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The Asphalt Jungle
#235. The Asphalt Jungle
  • Year: 1950
  • Country: USA
  • Production: MGM, 112m B&W
  • Director: John Huston
  • Producer: Arthur Hornblow Jr.
  • Screenplay: Ben Maddow, John Huston, from novel by W.R. Burnett
  • Photography: Arthur Edeson, Karl Freund
  • Music: Miklós Rózsa
  • Cast: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore, Sam Jaffe, Marilyn Monroe
  • Oscar Noms: Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography

Abridged Book DescriptionEdit

Perhaps the most finely detailed "caper" film Hollywood ever produced, John Huston's study of a jewelry store robbery shows the business relationships between career criminals of different kinds - from a mastermind plotter to the "box man" who breaks into the safe, to the "muscle" needed to handle the guards... The Asphalt Jungle concentrates not only on the robbery but also on the personal lives of the gang members, who are individualized with notable touches of dialogue and visual style. Huston expertly handles a fine ensemble of actors, including Marilyn Monroe - who plays an old man's dizzy-headed mistress in one of her most important early roles. As in most Huston films, the thematic emphasis is on the joys and sorrows of male bonding, with the criminals' inevitable defeat by the law - and their own weaknesses - rendered almost heroic.

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