The Asphalt Jungle (1950) - News Poster


‘Widows’ Review: Four Women, a Heist and One Hell of a Ride

‘Widows’ Review: Four Women, a Heist and One Hell of a Ride
There are heist movies — and then there are heist movies directed by Steve McQueen, the incomparable artist behind 12 Years a Slave. Is the Oscar-winner slumming? Hardly. In Widows, about four Chicago women out to finish a robbery that their dead husbands barely started, the filmmaker brings everything he has as an artist to this raw, resonant thriller. The screen damn near explodes as his genre caper suddenly encompasses a whole social strata (race, class, politics, gender). You’re in for a hell of a ride.

The powerhouse Viola Davis,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Mark Kermode’s Secrets of Cinema review – how Wallace and Gromit inspired Tom Cruise

The critic’s guide to the anatomy of the heist movie contains many surprises – not least the debt owed to The Wrong Trousers by Mission Impossible

Here’s an interesting graphic. A film – John Huston’s 1950 heist movie The Asphalt Jungle – is portrayed as a transparent cuboid. The side facing us is screen-shaped, because that’s what it is – the screen. On the outside is the opening frame of the film, then you pass through the block as you watch, act by act. It’s not only interesting, but also useful, because it enables Mark Kermode, the Observer and BBC critic, to lead us through the block, highlighting frames within as we go (BBC Four). In doing so, he shows how The Asphalt Jungle describes – establishes, even – the basic structure of a heist movie.

In the first scenes, we meet key characters – Sterling Hayden’s hooligan, James Whitmore’s getaway driver,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Tuesday’s best TV: Mark Kermode’s Secrets of Cinema; Our Girl

  • The Guardian - TV News
The Observer film critic examines the history of the heist movie, while 2 Section get caught up in a shootout

9pm, BBC Four

In this week’s instalment of his guide to cinema, the Observer critic explains how to pull off the perfect heist movie. Beginning with the first definitive example, John Huston’s 1950 thriller The Asphalt Jungle, he discusses the techniques essential to the genre that gave us The Italian Job and Ocean’s Eleven. An authoritative analysis of one of cinema’s most popular forms, but you get the feeling that BBC Four is missing a trick by not showing one of the films mentioned afterwards. Mike Bradley
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

‘Ocean’s 8’ Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

  • Variety
Critics are shooting out reviews for “Ocean’s 8” like dollar bills out of a jackpotted Atm machine, and the all-female spinoff caper seems to have pulled off yet another successful Ocean heist, with the film currently sitting at a comfy 78% on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Ocean’s 8” is the first film in franchise not directed by Steven Soderbergh, and is instead helmed by “The Hunger Games'” Gary Ross. As per usual, it features a star-studded cast including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, and even James Corden makes an appearance.

Variety’s own Owen Gleiberman praised the gender-flipping aspect of the film, pointing out that there’s nothing inherently sneaky about men that wouldn’t have warranted an all-female cast before “Ocean’s 8.” Of Bullock’s performance as the story’s lead character, Debbie Ocean, Gleiberman wrote, “Sandra Bullock strides through this movie with the
See full article at Variety »

'American Animals' Review: Who Likes Doc Hybrids About Dumb Criminals?

'American Animals' Review: Who Likes Doc Hybrids About Dumb Criminals?
You'd call this heist film un-fucking-believable, except that American Animals really is rooted in fact – that is, whenever the British documentarian Bart Layton, in a mightily impressive narrative feature debut, doesn't mess around too much. "This is not based on a true story," reads a title card at the start ... before the words "not based on" slowly vanish from the screen.

It's 2004 in Lexington, Kentucky, when homeboys Spencer Reinhard (Barry Keoghan) and Warren Lipka (Evan Peters), students at local Transylvania University, decide to pull off a robbery. They don't need the money,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Don’t Bother to Knock

“Wash your face, brush your teeth, and say your Prayers.” Marilyn Monroe’s first plunge into a dramatic starring role casts her as a dangerously unstable babysitter in a hotel-set suspense thriller co-starring Richard Widmark and Anne Bancroft. Ms. Monroe may not be Ethel Barrymore (thankfully) but the role suits her well — to play a woman unhinged by low self-esteem and melancholy romantic reveries, she may have tapped personal experience.

Don’t Bother to Knock


Twilight Time

1952 / B&W / 1.37 Academy / 76 min. / Street Date March 20, 2018 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store / 29.95

Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Richard Widmark, Marilyn Monroe, Anne Bancroft, Donna Corcoran, Jeanne Cagney, Lurene Tuttle, Elisha Cook Jr., Jim Backus, Verna Felton, Willis Bouchey.

