The Asphalt Jungle

The Asphalt Jungle

Blu-ray Disc - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
15
2
In a smog-choked city somewhere in the American Midwest, an aging criminal mastermind, newly released from prison, hatches a plan for a million-dollar jewel heist and draws a wealthy lawyer and a cherry-picked trio of outlaws into his carefully devised but inevitably doomed scheme"--Container.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

b
budjp
May 14, 2018

Asphalt Jungle –– US John Huston 1950   1hr 52 min May 16, 2018

In 1948, John Huston made The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, a harrowing tale about three men digging for gold in the mountains of Mexico. It was a smash hit. Asphalt Jungle, followed and was also a smash hit. Like its predecessor, it involved a small group of men trying to strike it rich, but this time through a meticulously planned jewel heist that became a model for such robberies in the many noir films that followed. Unlike the sun blasted world of its predecessor, Asphalt Jungle is the epitome of noir, its principal action taking place at night in a dark world splintered by shards of dramatic light.

The cast of this thriller is superb: Dix Handley (Sterling Hayden), a tough, small time thief addicted to the horses is at the center; Doll Conovan (Jean Hagen), who works in a “dime a dance” hall is crazy about Dix; and Gus (James Whitmore), who runs a diner and is Dix’s buddy. Heading up the small group is Doc Riedenschneider (Sam Jaffe), just leased from prison, is the mastermind behind the meticulous heist but has to get money to back it from Alonzo Emmerich (Louis Calhern), a rich man’s lawyer who is a crook at heart. His naïve “niece” is played by Marilyn Monroe in her first notable role. All goes well in this intricate plan until bad luck strikes its ace safe-cracker (Anthony Caruso) and a double-cross sends the scheme almost completely off the rails.

Black and white was the perfect way to tell this tale, but something else in Huston’s background was just as important. During World War II, as part of the Signal Corps, he made films for the U.S. Army. The most groundbreaking of the three, Let There Be Light, dealt with post-traumatic stress disease, and consisted primarily of emotionally intense interviews with disturbed soldiers that were shot in extreme close-up. Some feel, this intense experience influenced his subsequent films, where interpersonal conflicts play a key role, and are often shot shown in extreme close-ups. Such close-ups play a significant and unique role in Asphalt, the character closest to the camera sometimes playing what seems to be no part in the action, but through his or her presence giving a quiet but important meaning to the action in the background. Or a character will suddenly move into an extreme close-up to emphasize an important emotional or narrative moment. Huston’s approach helps make this noir thriller a classic, right from the opening scene–– Dix walking through a desolate urban landscape and dodging a police patrol car on the lookout for him.

The police chief (John McIntire) gives what seems to be a completely out of place speech on law and order near the film's end, until you realize that this is the early 1950s, the witchhunting heyday of Joe McCarthy.

v
vfryzek
Feb 26, 2018

If you like Noir films you can't miss this.
The only issue I had was why wait by the door for the security guard.
You have loot go for the escape tunnel.
I guess thats why these guys can't hold down a good job.

m
MovieLover_47
Jul 04, 2017

Definitely one of the best noir films ever made. Easily a match for Huston's other noir classic The Maltese Falcon. Sam Jaffee and Sterling Hayden are incomparable in this heist job classic.
Marilyn Monroe does a good job in a very early role. Most of the cast are spot on in their roles. Excellent script, very good pacing and no unnecessary scenes. The ending is memorable and suitable.
It is worth while to read Sterling Hayden's biography on IMDb. His life reads like a novel. During WWII he was an OSS agent operating behind enemy lines in Yuhoslavia.

c
Calvacade
Mar 22, 2017

John Huston's "The Asphalt Jungle"(1950) is not only one of the best film noirs ever made but is without a doubt one of the greatest heist films of all time. It certainly paved the way for all the heist films that came after it and even more recent ones (i.e. "Ocean's Eleven", "Heat", etc.) but even after 65 years, it doesn't get any better than "The Asphalt Jungle".

n
Nursebob
Mar 21, 2017

John Huston’s quintessential noir classic features knockout performances from a cast of Hollywood heavies and enough moody atmosphere for a dozen lesser movies. Shooting in expressive B&W that transforms his unnamed city into a concrete wasteland of littered streets and grimy back rooms, Huston populates his film with crooked cops, backstabbing gangsters, and the prerequisite beautiful women; from Marilyn’s brain-addled temptress to Jean Hagen’s naïve showgirl whose unrequited love for one of Doc’s posse brings her nothing but heartache. An intelligent script crackles with enough angst and menace that Huston wisely refrained from garnishing it with an unnecessary soundtrack…in fact the entire film only contains six minutes of background music heard during the opening credits and returning for the ironically pastoral closing scene. “Crime is nothing but a left-handed form of human endeavour…” says a morally bankrupt lawyer at one point and despite a tidy little “law and order” service announcement delivered by the city’s upstanding chief of police Huston’s pessimistic foray into mankind’s darker side would seem to bear that out.

