The Asphalt Jungle

"Extraordinary"

The Asphalt Jungle Review


Sterling Hayden gets the shaft again in The Asphalt Jungle. This guy goes on caper after caper but he just never ends up with the loot. It always slips right through his hands. Every time.

Jungle is one of Hayden's finest hours, earnest and searing as he finds himself wrapped up in the perfect crime -- a jewel heist which is (unfortunately) a rather simple safecracking affair. This time out, Hayden's desperate gambling addict looks about ready to do anything in order to get back to the pastoral farm where he grew up -- and we believe it.

But the fun of Jungle comes after the thieving, when the cops are after the half dozen collaborators, and each one of them starts to show cracks in his armor. The beard can't take the heat and kills himself. One of the burglars turns state's evidence. As for Hayden, he gets shot in the belly during a negotiation and finds himself slowly bleeding to death. It's one of cinema's most tragic and operatic deaths, playing out over a full and agonizing hour.

John Huston directs a film that starts slow, building itself toward the heist where nothing can go wrong, which subsequently goes completely wrong. Filled with depression and self-loathing, the film cuts itself as a kind of flip-side of The Killing, a perfect Hayden double feature if ever there was one.

Director John Huston has made one of the quietest films I've ever seen, with long, dramatic silences punctuating the action and a searing score that fits perfectly. Huston is at his best here, and the film is highly recommended.

At last on DVD, the disc features a respectable set of extras. Huston's "introduction," cobbled together from old interviews, is extremely garbled and hard to understand. There's also a commentary track from writer Drew Casper and co-star James Whitmore. It's a real must-own.



The Asphalt Jungle

Facts and Figures

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 23rd May 1950

Distributed by: WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

Production compaines: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Loew's

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Arthur Hornblow Jr.

Starring: as Dix Handley, as Alonzo D. Emmerich, as Doll Conovan, as Gus Minissi, as Doc Erwin Riedenschneider, as Police Commissioner Hardy, as Angela Phinlay, as Cobby, Barry Kelley as Lt. Ditrich, Anthony Caruso as Louis Ciavelli, Teresa Celli as Maria Ciavelli, William 'Wee Willie' Davis as Timmons (as William Davis), Dorothy Tree as May Emmerich, as Bob Brannom, John Maxwell as Dr. Swanson

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.