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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gritty police procedural starring New York City
"There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them." That's the end of the movie, and it's a famous line. The start of the movie shows people going about their lives in New York City. Waking up, catching the subways, working, going home. And, for one young woman late at night shown in her dark apartment through window blinds, being...
Published on 13 Aug 2007 by C. O. DeRiemer

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars new york document
The enduring interest of this film for many viewers is likely to be its portrait of New York city soon after WW2. The excellent extras on the Criterion edition suggest that a good deal of this location material was lost in the final edit, but what remains is still fascinating. The film is perhaps best remembered for its final lines of narration: "There are six million...
Published on 16 Mar 2010 by WSH


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gritty police procedural starring New York City, 13 Aug 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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"There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them." That's the end of the movie, and it's a famous line. The start of the movie shows people going about their lives in New York City. Waking up, catching the subways, working, going home. And, for one young woman late at night shown in her dark apartment through window blinds, being murdered.

This is a gritty police procedural with New York City as the star. It's right after the end of WWII, it's summer and it's hot. Trucks still deliver blocks of ice, and a cold draft root beer costs five cents. Jean Dexter was a good time girl who wanted to be rich. She could be very friendly with men who had money. She's found in her overflowing bath tub, but she also had been chloroformed. Detective Lt. Dan Muldoon (Barry Fitzgerald) is assigned to the case. To help him he gets Jimmy Halloran (Don Taylor), a young cop new to the homicide squad. Their painstaking, methodical search for evidence leads them all over the city. A picture of a clever jewel robbery ring aimed at society figures takes shape, and eventually leads to a brutal member of the gang who decided he wanted a bigger cut. The last ten minutes of the film is a classic chase scene through the streets of Brooklyn and up onto the Williamsburg Bridge.

What makes this movie so special is that it was entirely shot on location, on the streets, in the tenement backyards, in real offices and apartments, in the New York morgue and on top of the Williamsburg Bridge towers. You can see people in the background turn and look startled as the actors chase past them, or bump into an actor in a crowd scene and hurry on. Mark Hellinger was a famous New York columnist who turned movie producer. This was his last film before he died. Among other movies, he produced Brute Force and The Killers. He provides the ironic voice over. The movie is a little dated in the dialogue and with some of the characters, but on balance it's well worth watching. Jules Dassin keeps things moving. Fitzgerald underplays. Ted de Corsia doesn't have a lot of screen time, but he makes a vivid, brutal, sweating killer.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Naked City, 2009 Arrow release - Superior and fascinating noir, 14 Jan 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Naked City [DVD] [1948] (DVD)
This really is a fascinating film, on many levels. It is a fictional murder mystery, but filmed in an almost documentary style showing the workings of a police investigation in detail and the City of New York as it had never been seen on celluloid before.

The intended aim of the film is to make the city the star, and it works. Filmed in as many real locations as possible (the actual city morgue was a particularly good touch) with the minimum of staged sets there is a feeling of reality. The action moves from location to location, almost always with the camera focused on the environment, crowds and buildings rather than the protagonists. You get an intimate view of the investigation, but a feeling that it is just a small part in the workings of a great metropolis.

The mystery itself is well put together and interesting. The detail of the police investigation as they wind towards the truth is excellent. Not afraid to show it as it really is with lots of boring legwork and asking questions before any kind of clear picture emerges, this is an almost verite approach.

Filmed in 1948 this is a film that works well on several levels - the depiction of the city, the crime thriller, the character study and the detailed police procedural. It is a fascinating document of the times and well worth a watch by any fans of noir cinema and anyone who enjoys well made and interesting films that are a bit different.

This 2009 Arrow release is OK. The film has not been restored, but in general it is a good transfer with a reasonably clean and crisp picture. There are the occasional scratches and jumps, but these do not detract too much from the viewing pleasure. The sound is generally OK, except for the very start of the movie where the voice over gets a little lost in the back ground noise.

A decent release of this classic film.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish noir from master Jules Dassin, 10 July 2009
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This review is from: The Naked City [DVD] [1948] (DVD)
Well, I've been waiting for this item for some time now, as it hasn't been issued yet in Europe. This is probably the first time it appears in Europe.

This movie should be a great experience from noir master Jules Dassin. It is the 1st movie made after Brute Force (1947), a prison noirish drama, and it is usually ranked as his 2nd masterpiece. Together with Thieves' Highway(1949), Night and the city (1950) and Riffifi (1955) if forms the core of the director's moviemaking.

