Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Take a survey for the chance to win an iPad
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Marilyn Monroe
Sterling Hayden
Louis Calhern
Jean Hagen
James Whitmore.
Directors
John Huston.
Screenwriters
Ben Maddow
John Huston.
Running Time
108 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Queen And Country
4 Star Empire Rating
Black Souls
4 Star Empire Rating
Station To Station
4 Star Empire Rating
She’s Funny That Way
2 Star Empire Rating
Accidental Love
1 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Look Of Silence
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating

The Asphalt Jungle
John Huston’s influential and superb heist movie.


submit to reddit


Plot
Erwin `Doc' Riedenschneider leaves jail and assembles a gang to execute a long-planned jewellery heist. However, no one trusts fence-lawyer, Alonzo D. Emmerich, and suspicion and caprice ensure that the meticulous scheme soon begins to unravel.


Review
The Asphalt Jungle

John Huston is widely credited with bringing film noir to American screens with The Maltese Falcon in 1941. In that same year, he adapted W.R. Burnett's pulp novel High Sierra as a vehicle for Humphrey Bogart and he returned to the same author (who had also helped script Little Caesar and Scarface) for this prototype heist movie.
    Co-scripting with Ben Maddow, Huston achieved a tangible sense of postwar anxiety and urban grit by borrowing from both the noir tradition and the voguish brand of ultra-realist problem picture exemplified by the 1949 race drama Intruder in the Dust (which Maddow had adapted to considerable acclaim from William Faulkner's novel).
    Yet while the settings and dialogue were abrasively authentic, Huston couldn't resist empathising with the various losers against whom fate was about to conspire. Dix Handley (Hayden) is portrayed as a big lug who wants to buy back his father's Kentucky horse ranch; cat-loving getaway driver Gus Ninissi is a hunchback; while cracksman Louis Ciavelli (Caruso) has a family to feed. Similarly, the crooks' women - Hayden's girlfriend (Hagen), Calhern's wife (Tree) and mistress (Monroe) and Caruso's spouse (Celli) - are anything but the usual femmes fatale.
    Thus, the law-breakers are presented as anti-heroes rather than villains and their crime is considered more an act of desperation than greed. Yet once Doc's plan begins to fall apart, there proves to be little honour among the thieves and their cameraderies turns out to be as brittle as the morality of the cops set to watch over this hopelessly corrupted society.

     A seminal influence on crime pictures to this day, The Asphalt Jungle has been remade three times (but never well), as a Western (The Badlanders, 1950), a caper (Cairo, 1963) and a blaxploitation thriller (Cool Breeze, 1972).


Verdict
A tight plot that's enriched by wonderfully crafted characters that each have their own key weaknesses.


Reviewed by David Parkinson

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Asphalt Jungle
Empire Star Rating

A great movie- but not five stars!

Let's get this over and done with- the Asphalt Jungle is a good film- but it's not five stars. For one thing, some characters are more defined than others- Hayden's, at first seeming like an one-tone character, evolves into a complex, strong leading man, but characters like Louis Ciavelli deserve more screen time- he’s tragically underused, when in fact, he’s a pretty engaging character (and cool to boot.) Similar to Monroe, who's relationship with Emmerich (Calhern) deserves more screen time... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jamesbondguy at 18:33, 29 May 2007 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Podcast #162: Hugh Laurie
Is there a doctor in the house?

Who Are The New Mutants?
Fox’s X-Men spin-off features a bunch of fresh faces. Here’s what you need to know...

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

Rick Baker: Creature By Creature
The make-up effects titan on his greatest creations

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)