In this beautiful 1950 black & white heist movie, the story goes smooth and suspenseful enough to succeed to capture audience attention until the end. The movie doesn`t ignore any expectation of all three principal acts of a heist movie: the planning, the stealing act, and the aftermath and is pretty satisfactory in each act, especially considering the time it was made. It explores all the main patterns of the genre. The success of the movie is also fed by the presence of a big star like Sterling Hayden, and great performances such as Sam Jaffee's. Add the legendary beauty Marilyn Monroe.
The interesting note is that Monroe has a small part in the movie, and was an unknown actress back then. The poster showing her with purple dress (please see below) was created much later after Monroe gained the fame. She wasn`t even named on the original poster at all (the one you see on the upper-left hand of this page). Monroe regarded the movie as one of her best performances in her entire career.
Another interesting note is it is Jack Warden`s film debut.
The Asphalt Jungle was included among the `1001 Movie You Must See Before You Die`by Steven Schneider.
According to another classic heist movie director, Jean-Pierre Melville, this movie and 'Rififi' (1955 - directed by Jules Dassin, which is also available in this blog) pushed the release date of Melville`s 1956 movie 'Bob le flambeur' and of course influenced Melville.
Sam Jaffe, who I really enjoyed his acting, received a nod from Academy for Best Supporting Actor category (lost to George Sanders in All About Eve), while the movie was also nominated in 3 more categories in Oscars: John Huston for Best Director (lost to Joseph L. Mankiewicz for All About Eve), again John Hustom with Ben Maddow for Best Screenplay (again
lost to Joseph L. Mankiewicz for All About Eve), and Best Black & White Cinematography (lost to The Third Man).
The movie also was nominated in many other awards from Golden Globes to BAFTA, from Directors Guild of America Awards to Writers Guild of America Awards, from Venice Film Festival New York Film Critics Circle Awards, including National Film Preservation Board.
In brief, if you like classics or if you take cinema or heist movies seriously, then it is a must-see movie.
To see the whole blog, click here.
a heist classic
a film classic
a heist with lots of award nominations
an influential heist movie
then this is your movie.
If you liked this movie, I believe you might like also:
(available in the blog)
Rififi / Du Rififi Chez Des Hommes (1955)
Degree: Pure Theft Movie
Important Reminder: Below trailer might contain important spoilers.