7.9/10
23,745
155 user 93 critic

The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 June 1950 (USA)
Trailer
2:36 | Trailer
A major heist goes off as planned, but then double crosses, bad luck and solid police work cause everything to unravel.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Ben Maddow (screen play), John Huston (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sterling Hayden ... Dix Handley
Louis Calhern ... Alonzo D. Emmerich
Jean Hagen ... Doll Conovan
James Whitmore ... Gus Minissi
Sam Jaffe ... Doc Erwin Riedenschneider
John McIntire ... Police Commissioner Hardy
Marc Lawrence ... Cobby
Barry Kelley ... Lt. Ditrich
Anthony Caruso ... Louis Ciavelli
Teresa Celli ... Maria Ciavelli
Marilyn Monroe ... Angela Phinlay
William 'Wee Willie' Davis ... Timmons (as William Davis)
Dorothy Tree ... May Emmerich
Brad Dexter ... Bob Brannom
John Maxwell ... Dr. Swanson
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The City Under The City!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A tribute to Sam Jaffe's character, Doc Riedenschneider, appears in Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's film noir The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), which features a defense lawyer named Freddy Riedenschneider, played by Tony Shalhoub. See more »

Goofs

When Doll is leaving Dix's apartment and they're talking on the stairway landing, there is a chain visible on the left holding up the false ceiling over the stairs. See more »

Quotes

Doc Riedenschneider: Take my word for it, Mr. Emmerich. This is a ripe plum ready to fall.
Alonzo D. Emmerich: My friend, according to the boys, all takes are easy; but as a lawyer, I make lots of money getting them out of jail.
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Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006) See more »

User Reviews

 
"Crime is only a left-handed form of human endeavor"
24 August 2003 | by axsmashcrushallthreeSee all my reviews

"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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

1 June 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Asphalt Jungle (The City Under the City) See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,232,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,868
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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