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 poster showing Marilyn Monroe in a purple dress was created much later, after she became a household name. Monroe was basically unknown when the film was made in 1950 and only has a very small role. She certainly wouldn't have been given top billing at the time. In fact, she wasn't named on the original posters at all. See more »
When Mr. Ciavelli was inside of a long narrow tunnel, he chisels through the thin brick wall of the tunnel and goes inside of a room; along that same wall is a door leading upstairs. On the other side of the wall, there was no evidence of a door. 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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