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The Ashphalt Jungle (DVD) 1950,
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This review is from: The Asphalt Jungle  [DVD] (DVD)
This film is gritty and tense,with screenplay by Ben Maddow and John Huston, and also directed by John Huston.The introspective talk between gangland robbers is engaging and never boring, even though these days it might seem cliched. This is everything one expects from 1950, the styling of cars and clothes and the decor of apartments. Marylin Monroe is first introduced lying sleepily on a couch, looking surprisingly modern in a one piece trouser suit designed to flatter every curve and wiggle. She is Angela the 'sweet kid' plaything to a supposedly wealthy mobster Emmerich (Louis Calhern) installed in a waterside 'cottage' as a diversion from his ailing and neurotic wife. Later in the action Marilyn has her full dramatic moments when called upon to be an alibi after a diamond robbery has taken an unexpected and nasty turn.
The robbery gang is organised by Doc (Sam Jaffe) fresh out of prison, and aided by Gus (James Whitmore) a cafe owner, and Dix (Sterling Hayden)a guy who owes money and just wants to buy a ranch. Jean Hagen-later a co star with Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain--puts in an emotional and caring performance as Doll,the out of work dancer who loves Dix and eventually helps him to escape, fatally wounded, to die with his beloved horses.
After the gripping intrigues, all the robbers end up dead, or in prison, and producer Arthur Hornblow JR turns the film around with a moralistic appraisal of the Police and Communications, delivered by Commissioner Hardy (John McIntire). As The Movie Guide quoted--this film is often copied but never equalled.