James Whitmore

THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950)

The Asphalt Jungle

John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle is a tremendously influential film that hits just as hard today as it did in 1950. When it comes to caper films, this bad bitch laid down the blueprint. Much like Rififi five years later, The Asphalt Jungle worried the studio and other tight-assed conservatives due to the detailed depiction of its heist. Suits were afraid that less morally bound people would attempt to imitate the caper. That was 64 years ago. After watching it today, I don’t feel influenced to rip off a high-end jewelry store, but I would like to imitate Sterling Hayden’s aggressively gritty masculinity. Shot with Huston’s naturalistic visual style and featuring an ensemble of baddasses, The Asphalt Jungle is an essential noir.

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