John Huston

The Asphalt Jungle

The Asphalt Jungle

In a smog-choked city somewhere in the American Midwest, an aging criminal mastermind, newly released from prison, hatches a plan for a million-dollar jewel heist and draws a wealthy lawyer and a cherry-picked trio of outlaws into his carefully devised but inevitably doomed scheme. Anchored by an abundance of nuanced performances from a gifted ensemble—including a tight-jawed Sterling Hayden and a sultry Marilyn Monroe in her breakout role—this gritty crime classic by John Huston climaxes in a meticulously detailed anatomy of a robbery that has reverberated through the genre ever since. An uncommonly naturalistic view of a seamy underworld, The Asphalt Jungle painstakingly depicts the calm professionalism and toughness of its gangster heroes while evincing a remarkable depth of compassion for their all-too-human fragility, and it showcases a master filmmaker at the height of his powers.

Film Info

  • John Huston
  • United States
  • 1950
  • 112 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #847

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2004 by film historian Drew Casper, featuring archival recordings of actor James Whitmore
  • Pharos of Chaos, a 1983 documentary about actor Sterling Hayden
  • New interviews with film noir historian Eddie Muller and cinematographer John Bailey
  • Archival footage of writer-director John Huston discussing the film
  • Episode of the television program City Lights from 1979 featuring Huston
  • Audio excerpts of archival interviews with Huston
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien
    New cover by F. Ron Miller

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2004 by film historian Drew Casper, featuring archival recordings of actor James Whitmore
  • Pharos of Chaos, a 1983 documentary about actor Sterling Hayden
  • New interviews with film noir historian Eddie Muller and cinematographer John Bailey
  • Archival footage of writer-director John Huston discussing the film
  • Episode of the television program City Lights from 1979 featuring Huston
  • Audio excerpts of archival interviews with Huston
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien
    New cover by F. Ron Miller
The Asphalt Jungle
Cast
Sterling Hayden
Dix Handley
Louis Calhern
Alonzo D. Emmerich
Jean Hagen
Doll Conovan
James Whitmore
Gus Minissi
Sam Jaffe
Doc Erwin Riedenschneider
John McIntire
Police Commissioner Hardy
Marc Lawrence
Cobby
Barry Kelley
Lieutenant Ditrich
Anthony Caruso
Louis Ciavelli
Teresa Celli
Maria Ciavelli
Marilyn Monroe
Angela Phinlay
William Davis
Timmons
Dorothy Tree
May Emmerich
Brad Dexter
Bob Brannom
John Maxwell
Dr. Swanson
Credits
Director
John Huston
Produced by
Arthur Hornblow Jr.
Screenplay by
Bed Maddow
Screenplay by
John Huston
From a novel by
W. R. Burnett
Director of photography
Harold Rosson
Art directors
Cedric Gibbons
Art directors
Randall Duell
Film editor
George Boemler
Music by
Miklós Rózsa
Recording supervisor
Douglas Shearer
Set decorations
Edwin B. Willis
Hairstyles designed by
Sydney Guilaroff
Makeup created by
Jack Dawn

From The Current

John Bailey Looks at The Asphalt Jungle
John Bailey Looks at The Asphalt Jungle

Earlier this week, we released our edition of John Huston’s 1950 heist film The Asphalt Jungle, whose combination of meticulous plotting and sympathetic characterization remains a blueprint for the genre. Set amid the smoky streets of an unnamed ci…

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The Asphalt Jungle: “A Left-Handed Form of Human Endeavor”
The Asphalt Jungle: “A Left-Handed Form of Human Endeavor”

John Huston’s meticulously calibrated crime film combines nail-biting suspense with a mood of Chekhovian regret.

By Geoffrey O’Brien

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The Devil in the Details

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The Devil in the Details

To make the performance of a tedious, exacting, time-consuming task riveting to watch, it is only necessary for the activity to be illegal.

By Imogen Sara Smith

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