Benny Burt ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Harry G. Butcher ... Police Broadcaster (voice) (uncredited)

Frank Cady ... Night Clerk (uncredited)
Jean Carter ... Woman (uncredited)
Mack Chandler ... Gambler (uncredited)

David Clarke ... Mr. Atkinson - Railroad Man (uncredited)
John Cliff ... Policeman (uncredited)
Harry Cody ... Gambler (uncredited)
Gene Coogan ... Reporter (uncredited)

Henry Corden ... Karl Anton Smith (uncredited)

Chuck Courtney ... Red - Boy in Diner (uncredited)
John Crawford ... Reporter (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Policeman (uncredited)
Gene Evans ... Policeman at Ciavelli's Apartment (uncredited)

Pat Flaherty ... Policeman (uncredited)
Alex Gerry ... Maxwell (uncredited)
Sol Gorss ... Policeman (uncredited)
Fred Graham ... Truck Driver (uncredited)
William Haade ... Bill - Cop Outside Diner (uncredited)
Don Haggerty ... Det. Andrews (uncredited)
Eloise Hardt ... Vivian (uncredited)
Thomas Browne Henry ... James X. Connery (uncredited)
Wesley Hopper ... Policeman (uncredited)

George Lynn ... Detective at Ciavelli's Apartment (uncredited)
Ethel Lyons ... Police Broadcaster (voice) (uncredited)
Fred Marlow ... Reporter (uncredited)

Strother Martin ... William Doldy (uncredited)
Patricia Miller ... Girl (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Secretary (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Counterman (uncredited)
Alberto Morin ... Eddie Donato (uncredited)
Kerry O'Day ... Girl (uncredited)
Raymond Roe ... Tallboy (uncredited)
Henry Rowland ... Frank Schurz - Doc's Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Tim Ryan ... Jack - Police Clerk (uncredited)
James Seay ... Officer Janocek (uncredited)
Jack Shea ... Policeman (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Gambler (uncredited)
J. Lewis Smith ... Gambler (uncredited)
J.J. Smith ... Police Broadcaster (voice) (uncredited)
Joseph Darr Smith ... Reporter (uncredited)
Helene Stanley ... Jeannie - Girl in Diner (uncredited)
Jack Stoney ... Policeman (uncredited)

Ray Teal ... Cop in Car Barn Slugged by Dix (uncredited)
Leah Wakefield ... Girl (uncredited)
Harlan Warde ... Reporter (uncredited)

Jack Warden ... Bit Role (uncredited)
William Washington ... Suspect (uncredited)
Constance Weiler ... Woman (uncredited)

Judith Wood ... Woman (uncredited)
Victor Wood ... Evans (uncredited)
Wilson Wood ... Man (uncredited)
Jeff York ... Policeman (uncredited)

Directed by
John Huston 
Writing credits
Ben Maddow (screen play) and
John Huston (screen play)

W.R. Burnett (from a novel by)

Produced by
Arthur Hornblow Jr. .... producer
Original Music by
Miklós Rózsa  (as Miklos Rozsa)
Cinematography by
Harold Rosson (director of photography)
Film Editing by
George Boemler (film editor)
Art Direction by
Randall Duell 
Cedric Gibbons 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... makeup creator
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair styles designer
Lou LaCava .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Elaine Ramsey .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Lee Katz .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Greenwood .... assistant director (uncredited)
Frank E. Myers .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Jack D. Moore .... associate set decorator
Frank Wesselhoff .... painter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording supervisor
Robert B. Lee .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Lloyd Isbell .... grip (uncredited)
P.R. Keeler .... gaffer (uncredited)
S.C. Manatt .... still photographer (uncredited)
Robert Martin .... camera operator (uncredited)
Andrew J. McIntyre .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Eugene Zador .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
John Banse .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Leslie H. Martinson .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Asphalt Jungle (The City Under the City)" - USA (poster title)
See more »
112 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Hungary:14 | Netherlands:12 | Norway:16 (1950) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2005) | UK:PG (video rating) (1992) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #14357) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

A February 1950 "Daily Variety" news item noted that John Maxwell, who plays a doctor in the picture, "made such a hit with preview audiences" that MGM re-shot a portion of the title credits to include his name.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: When Dix and Doll arrive at the Hickory Wood Farm in their car, you can see the reflection of some of the crew members on the passenger side door.See more »
Angela Phinlay:What's the big idea standing there staring at me, Uncle Lon?
Alonzo D. Emmerich:Don't call me "Uncle Lon."
Angela Phinlay:I thought you liked it.
Alonzo D. Emmerich:Maybe I did... I don't any more.
See more »
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75 out of 85 people found the following review useful.
"Crime is only a left-handed form of human endeavor", 24 August 2003

"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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