For the people that are not familliar with Dassin's work let me tell you a brief history of his work: he started in this business as assistant director to the biggest director ever, Alfred Hitchcock, at the beginning of the 40's. His first featurette was Reunion in France (1942) starring John Wayne and Joan Crawford a spy noirish war movie. He won his place in the cinematography with the five movies I've mentioned above. After completing Night and the City in 1950 he was thrown out of the US with the charge of being a communist. After this moment, he directed in France, probably, in my opinion the best film noir ever, Riffifi, with mostly non-professionals.

This is one of his masterful works which should not be missed by any movie lover. I haven't seen this yet as it was available only in the US, so I am waiting just as anxious as everybody else.

***Update 19/10/2009 Guys you should definitely buy this item if you are a fan of classic film noir. This together with the mentioned above titles is among the best, cafty, noir masterpiece. Jules Dassin makes probably the best film noir director ever. Out of five amazing movies two were produced in the US, one in the UK and one in France. Naked City is even if the style does not allow it that much, a very funny movie, as well. The police inspector, Barry Fitzgerald plays his best character in this movie. One important approach of this film is its semidocumentaristic style with the voice of the great producer Mark Hellinger. The movie will only produce an implosion until the end. The action and anxiety of the murderer rises slowly until he meets his doom.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Naked City (1948) ... Jules Dassin ... Criterion Collection (2007)", 14 Dec 2010
By 
J. Lovins "Mr. Jim" (Missouri-USA) - See all my reviews
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The Criterion Collection presents "NAKED CITY" (4 March 1948) (96 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- An attractive blonde model is murdered in her apartment and homicide detectives Dan Muldoon (Barry Fitzgerald) and Jimmy Halloran (Don Taylor) investigate --- Suspicion falls on various shifty characters who all prove to have some connection with a string of apartment burglaries --- Then a burglar is found dead who once had an elusive partner named Willie --- The climax is a great manhunt sequence --- Far from a routine detective story, this was filmed on the streets of New York City with the actors playing their roles along with the people and the locations of the big apple.

The legendary film that inspired the TV series (1958-1963) of the same name, which was a pioneer in the early days of top notch drama.

Under the production staff of:
Jules Dassin [Director]
Malvin Wald [Story]
Albert Maltz [Screenwriter]
Malvin Wald [Screenwriter]
Jules Buck [Associate Producer]
Mark Hellinger [Producer]
Miklós Rózsa [Original Film Score]
William H. Daniels [Cinematographer]
Paul Weatherwax [Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Jules Dassin [Director]
Date of Birth: 18 December 1911 - Middletown, Connecticut
Date of Death: 31 March 2008 - Athens, Greece

2. Barry Fitzgerald [aka: William Joseph Shields]
Date of Birth: 10 March 1888 - Dublin, Ireland
Date of Death: 14 January 1961 - Dublin, Ireland

3. Howard Duff
Date of Birth: 24 November 1913 - Bremerton, Washington
Date of Death: 8 July 1990 - Santa Barbara, California

the cast includes:
Barry Fitzgerald ... [Det. Lt. Dan Muldoon]
Howard Duff ... [Frank Niles]
Dorothy Hart ... [Ruth Morrison]
Don Taylor ... [Det. Jimmy Halloran]
Frank Conroy ... [Capt. Donahue]
Ted de Corsia ... [Willie Garzah aka Willie the Harmonica]
House Jameson ... [Dr. Stoneman]

SPECIAL FEATURES [BONUS]:
1. New, restored high-definition digital transfer
2. Audio commentary by screenwriter Malvin Wald
3. An analysis of the film's New York locations by Celluloid Skyline author James Sanders
4. A new video interview with NYU film professor Dana Polan
5. Footage of Jules Dassin from his 2004 appearance at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
6. Stills gallery
7. PLUS: A new essay by Luc Sante and production notes from producer Mark Hellinger to Dassin

