The Asphalt Jungle
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The Asphalt Jungle is a brilliantly conceived and executed anatomy of a crime -- or, as director John Huston and scripter Ben Maddow put it, "a left-handed form of human endeavor." Recently paroled master criminal Erwin "Doc" Riedenschneider (Sam Jaffe), with funding from crooked attorney Emmerich (Louis Calhern), gathers several crooks together in Cincinnati for a Big Caper. Among those involved are Dix (Sterling Hayden), an impoverished hood who sees the upcoming jewel heist as a means to finance his dream of owning a horse farm. Hunch-backed cafe owner (James Whitmore)… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"John Huston's greatest noir thriller."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"One of The Asphalt Jungle's strengths is that the crims seem about as thick as you suspect they would be in real life: no Cruise or Clooney-style braniac super-athletes here."
‑ Andrew Pulver, Guardian
"High-end noir in a low-end world."
‑ Christopher Smith, Bangor Daily News (Maine)
"Huston concentrates mostly on the film's performances, but like The Maltese Falcon and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, he uses space, shadow and a very clever mise-en-scene to physically illustrate the film's themes."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"They don't get more noir than this."
‑ Andrea Chase, Killer Movie Reviews
"One of the first films to depict crime from the POV of the deviants rather than the police, this seminal film (arguably Huston's best) had a huge influence on the genre, manifest in the early work of Kubrick--and decades later Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A preeminent example of tough-guy cinema."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"Noirish Huston classic with great story, cast."
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"Among John Huston's most overrated works, only partially redeemed by Jaffe's brilliance and Marilyn's cameo."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"Solid, entertaining film noir."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"This tale of a jewel theft gone wrong is notable for its gritty procedural detail and an emphasis on the inner lives of the small time crooks, expertly played by Sterling Hayden and Sam Jaffe."
‑ Paul Arendt,
"Rogue's Gallery noir classic."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"One of the first caper films told from the criminal's viewpoint."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Often copied but never equaled."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Huston at his best"
‑ Christopher Null,
More reviews for The Asphalt Jungle on Rotten Tomatoes