Monday, 21 June 2010


Jules Dassin's THE NAKED CITY has always seemed over-rated to me. True, it is an important film for its use of real New York locations. It has a good story and a good cast. Good as that cast is it is there that I find the film flawed. I'm not denying the worth of performers like Barry FitzGerald, Don Taylor and Howard Duff but here they seem totally at odds with the intended realistic style of the film. The worst offender is FitzGerald who I find totally unbelievable as the cop heading up the investigation of the murder of a model. FitzGerald, who is about 4ft 6in tall is referred to as an ex-beat cop! Maybe in Middle Earth arresting drunken Hobbits but as a detective here his comes over far too whimsical and "oirish". The realistic tone is further spoilt by the scenes of Don Taylor's home-life which is twee enough to have come from a 50's American sitcom. There is also a crushingly wrong footed narration by the film's producer, Mark Hellinger, whose comments on the action are at odds with the avowed documentary look of the film. On the plus side Ted DeCorsia is terrific as the heavy and the final chase through the New York streets is excellent. An enjoyable film, maybe a notable one but over-rated nonetheless. Rating ***

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

You know, I've tried to watch "THE NAKED CITY" twice and I've never liked it. Even after a second chance. I too realize it's importance for the "real life location shooting" but that does not a great film make. I'll take the set-bound streets of WOMAN IN THE WINDOW any time; they're eerier and they're in a better film!