June 10th, 2020


Movie Critique – The Naked City

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A trend-setting film noir for a cops-robbers chase plot, with subtle humor and giving a view into police procedures - a must watch if you like film noir.

The Naked City is a 1948 American film noir based on a story by Malvin Wald depicting police investigation into the murder of a young model. The movie is pictured partially in documentary style with narration in the background, focusing on police procedures extensively.

A young ex-model, Jean Dexter, is murdered in her apartment by two intruders and the case falls into the hands of Detective Lt. Dan Muldoon (portrayed by Barry Fitzgerald) and his young assistant Detective Jimmy Halloran (portrayed by Don Taylor) of the Homicide division. The primary suspects end up being Frank Niles (portrayed by Howard Duff), Jean's ex-boyfriend and Ruth Morrison (portrayed by Dorothy Hart), Jean's friend. Thus the investigation continues that takes the police into the apartments and streets of the naked city, New York.

The film made some milestones in film making paving way to many more future films that were successful using these markers. For instance, the documentary style of filming; using the actual streets and landmarks in New York as opposed to studios; going into the depths of police work; a cop-robber chase scene that takes almost the last 15 minutes of the movie.

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