Cinematography: Lucien Ballard

Film Editor: George A. Gittens

Written by Daniel Taradash from a novel by Charlotte Armstrong

Produced by Julian Blaustein

Directed by Roy (Ward) Baker

Although she rates second billing below Richard Widmark,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

44 days til Oscar nominations. Screenplay stats!

by Nathaniel R

With only 44 days until Oscar nominations and lots of confusion as to what might be nominated for screenplay (there are seemingly 7 locks for Original and only 1 contender for Adapted -- the math doesn't work. Haha!) let's use today's numerical trivia prompt for writing awards. Fact: Oscar's 4 favorite screenwriters have 44 nominations between them for writing. That's a lot of hogging of writing honors. They are...

Oscar's 20 Favorite Screenwriters

(Numbers below are for screenwriting categories only)

01 Woody Allen (16 nominations and 3 wins)

He's also been in the Acting and Directing races. Classics include Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Manhattan and more...

02 Billy Wilder (12 nominations and 3 wins)

He's also been in the Directing and Producing races. Classics include Sunset Blvd, The Apartment, Some Like it Hot, and more...

03 John Huston (8 nominations and 1 win)

He's also been in the Acting, Directing, and Producing races. Classics include The African Queen, The Asphalt Jungle,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Volcano is Fearless Finney Showcase: L.A. Screening with Bisset in Attendance

Volcano is Fearless Finney Showcase: L.A. Screening with Bisset in Attendance
'Under the Volcano' screening: John Huston's 'quality' comeback featuring daring Albert Finney tour de force As part of its John Huston film series, the UCLA Film & Television Archive will be presenting the 1984 drama Under the Volcano, starring Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, and Anthony Andrews, on July 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Billy Wilder Theater in the Los Angeles suburb of Westwood. Jacqueline Bisset is expected to be in attendance. Huston was 77, and suffering from emphysema for several years, when he returned to Mexico – the setting of both The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The Night of the Iguana – to direct 28-year-old newcomer Guy Gallo's adaptation of English poet and novelist Malcolm Lowry's 1947 semi-autobiographical novel Under the Volcano, which until then had reportedly defied the screenwriting abilities of numerous professionals. Appropriately set on the Day of the Dead – 1938 – in the fictitious Mexican town of Quauhnahuac (the fact that it sounds like Cuernavaca
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

‘Two Men in Manhattan’ and the Contradictions of Jean-Pierre Melville’s Noir Fantasia

“Isn’t it like France here?”

By the late 1940’s, the cityscape of New York seemed to be solidified as a well-trodden noir trope in and of itself, if solely due to the fact that being the supposed ultimate symbol of the post-war Free World made it ripe for subversion; criminal networks and the misdeeds of average citizens crawling under the surface of the booming metropolis. The city’s cinematic presence came even greater by this period’s emergent trend of noir films shooting on-location as opposed to embracing the artifice of a Los Angeles soundstage simulacra of the Big Apple; realism imparted on Hollywood as if a way of making the escapist medium of the movies taken more seriously as an art form.

Yet even the burden of verisimilitude could be flipped on its head by an outsider looking in, as by the end of the 1950s, the metropolis
See full article at The Film Stage »

10 Marilyn Monroe Film Clips That Prove She Had Acting Chops (Videos)

  • The Wrap
10 Marilyn Monroe Film Clips That Prove She Had Acting Chops (Videos)
Whether it be conveying humor, heartbreak, heavy drama or a lofty song, Marilyn Monroe’s talent went far beyond her beauty. The Asphalt Jungle In her first important role, Monroe plays a young mistress who supplies her sugar daddy a fake alibi in this John Huston-directed film noir. TV director Michael Lehmann later went on to say, “Mm playing a bimbo so much better than anybody can these days.” All About Eve Monroe was a relative un-known when her agent went to get her the role in this classic Bette Davis film. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote of Monroe’s performance,
See full article at The Wrap »

The Most Visible Star: Marilyn Monroe’s Acting Talent

The actress is mostly remembered for her good looks, but what about her impressive performances?

In Richard Dyer’s book Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society, he writes that Marilyn Monroe was “the most visible star”: an actress whose life was put on display, and remains so over 50 years after her death. She is one of the most iconic Hollywood stars of all time, her face instantly recognizable to even those who have never seen any of her movies. She is a symbol of beauty, glamor, cinema, femininity, blondness, sexuality, and tragedy. While the world speculates about her personal life — who was she romantically involved with? How did she die? What was she really like? — her career as an actress is overshadowed by her fame.

