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

45 Years Movie Review

45 Years Movie Review

Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of...

Sinister 2 Movie Review

Sinister 2 Movie Review

As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...

Advertisement
Paper Towns Movie Review

Paper Towns Movie Review

After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...

Vacation Movie Review

Vacation Movie Review

Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds...

Trainwreck Movie Review

Trainwreck Movie Review

Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended...

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into...

Advertisement