THE NAKED CITY

(1948)
With Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart, Don Taylor, Ted de Corsia
Directed by Jules Dassin
Black and White
Reviewed by JB

    A film that was originally ahead of its time but now feels a trifle dated, Jules Dassin's THE NAKED CITY nevertheless remains important.  Considered by many to be a film noir, THE NAKED CITY was intended to be a more realistic portrayal than usual of murder most foul, with a strong emphasis on the day to day drudgery of police work, filmed entirely on location in New York City.  In that, it is not only a forerunner to later classics like THE FRENCH CONNECTION but also modern television series such as Law and Order and its many spinoffs.  

     The narration, intended to give the film a quasi-documentary feel, now merely only calls attention to itself, as do the supposedly realistic snippets of street talk from local "New Yawkers".  But the film's core mystery - the murder of a young Manhattan model - is gripping, and the film features outstanding performances by Barry Fitzgerald as the chief police detective, Don Taylor as his young, energetic underling and Howard Duff as the shifty-eyed main suspect. And if you are a New Yorker, you can play "spot the landmark" to your hearts content. 4 - JB

Film Noir     The Stuff You Gotta Watch


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"There are eight million stories in the naked city.  And this has been one of them."

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