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 who offers to finance the whole operation and buy the gems immediately after the burglary. Doc hires the safe cracker 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
The scene under the opening credits is shot from the riverfront of Cincinnati, Ohio, showing the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge (the model for the Brooklyn Bridge), the brick-paved landing, and the Central Trust and Carew Tower buildings on the skyline of downtown Cincinnati. Although the brick landing is gone, the bridge and buildings still stand. See more »
When Dix tells Doc about the alarms going off all over the block, he has entered the vault area where the safe box is. He then returns to the look-out station near the window. There is still an active electric eye, but Dix appears to have ignored it. The film doesn't show Dix crawling under it as the others did. Even if the film showed Dix crawling under it, it would have made no sense since Dix is 6'5" and served no purpose being inside the vault area. He could have said what he had to say from the other side of the electric eye. See more »
"Crime is only a left-handed form of human endeavor"
"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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