While she may not have been the greatest actress of all time, she certainly had her fair share of talent and intelligence, and always worked incredibly hard to bring her
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Blu-ray Review: The Asphalt Jungle Is Near Perfect

John Huston was one of the greatest mid-century (or ever) American directors. He directed The Maltese FalconThe African QueenKey LargoPrizzi's HonorThe Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Annie, and The Misfits, among others. Huston had previously been an opera singer, and enjoyed a healthy acting career as well when he choose to venture to the other side of the camera, with stints in ChinatownBattle for the Planet of the ApesWise Blood, and voice overs and narration for animated films such as The Black Cauldron and The Return of the King. And of course, he fathered actors Anjelica and Danny Huston. Today, we're going to delve into the Criterion Collection's recent blu-ray release of one of Huston's finest noirs, The Asphalt Jungle. Starring the manly Sterling Hayden, Jean Hagen (so good here), Louis...

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See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Criterion Now – Episode 1

We kick off a new podcast by looking at the New Year’s Drawing, FilmStruck, Dardennes, De Sica, and introduce what is to come on the series.

Episode Links & Notes

4:40 – Overview of Show

7:45 – Wacky New Year’s Drawing Discussion

24:20 – Short Takes (The Asphalt Jungle, Blood Simple, Roma, Persona, The Squid and the Whale

52:00 – FilmStruck

2017 Criterion Wacky Drawing FilmStruck Criterion Cast – Ghost World Criterion Close-Up – Blood Simple Panique – Rialto Trailer Criterion Cast 179 – 2017 Wish List Magic Lantern – Ants in Your Pants, Best of 2016 Aaron’s Ranking of 2016 Criterion Films Criterion Cast – Janus Films Announces The Lure The Lure – Trailer Episode Credits Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Cole and Ericca: Podcast | Twitter Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Matt Gasteier: Criterion Considered | Letterboxd Criterion Now: Twitter Criterion Cast: Facebook | Twitter

Music for the show is from Fatboy Roberts’ Geek Remixed project.
See full article at CriterionCast »

Criterion Christmas Sale on Amazon

Christmas has come a little early to anyone hoping to score some Criterion Collection deals on Amazon today. While Amazon has been running a pretty good sale on a handful of discs throughout December, they’ve lowered the prices on lots of Blu-rays today, including a few pre-orders for next year.

Amazon doesn’t usually announce when an impromptu sale like this will end, so don’t hesitate. And don’t forget that you can lock in the pre-order price for some of the upcoming titles as well, but Amazon won’t charge you until they ship.

You can currently pre-order The Before Trilogy for $52.47 (48% off)

The following Blu-rays are currently (as of December 23rd at 10:30pm Pacific) down below $21 each.

The Asphalt Jungle Boyhood The Complete Lady Snowblood The Devil’s Backbone Diabolique Easy Rider The Executioner F for Fake The Game Harakiri Harold and Maude Hidden Fortress
See full article at CriterionCast »

The Asphalt Jungle

John Huston’s primal heist film is an almost perfect movie, with a score of unforgettable characterizations. A solid crime noir, it concerns itself with the human ironies in the ‘left handed form of human endeavor.’

The Asphalt Jungle


The Criterion Collection 847

1950 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 112 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date December 13, 2016 /

Starring Sterling Hayden, Sam Jaffe, Louis Calhern, James Whitmore, Jean Hagen, John McIntire, Marc Lawrence, Barry Kelley, Anthony Caruso, Marilyn Monroe, Brad Dexter.

Cinematography Harold Rosson

Art Direction Randall Duell, Cedric Gibbons

Film Editor George Boemler

Original Music Miklos Rosza

Written by Ben Maddow and John Huston from the novel by W.R. Burnett

Produced by Arthur Hornblow, Jr.

Directed by John Huston

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Talk about a film that becomes only more enjoyable with each viewing… John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle is the Singin’ in the Rain of noir masterpieces.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »


Elia Kazan's third picture is a hard-hitting noir, a true story that honors the efforts of a noble States' Attorney when confronted with a murder case that was a little too open-and-shut. But a close read of the movie uncovers a miasma of social criticism, hiding behind the self-congratulating official narration. A great show. Boomerang! Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1947 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 88 min. / Street Date November 15, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Dana Andrews, Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb, Sam Levene, Arthur Kennedy, Cara Williams, Ed Begley, Taylor Holmes, Robert Keith. Cinematography Norbert Brodine Art Direction Richard Day, Chester Gore Film Editor Harmon Jones Original Music David Buttolph Written by Richard Murphy from an article in The Reader's Digest by Anthony Abbot (Fulton Oursier) Produced by Louis De Rochemont, Darryl F. Zanuck Directed by Elia Kazan

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

In just his second movie, director
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Newsstand – Episode 64 – The December 2016 Line-up, The Before Trilogy, and More!

