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on May 6, 2007
This landmark film, energetically directed by Jules Dassin not long before the McCarthy witch-hunts forced him out of the U.S., deserves the typically classy Criterion treatment. As we have now come to expect of all Criterion versions, the print has been beautifully restored and meticulously annotated. Movies of any decade do not hold up equally well; "Naked City" is flawed by producer Mark Hellinger's narration--often hammy and too much "on-the-nose"--and some dated performances. On the other hand, the police procedural still draws you in, the music score is superb, and the noirish yet documentary-quality of post-war New York City makes for a wondrous time-capsule. (Thank God the move was shot in black and white. Color would have ruined it.) Like the place and people it captures, ""The Naked City" is an imperfect but very good movie.
6 helpful votes
7 helpful votes
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on February 24, 2014
Mark Hellinger's narration was classic and Jules Dassin again proved his mettle as a great "film noir" director. Crisp black-and-white cinematography and amazing cityscapes add to its New York movie magic.

The top-notch cast includes Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Don Taylor, Ted DeCorsia and Dorothy Hart. A gripping, realistic story ending with a stunning chase through Lower Manhattan make this a must-see.

In addition, the neat special features and interviews make this a DVD to share and cherish.
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on September 6, 2013
The setting is Pre-Television, Pre-Video game NYC. With great narration the story is told of a murder and the world of crime solving sans Smart Phones, DNA analysis, and a camera on every storefront and intersection. It's a reminder of the Joe Friday "Just the facts maam" era. Barry Fitzgerald ,of all people is the lead detective sorting through the murder of a blonde model who has fallen in with the wrong crowd and pays dearly for it. Also supported by Don Taylor and Howard Duff this is a fast moving glimpse into crime solving nearly 70 years ago in a huge metro scenario. This film was filmed on the streets of the Big Apple, perhaps an inspiration to successors such as Law and Order etc. This movie is a classic as it takes us to a foreign land, a land of the way we were!
1 helpful vote
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on July 9, 2017
Now I have to movie as well as the complete TV series, it is a really good movie, Howard Duff gets heck kicked out of him.
1 helpful vote
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on April 20, 2007
The Criterion Collection Edition includudes aa audio commentary by the film's writer Malvin Wald, and so many other extras that this Jules Dassin Directed noirish police story is a must have. Producer Mark Hellinger's narration is without equal and the main players Barry Fitzgerald, Don Taylor, Howard Duff are in top form. Great B/W Photography by William Daniels. Director Dasin, Screenwriter Albert Maltz were soonblacklisted from making Hollywood films due to their Communist Party, USA membership, and Producer Hellinger died within a week of the film's opening in Los Angeles.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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on April 28, 2017
sure love this movie, even though its an older one and it shows some cool places in NYC.
1 helpful vote
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on April 11, 2007
A film unlike any other. It's more a documentary, beautifully shot, of New York City. First we see it from above, then the city lights at night. We peep through the windows of anonymous neighbours to see what goes on in their lives. Seemingly unconnected scenes at different locations in the city will later match in the plot that just starts to develop. We are introduced to the main characters. The chief of police in this investigation (of the crime we just witnessed during the night) is Barry Fitzgerald, the funny Irish man in "The Quiet Man"), which is quite of a choice for this role too.

A very uncommon noir film. Very beautiful. The shots of the police chase through the crowded afternoon streets are some of the best in film history. But the story just didn't get to interest me that much. The narrator himself, since the beginning of the film, conveys that feeling of "who cares", it's just one story in 8 million... Not the impression a director would want to give to his audience, I would say. Very ambiguous.
4 helpful votes
5 helpful votes
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on April 12, 2017
None.
1 helpful vote
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on January 27, 2016
Great movie, they just don't make them like this, any more. No special effect or computer enhancements, just plain potograhy. And black and white at that! Good narration, no over the top action, even enough personal drama to really make it believable.
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on April 27, 2000
Between 1947 and 1950, director Jules Dassin shot three revolutionary movies that shook the film noir genre. THE NAKED CITY is one of them and remains, 52 years (!) after its theatrical release, a classic not to be forgotten. The film was shot, for its most part, in the streets of New-York City and on location in real flats or apartments. Just consider that Howard Hawks's THE BIG SLEEP was shot one year before and you will have an idea why Hollywood has been called " The Dream Factory ". The reality depicted in Hollywood movies had nothing to do anymore with real life.
Some critics have compared THE NAKED CITY with the realist italian movies of this period, with Vittorio de Sica's THE BICYCLE THIEF for instance. Anyway, the final chase which will end on the Brooklyn bridge is already part of Movie History.
Jules Dassin's interest for social questions can be observed in various scenes of THE NAKED CITY : Howard Duff's desperate efforts to join the high society, the enlightening story of the murdered girl, the constant opposition between the world of the workers and the world of the rich.
Audio and images are of VHS quality and the master was not of the highest quality. Filmographies of Jules Dassin and Barry Fitzgerald as bonus features.
A DVD for your library if you're a film noir fan.
39 helpful votes
40 helpful votes
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