Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Naked City (1948)

In short
One of the first films made 100% on location.
► Mixed documentary & film noir style.
Inspired by New York photographer Weegee.
► Simple but very detailed story about a realistic, straightforward police investigation. We see everything that goes on almost without any emotion for any of the characters.
► Some details that were odd for that time: Movie has no opening credits but is narrated by the producer + Not much of a soundtrack to make it more realistic.

Review by Glenn Erickson
Film Noir historians reserve a special place in their hearts for Mark Hellinger and Jules Dassin's The Naked City, a highly influential crime thriller filmed almost entirely in the streets of New York City. Malvin Wald's original story blends standard Hollywood storytelling with documentary techniques to produce a new kind of heightened reality. Cops go after a mysterious killer and viewers are shown a fairly accurate image of how real crimes are solved -- handsome private detectives are not part of the equation. Louis de Rochemont took his cameras to real locations for The House on 92nd Street but The Naked City adds a dimension of journalistic poetry by telling its story through an omniscient POV narrator, who seems to be the soul of the city itself. "There are eight million stories in the Naked City" has entered the language as an indelible catch phrase.

Review by Rob Edelman
The leading actors are familiar faces, but not stars. Except for, perhaps, Barry Fitzgerald, their names were unfamiliar to audiences. The Naked City is peopled not so much by performers as faces, everyday faces. The murder victim's parents appear in several key scenes, and the actors portraying them give heartwrenching performances. But, most importantly, they look like an anonymous couple from the New Jersey boondocks who have lost their only child to the glitter of the big city.

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Jake said...

Thanks for this. Have you thought about doing your own review?
- Jake

Panda Stuffer said...

Yeah I did actually start a review but it became too wide (that happens to me often) so I gave up.

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