Watched Sep 06, 2011
Travis McClain’s review:
As a story, it's much more a "police procedural" than "crime noir," and from a production perspective it's more a guerrilla film than studio piece. New York City homicide detectives work the case of a young woman found murdered, and each step of legwork in their investigation is shown leading them across the city. Shot entirely on location, we get a strong feeling of what late 40s New York was really like and it's this atmosphere that makes The Naked City interesting to behold 63 years later.
It's easy to see The Naked City as a precursor to Law & Order. Dragnet also comes to mind, of course, largely due to the omniscient narrator (film producer Mark Hellinger). Though, it's worth noting, the narration I found detracted from the film--chiefly the instances where the narrator addressed characters on screen. For instance, he says as we see beat cops take their orders, "Go get 'im, boys; there's only half a million big guys in the city!" It's rather silly, and this MST3K-style running commentary sanitizes the film.