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 96 min on DVD ~ Criterion ~ (03/20/2007)
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars new york document, 16 Mar 2010
By 
WSH (NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Naked City [DVD] [1948] (DVD)
The enduring interest of this film for many viewers is likely to be its portrait of New York city soon after WW2. The excellent extras on the Criterion edition suggest that a good deal of this location material was lost in the final edit, but what remains is still fascinating. The film is perhaps best remembered for its final lines of narration: "There are six million stories...etc." Actually the narration (by the producer) is a mixed blessing. In the first third of the film there is just too much of it and it tries to a bit too hard to be clever. Peel that back and the core of the plot - the murder investigation - holds up well. It is plausible and sufficiently involved to retain the viewer's interest. The then innovative aspect of the film, concentrating on the mechanics of the methodical police investigative method, will no longer seem innovative to today's audience, but that does not greatly detract from the merit of the film.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cinematography good, acting and script bad., 12 April 2012
By 
C. G. Avery - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Naked City [DVD] [1948] (DVD)
Despite being considered a film noir classic this is, even by the standards of the day, badly acted and badly scripted. It undoubtably deserves its academy award for cinematography, you can see the influences of photographer Weegee who was hired as a consultant, but there's not enough of it to compensate for the films many other failings, even the critic Bosley Crowther had 'problems with the script'!
The narrated semi-documentary style soon becomes irritating, the scene where the narrator, the voice of producer Mark Hellinger,explains that no progress has been made in the investigation that day, is one of many clumsily executed moments that has the feel of a home movie. And the directing also has its awkward moments, the scenes where Detectives Muldoon and Halloran analyse the case seem very contrived and almost feel like the start of a Marx brothers sketch, but ultimately the timing is not there to even pull off the potential humorous moments.
Historically this is an interesting film and one to have in the collection, if only for the street shots of post war New York. One technical point is that the sound transfer to DVD is poor with dialogue being hard to decipher at times, but as the script is so poor it's no great loss.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Naked City, 7 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Naked City [DVD] [1948] (DVD)
Made in 1948 and shot on location in New York. A really good crime thriller with a sterling cast Directed by Jules Dassin Procedural police drama at its best. Made in stark black and white. I recommend it.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Put some clothes on..., 23 Jan 2011
By 
This review is from: The Naked City [DVD] [1948] (DVD)
... And stop flaunting yourself, you're not that special and not even the first. Location-shooting in New York City was not unknown even before 1948. Anyone remember THE LOST WEEKEND, KISS OF DEATH and quite a few others ? And the promotional claims that disavowed studio-work were patently false from back-projected moments to copious interiors filmed on sets. (Kathleen Freeman and Carl Milletaire pop up conspicuously in a 'subway' close-up).
Divorced from its pomp and Mark Hellinger's pretentious voice-overs which nag at you like an aching tooth it's an average Universal cop-procedural, well-crafted and with a wry humour, and nimbly directed by Jules Dassin before the blacklist squeezed him out along with screenwriter Albert Maltz. No politics please and nothing seems to be lurking here though the 'upper classes' are notably dragged down by criminals into victimising their own kind. A young dress-model is murdered one hot summer night in her apartment by two hoodlums apparently by design. Afterwards one of them - a drunken liability - is killed by his partner and dumped in the East River. We therefore know the guilty man but not his name. Can he be the mysterious "Mr. Henderson" referred to in interviews when the Homicide Squad begin to investigate ? Or is he 'J.P.McGillicuddy - the unknown man' in the game-plan of Lieutenant Muldoon (Barry Fitzgerald, very impressive in an unusual role).

His leg-man Halloran (Don Taylor)is a nice young rookie (with cute wife and son)who heads off each morning as to the office for another day following up leads, coping with red herrings and sussing out potential suspects like Frank Niles (Howard Duff), a devious ex-college boy who keeps digging a bigger hole for himself every time he opens his mouth to the growing distress of his dishy fiancee (Dorothy Hart) who used to work with the dead girl. "Mister Henderson" is eventually unmasked and disgraced - a hapless pawn in a string of jewel-robberies masterminded by Niles and the murder-victim. Halloran's pursuit of his own line of enquiry leads him to a bruising encounter with the far more dangerous 'McGillicuddy', our old friend from the opening scene, an all-in wrestler and part-time burglar who'd killed the girl when she'd refused him a bigger cut of the swag... The actual street-stuff is smartly handled and Bill Daniels' Oscar-winning photography is beautifully rendered on the recent Arrow Films Dvd. But the audio-transcription, unfortunately, is barely tolerable, sounding throughout like it was recorded in heavy traffic in another precinct. There's a conventional trap-the-killer climax on a famous landmark - in this instance the Williamsburg Bridge - though Mac takes the inevitable dive from a backcloth. Still, even Hitchcock had to fake the Statue of Liberty... It's a fair cop.
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The Naked City [DVD] [1948]
The Naked City [DVD] [1948] by Jules Dassin (DVD - 2009)
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