pink and purple love⋆.∗̥✩⁺will continue to add
The Asphalt Jungle
The City Under the City
Recently paroled from prison, legendary burglar "Doc" Riedenschneider, with funding from Alonzo Emmerich, a crooked lawyer, gathers a small group of veteran criminals together in the Midwest for a big jewel heist.
One way or another, we all work for our vice.
My second John Huston adaptation of a W.R. Burnett novel this week, the first one being High Sierra. Huston co-wrote this one with Ben Maddow, but also directed this time around. It is one of the most influential heist films ever made for the simple fact that Huston and Maddow realized, even at this early stage, that what would make the film great wasn't the heist itself, but the characters involved.
The film is filled with clearly defined characterization with, even more impressively, very specific dialogue styles written for everyone in the film. Combine that with great performances by the entire ensemble cast and you end up with…
I have to admit that I was a bit predisposed to like this movie, I might say even giddy. It stars Sterling Hayden, and he plays two of my favourite characters in two of my favourite films; The Killing, and Dr. Strangelove. While it could be argued, successfully, that he plays the same character every time, I don’t really care. I just love his no nonsense tough guy delivery. Probably even more than James Cagney or Humphrey Bogart.
The first thing that struck me was the absence of score. Beyond the opening, there is none. The second thing that struck me was the sumptuous cinematography. This is a master plying his trade. This is the best looking and photographed Noir…
John Huston's heist noir is grittier than his Maltese Falcon, with Louis Calhern as the respectable criminal who is messing around with a slinky Marilyn Monroe and living on the brink of bankruptcy.
There's a jewellery robbery, a crooked private detective, a cripple, a couple of seedy convicts, and a double cross. It's all standard fare for the genre bit it's so dirty you need to wash your hands when you've seen it.
Small pleasures - Sterling Hayden's thug playing the heavy with his team, playing it soft with his girl Jean Hagen; James Whitmore setting up meetings; Sam Jaffe as the dapper mastermind; Monroe's stretching; Calhern's fop playing cards when his butler calls.
In the jungle no one is…
I like how Marilyn Monroe has retroactively been billed as the star of the film despite having maybe two minutes of screen time.
In some ways, he's the most dangerous of them all. A hardened killer. A hooligan. A man without human feeling or human mercy.
The more I watch this, the more I realize how much of an underrated character Dix Handley is with a great performance by Sterling Hayden. Simple in nature, but he has some layers to him.
I don't know why I expected Asphalt Jungle to be one of the best film noirs ever made. Perhaps it was because I was so familiar with the title that I made that assumption. There is little doubt that my very high expectations contributed to my disappointment.
The film isn't bad by any stretch; it just isn't the masterpiece I thought it would be.
It takes a while for the film to get going, and there is very little drama in the first few segments to be fully engrossing. The word "flat" describes it best but I'm not sure I could explain it if asked.
There is a very long introduction to all of the characters made interesting simply because…
la mayor decepción que he tenido en la vida.
"after all, crime is only a form of left-handed endeavor."
not much of a great jewel heist but a police chase and an alluring Marilyn Monroe.
This is my 300th Letterboxd review!
This is a very good example of an ensemble cast. When it first started, I was a little confused as I expected Sterling Hayden (I'd never seen him this young) to carry the film. It took me a while to get a sense of all the characters and how each one had their own agenda. Sam Jaffe, Louis Calhern, and James Whitmore are all just as interesting as Hayden and even outshine him at times. It might help to see the movie a second time as you really are tossed-in head-first and given little backstory (maybe this is a sign that movies today have too much backstory written into them). By the time heist…
"Money always makes me sweat."
I'm pretty sure this movie blew little Mikey Mann's mind into pieces all over Chicago.
A young Marilyn Monroe isn't even the best thing about this movie. A movie 66 years old, that holds no punches and has criminals as bad as any modern movie. A great noir film.
Entered Flickchart at 211
To be reviewed on Episode #46 of The Immortals...
John Huston’s finest film. Like most of his most notable work, a literary adaptation. But while The Red Badge of Courage, Moby Dick and Reflections in a Golden Eye lacked any means to create a symbolic richness equivalent to that found in the original works, The Asphalt Jungle enriches the original work. The film keeps largely to W.R. Burnett’s plot line, but the characters are fleshed out by their enactments, the scenes gain greater force. I’ve never been a great fan of heist sequences and the central heist is my least favourite part of The Asphalt Jungle, but the build up is excellent: a plan is put together, a series of characters are brought into a series of relationships based…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…