This time on the Newsstand, Ryan is joined by Aaron West and Keith Enright to discuss the December 2016 line-up announcement from the Criterion Collection, the forthcoming theatrical tour of Cameraperson from Janus Films, and a few other news items.

Subscribe to The Newsstand in iTunes or via RSS

Contact us with any feedback.

The December Line-up Heart of a Dog The Exterminating Angel Roma The Asphalt Jungle Peter Becker Essay News items Newsletter clue – Before Trilogy Tree of Wooden Clogs, 2/14/17 release date. David Lynch: The Art Life coming to Criterion. Bill Hader was at Criterion. Charles Burnett Ozu’s A Straightforward Boy (1929) found. Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson trailer, playing theatrically.

One-Eyed Jacks cover change:

Episode Credits Ryan Gallagher (Twitter / Website) Aaron West (Twitter / Website) Keith Enright (Twitter / Website)

Music for the show is from Fatboy Roberts’ Geek Remixed project.Donate via PayPal
See full article at CriterionCast »

Criterion in December 2016: The Exterminating Angel, The Asphalt Jungle, Roma and Heart Of A Dog

What do cinephiles dream about during the holiday season? According to the Criteiron Collection, it's all about classic films, such as John Huston's galvanic The Asphalt Jungle and Luis Buñuel's eye-raising comedy The Exterminating Angel. And contemporary titles, like Heart of a Dog, the first feature by Laurie Anderson in some 30 years. Plus, Fellini's Roma! Read on for all the details, provided by the fine folks at Criterion. The Exterminating Angel A group of high-society friends are invited to a mansion for dinner and inexplicably find themselves unable to leave in The Exterminating Angel (El ángel exterminador), a daring masterpiece from Luis Buñuel (Belle de jour, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie). Made just one year after his international sensationViridiana, this film, full of...

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See full article at Screen Anarchy »

The Criterion Collection Announces December Titles: ‘Heart of a Dog,’ ‘The Exterminating Angel’ and More

  • Indiewire
The Criterion Collection Announces December Titles: ‘Heart of a Dog,’ ‘The Exterminating Angel’ and More
The Criterion Collection has announced its offerings for the last month of the year, with one contemporary title (“Heart of a Dog”) mixed in with the classic (“Roma,” “The Asphalt Jungle,” “The Exterminating Angel”) fare. Check out the covers for the new additions below, as well as synopses for each carefully chosen film.

Read More: Kieslowski, ‘Cat People,’ and the Coen Brothers Lead The Criterion Collection’s September Line-Up

The Exterminating Angel

A group of high-society friends are invited to a mansion for dinner and inexplicably find themselves unable to leave in “The Exterminating Angel” (“El ángel exterminador”), a daring masterpiece from Luis Buñuel (“Belle de jour,” “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie”). Made just one year after his international sensation “Viridiana,” this film, full of eerie, comic absurdity, furthers Buñuel’s wicked takedown of the rituals and dependencies of the frivolous upper classes.

Heart of a Dog

Heart of a Dog
See full article at Indiewire »

99 River Street

Do you like your noir heroes bitter and bruised, and your noir dames daring and resourceful? Phil Karlson's gem of a thriller pits two-fisted John Payne against murderous hood Brad Dexter, with Peggie Castle the unfaithful, unlucky wife who decides to run off with the wrong guy. And star Evelyn Keys is a pulp noir adventuress to admire, with a roving eye of her own. 99 River Street Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1953 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 83 min. / Street Date June 21, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring John Payne, Evelyn Keyes, Brad Dexter, Frank Faylen, Peggie Castle, Jay Adler, Jack Lambert, Glenn Langan. Cinematography Franz Planer Film Editor Buddy Small Original Music Arthur Lange, Emil Newman Written by Robert Smith, George Zuckerman Produced by Edward Small Directed by Phil Karlson

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

99 River Street is a top noir title in all respects -- a great cast, a literally hard-hitting
See full article at Trailers from Hell »
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