7.6/10
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The Naked City (1948)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 4 March 1948 (USA)
Two New York City detectives investigate the death of an attractive young woman. The apparent suicide turns out to be murder.

Director:

Jules Dassin

Writers:

Albert Maltz (screenplay), Malvin Wald (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,886 ( 9,694)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barry Fitzgerald ... Lt. Dan Muldoon
Howard Duff ... Frank Niles
Dorothy Hart ... Ruth Morrison
Don Taylor ... Jimmy Halloran
Frank Conroy ... Captain Donahue
Ted de Corsia ... Willly Garzah (as Ted De Corsia)
House Jameson ... Dr. Stoneman
Anne Sargent Anne Sargent ... Mrs. Halloran
Adelaide Klein Adelaide Klein ... Mrs. Batory
Grover Burgess Grover Burgess ... Mr. Batory
Tom Pedi ... Detective Perelli
Enid Markey ... Mrs. Hylton
Mark Hellinger ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Terrifically told by the man who knew New York best. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 March 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Homicide See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,400,000, 31 December 1948
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Mark Hellinger, who narrates the movie, died of a heart attack before the film was released. Following his death, Universal Pictures executives were ready to scrap the movie. They had no idea how to market it, and feared it would be a box-office failure. However, Hellinger's family reminded the studio that his contract for the film included a "guarantee of release" clause from Universal. Having no choice, Universal released the film in theaters, and was surprised when it became a hit and received two Oscars. See more »

Goofs

When the police visit Ed Garzah's (the killer's brother) work site, Ed is shown holding a small hammer (8 or 12 ounce). Considering he is doing rough carpentry, apparently building forms for concrete, he would be using a heavier hammer (16 ounce or more). See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Narrator: There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are spoken by producer/narrator Mark Hellinger. No credits are seen on the screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Americans: Rififi (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
(1887) (uncredited)
Written by Juventino Rosas
Background music for the girls on swings
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mystery Deepens In Dexter Slaying.
8 April 2010 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Tho a fine crime story in essence, and with undoubted superlative location work from Academy Award winning photographer William H. Daniels, The Naked City just doesn't add up to a great movie whole. The story follows a police procedural pattern as Barry Fitzgerald's Lt. Dan Muldoon and his wet behind the ears side-kick Jimmy Halloran (Don Taylor) try to crack the case of a murdered blonde playgirl. With no clues, the pair run down a number of blind alleys chasing weak leads. Can they crack the case? Will young Halloran be able to learn the wily ways of the experienced New York Cop before it's too late?

Perhaps it's the reputation that did it down for this first time viewer? Or maybe the ream of imitations that followed it have put the film so high on a pedestal it's now impossible to achieve expectation levels? Maybe yes to both, but I found it to be very ordinary and bogged down by a too talky core that's executed poorly by a host of mundane acting performances. Fitzgerald hams it for all he is worth, with is comedy moments severely misplaced, while Taylor is out acted by a door. The rest I can't bare to talk about. The one saving grace is Ted de Corsia's villain, a nasty piece of work that gets a nice line in desperation/mania from Corsia.

No doubt about it, Daniels' work, de Corsia and a thrilling last ten minutes, stopped this from hitting the below average mark from this disillusioned observer. 5/10


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