Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Naked City (1948)

Director: Jules Dassin

Writers: Albert Maltz, Malvin Wald

Composers: Miklos Rozsa, Frank Skinner

Starring: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart, Don Taylor, Frank Conroy, Ted de Corsia, House Jameson, Anne Sargent, Adelaide Klein, Grover Burgess, Tom Pedi, Enid Markey, Mark Hellinger, James Gregory

More info: IMDb


Plot: New York City film noir about two detectives investigating the death of an attractive young woman. The apparent suicide turns out to be murder.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Alright, so this is an OK picture.  I liked the NYC outdoor filming.  It's always neat seeing everyday life from the past.  The story is good.  I particularly liked how they emphasized the mundane but important tasks of sheer legwork and the countless hours of manpower it takes to ask hundreds of people lots of questions in the hope of finding that one clue that furthers the investigation.  Outside of that, there's some hokey acting going on and the narration is borderline silly sometimes.  I've seen lots of these films from the era that did it much better.  Hell, some of these folks are acting like it was an early 30s picture.  I bring this up because this picture has a highly respected reputation which I just don't understand.  The extras on the Criterion DVD would probably enlighten me on the reasons why but I don't have the patience to sit through a commentary among the other extras.  It's just not interesting enough to keep digging into it.  It is neat seeing James Gregory in his first role.  I love that guy.

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