a
akirakato
Sep 08, 2016

This is a 1950 film noir directed by John Huston, based on the 1949 novel of the same name by W. R. Burnett.
In a minor but key role, Marilyn Monroe plays a mistress for an aged lawyer.
At the time Monroe was an unknown actress who was pictured but not mentioned on the posters.
Sterling Hayden plays as a brazen hard-boiled hoodlum who just wants to go back home.
Sam Jaffe does wonders as a cool-headed mastermind, James Whitmore appears taut as a small 'fixer' and John McIntire seems crisp as a chief of police.
In 2008, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

n
Nursebob
Dec 05, 2014

Newly released from prison, notorious master thief Erwin “Doc” Riedenschneider is already planning the biggest heist of his career—no less than a million dollars in gems locked away in the vault of a swank jewellery store. To this end he gathers a small cadre of local crooks bankrolled by a prominent lawyer with a taste for the good life, including a very expensive bleached blonde mistress (an unknown Marilyn Monroe). However, despite Doc’s meticulous planning things begin to fall apart almost from the beginning thanks to a few technical mishaps and the inherent greed of his cohorts. But when the double-crosses begin in earnest everyone’s future begins to look increasingly grim… John Huston’s quintessential noir classic features knockout performances from a cast of Hollywood heavies and enough moody atmosphere for a dozen lesser movies. Shooting in expressive B&W that transforms his unnamed city into a concrete wasteland of littered streets and grimy back rooms, Huston populates his film with crooked cops, backstabbing gangsters, and the prerequisite beautiful women; from Marilyn’s brain-addled temptress to Jean Hagen’s naïve showgirl whose unrequited love for one of Doc’s posse brings her nothing but heartache. An intelligent script crackles with enough angst and menace that Huston wisely refrained from garnishing it with an unnecessary soundtrack…in fact the entire film only contains six minutes of background music heard during the opening credits and returning for the ironically pastoral closing scene. “Crime is nothing but a left-handed form of human endeavour…” says the morally bankrupt lawyer at one point and, despite a tidy little “law and order” service announcement delivered by the city’s upstanding chief of police, Huston’s pessimistic foray into mankind’s darker side would seem to bear that out.

s
Solitary
Oct 10, 2014

It's been many years since I've seen this film.

Library_Dragon Apr 14, 2014

This film is considered to be one of the best noir films ever made, and it shows. One of my favorites.

mapmusic17 Apr 14, 2014

gets better with each viewing. Great acting, direction, photography and production.

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote

m
Monolith
Nov 06, 2012

Cobby: "Hello Dix. Whatta you want?" Dix: "I wanna make a bet." Cobby: "Well?" Dix: "Your man says you got to okay it." Cobby: "Whattya in for?" Dix: "Twenty three hundred and some." Cobby: "Okay, your tab's good for twenty five hundred. But that's the limit -- either pick a winner or... pay me when you get that far." Dix: "DON'T BONE ME!" Cobby: "Now, look, I'm not bonin'-" Dix: "Did I ever welch?" Cobby: "Nobody said you did-" Dix: "You just boned me!" Cobby: "Look, Dix, I-" Dix: "I'm not askin' you any favors, I'll go get you your twenty three hundred -- right now." (walks out)

m
Monolith
Nov 06, 2012

Gus (feeding a cat on the counter of his diner): "Smart cat. Never does a lick of work, stays out all night, sleeps all day." Truck driver: "What's a big, dirty cat doin' in an eatin' joint? I run over one every time I get a chance. People feedin' cats and some kids haven't got enough to eat." Gus: "You gonna buy that magazine?" Truck driver: "Why should I? I seen all the dames in it already. Wanna make somethin' of it?" Gus: "You're a little off your beat, ain'tcha buster?" Truck driver: "How d'ya mean, Humpty Dumpty?" Gus: "I mean you don't belong around here... are ya just passin' through..." (grabs him and throws him out) "Only not fast enough! ...If I ever see you runnin' over a cat I'll kick your teeth out." Truck driver: "I'd take you apart if you were about a foot taller 'n straightened up a little..." (Gus jumps, the trucker screws)

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at DCPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top