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>
Jean Dexter's apartment building is shown as "52 West 83rd Street." The facade is actually the Lathrop, at 46 West 83rd St., a short walk from Central Park. The Lathrop was built after the turn of the 20th century. Now condos, a 2 bedroom unit at the Lathrop now advertises for > $1,400,000. See more »
When the narrator begins the story, he says that New York City was having a hot night, yet the stacks on the building are emitting vapor, which can only be seen in cold temperatures. See more »
There's your city, Halloran. Take a good look. Jean Dexter is dead, and the answer must be somewhere down there...
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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 »
A Classic of New York City Police Work
In an era when everything was recreated on a Hollywood set, or filmed on their back lots, "Naked City" was different and daring - it was shot on the streets of New York City, and the grittiness and realism was palpable. Detectives have to investigate the murder of a young woman, and scene by scene we are absorbed. The way Barry Fitzgerald as the lieutenant breaks done and rips open Howard Duff is especially memorable, as is the scene of the two parents of the dead girl breaking down. This film is marvelously constructed scene by scene. The performances are standouts, and look for a host of New York actors appearing in uncredited roles: James Gregory, Molly Picon (a giant of Yiddish theatre), David Opatashu (also of the Yiddish theater), Paul Ford, Arthur O'Connell, and others. Ted DeCorsia is great as the villain; catch his other roles.
"Detective Story" (see review) came out three years later and in its squad room dialogue has more in common with "NYPD Blue" than "Naked City" the movie, but for the realism of the streets and even cinema verite feel, nothing tops "Naked City". And soon a highly successful TV series was named after it. Highly recommended. You'll feel like you're back in New York City in the 1940's!
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