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

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

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.