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 investigate. Suspicion falls on various shifty characters who all prove to have some connection with a string of apartment burglaries. Then a burglar is found dead who once had an elusive partner named Willie. The climax is a very rapid manhunt sequence. Filmed entirely on location in New York City.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film's unique visual style was said to have been inspired by the legendary New York City crime photographer Arthur 'Weegee' Fellig who in 1945 had published a photography book entitled "Naked City." Indeed, Weegee was hired as an (uncredited) consultant on the movie and definitely influenced its imagery. But others believe that the post-war neorealism style made famous in Italian classics like Bicycle Thieves (1948) outweighed Weegee's influence. See more »
When the cops give chase up the stairs of the Williamsburg Bridge after hearing a gunshot, there is a blind man by himself at the top of the stairs. However, on the next cut, the blind man is now with a boy on roller skates. See more »
After Niles has been rifling through his valise apparently to check whether a supposed burglar has struck: "He got it didn't they?
Looking crestfallen: "No, there's nothing missing. I don't have any valuables".
Suspiciously: "What were you looking for so hard just now - your BVD's?"
See more »
The opening credits are spoken by producer/narrator Mark Hellinger. No credits are seen on the screen. See more »
Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
Written by Juventino Rosas
Background music for the girls on swings See more »
Taut, tense semi-documentary style with great location shooting in New York City...
THE NAKED CITY is like watching a time capsule unfold of New York City in the late '40s--the cars, the subways, the bridges, the people bustling along busy streets totally unaware of filming (scenes were shot from cars with tinted windows and two-way mirrors), and at the center of it all is a rather routine detective story. But the difference is the style that director Jules Dassin gets out of his material, giving the drama a chance to build up the proper tension before the final shootout on city streets and bridges.
BARRY FITZGERALD is the detective with the very helpful sidekick DON TAYLOR, a young police officer from Queens who helps him track down the man responsible for the death of a pretty blonde in what the tabloids called "The Bathtub Murder". Both men are excellent as they follow a batch of clues to get to the bottom of the crime. HOWARD DUFF is also excellent as a man mixed up in the robberies, with DOROTHY HART as his unsuspecting sweetheart.
TED DeCORSIA, making his film debut, is the athletic villain, working out in his small apartment when detective Taylor finds him--but soon making his escape which leads to the film's most breathtaking moments of a dazzling chase that fills the last ten minutes with high tension suspense.
The crime itself is not that interesting, but the style used to tell the tale (with a voice-over narration telling us at the conclusion that this is just one story in a city of millions) is what makes it far superior to most detective stories. That and the fact that New York City is given the spotlight for location photography that really hits the mark.
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