All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
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…
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…
There's part of me that, for the rest of my life, wants to watch nothing but movies about criminal masterminds pulling off elaborate capers. What it says about me as a person I cannot say, but the vicarious thrill I get from watching intelligent professionals pulling off "the crime of the century" is frankly unmatched by any other type of film. As such, I have a tremendous amount of admiration for John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle, as it is generally considered the genesis of the modern heist film. But here's the funny thing about this movie - it's probably the most unglamorous look at the inner-workings of a criminal conspiracy that you could possibly imagine. For all the stories of…
Solid heist noir by any standard, but didn't quite live up to its lofty reputation. For one, the heist was... kind of easy, wasn't it? The cast was almost uniformly terrific though, and even early on you do really want to see more of Marilyn. It's well shot and mostly well done, I'm not sure why I didn't love it but it's still very entertaining stuff.
"If I ever see you runnin' over a cat, I'll kick your teeth out."
This doesn't happen to me often so it pains me to say that I was painfully bored while watching this movie. Especially the first half. For being a caper movie, the first planning of the heist was one of the dullest aspects of the film. I don't mean to sound like a new age young guy who shits on older movies and praises the modern movies but a movie like Soderbergh's Ocean's 11, that movie had a lot of fun with planning out the heist and this movie didn't. I realize these are two tonally different movies but still there is a way to make the planning of the heist more exciting than a bunch of old farts sitting around…
Absorbing jewellery heist caper which goes the extra mile with hinterland detail provided for each member of the assembled gang - from the driver to the upper class businessman who memorably describes the escapade as "a left-handed form of endeavour".
The whole thing had an element of Ealing comedy, with added melodrama. I could have lived without the editorializing police commander and soap-operatic, crime-don't-payness of it all but it's a beautifully filmed thing and benefits from a hot early Marilyn Monroe appearance.
Ah, there's nothing quite like a doomed heist, and there's no doomed heist like a Noir heist. The Asphalt Jungle brings together a brilliant gallery of rogues - from Sterling Hayden's blunt 'hooligan' to Louis Calhern's upper-class lawyer, bankrolling the operation - all following the scheme of a German mastermind, fresh out of jail and looking to get straight back in the game.
While some heist films put so much effort into the big robbery that the aftermath can feel like a bit of an afterthought - especially in the Hays Code era when nobody can go unpunished - The Asphalt Jungle saves most of its best scenes for the days following the crime, as police fill the streets and…
Thank God for Marilyn Monroe (oh my stars & garters, that moment where she tries to charm the cop) & (at least in the 2nd half) Sterling Hayden & some of the down-ballot folks (especially James Whitmore), because I found myself once again watching a classic crime film directed by John Huston that was doing absolutely nothing for me. I'm all for putting the emphasis on the words and actors & eschewing any directorial flourishes, but Huston's version of that MO (in the 2 films of his I've seen, anyway) just bores me to distraction. & when it comes to those moments where Huston could do something with the camera -- Hayden shooting the private eye, or the perfunctory heist sequence -- his choices seem…
This film's really slow pace took me by surprise since I was expecting something different, considering that John Huston directed it. Actually, perhaps because of that, I found it somewhat dull in parts during the first half. However, it kept me interested enough and well-prepared for what came up next. What had seemed to me dull was probably its highly complex narrative that required serious hard-thinking, but as minutes passed by, I became enthralled by its psychologically intriguing characters and the plot intricacies.
Sexually suggestive also in a couple of scenes, The Asphalt Jungle benefited from a strong cast. Sam Jaffe, Louis Calhern, and Sterling Hayden in particular impressed me the most and I found fascinating the characters they played. The ending was excellent and also very symbolic. It doesn't rank among my favorite film-noirs but it was definitely remarkable in several ways.
Loved it. This is an amazing noir film. Huston made so many classics back in the day.
A criminal mastermind gets out of prison and plans a caper. Some unsavory individuals get involved with the caper and plan to backstab one another. The caper goes off...not quite "without a hitch" and suddenly the cops are after the criminal mastermind and his crew. Some backstabbings take place, a few people die, and some arrests are made. In the end, we all learn that crime (and the caper) doesn't pay.
The Asphalt Jungle is a really solid caper film.
I just love that the characters repeatedly use the term "caper" instead of "heist" or "job".
I also love that they refer to their guns as "heaters" and hired muscle as "hooligans".
I know most people might clamor for "The African Queen" or "The Treasure of Sierra Madre" but for my money after seeing this excellent caper film will call "The Asphalt Jungle" John Huston's best film.
There's an entire world created here even if its sloppier than most others. It really feels like the actions have wide spread consequences in these gutters and harbors blacker than midnight. Sam Jaffe is phenomenal, giving off a more layers to his character than Bogey ever could. And that actual heist scene is something out of "Rififi" except much slicker.
When I step into what is widely considered a classic "noir" film I have a few expectations, steely eyed yet corruptible men, women of loose morals, ornate yet precise and witty dialogue. What really separated this film from other noir/dramas from the time is how the element of justice is played out. Often the characters just desserts are shoehorned into the story to appease the industry at the time, but here it's very much a part of the fabric of this film. Really about half the movie is dedicated to making sure that those responsible for wrong doings receive their comeuppance which makes for a harrowing ride; we're both rooting for the heroes, but rightfully anticipate and accept their ultimate…
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Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
- Citizen Kane
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