A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
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 that offers to finance the whole operation and buy the gems immediately after the burglary. Doc hires the safecracker 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
When the film was being prepared for a British bow, the producers hesitated because it was so full of American slang. At the time, films heavy with slang were usually re-dubbed for English audiences. Gerard Fairlie, the British author of the "Bulldog Drummond" adventure stories, was called upon as a consultant, and he advised against re-dubbing, even though some words would go right over the heads of British viewers. The film was not re-dubbed and earned good box-office returns in England. 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 »
Brilliant crime thriller that had a profound influence on the caper genre.
I'm a sucker for a good heist film, and three of the best I've ever seen were made around 1955/56 - 'Rififi', 'Bob le flambeur' and 'The Killing'. Now they are still three of the greatest crime thrillers ever made, but now that I've finally seen 'The Asphalt Jungle' it's obvious what source those movies were drawing on! Not that I'm saying they're rip offs, they're not, but they are kind of three (excellent) variations on Huston's theme. 'The Asphalt Jungle' must therefore be seen as the most influential crime movie of the modern era, and the blueprint for every subsequent caper movie ('The Anderson Tapes', 'Thief', 'Reservoir Dogs', 'The Usual Suspects', 'The Score',etc.etc.) This superb film noir is almost impossible to fault. The script is first rate, John Huston's direction is inspired, Sterling Hayden - possibly America's most underrated actor - is fantastic as troubled ex-con Dix Handley, and the ensemble cast are all excellent, especially James Whitmore ('Them!'), Louis Calhern ('Notorious'), Sam Jaffe ('The Day The Earth Stood Still') and John McIntire ('Psycho'). The early role for Marilyn Monroe made a strong impact on a lot of people, but I was even more impressed by Jean Hagen as Doll. She is unforgettable and her scenes with Hayden are wonderful. Why did she never become a major star? This is a crime classic and brilliant entertainment. Highly recommended!
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