Monday, 9 August 2010
The Naked City 
Jules Dassin is principally known as the maker of Night and the City and Rififi – two of the most influential film noirs. The Naked City (made before he was subjected to witch-hunting for his Leftist leanings), though not as universally well-known as the other two, nevertheless ranks nearly at par with them. Memorably narrated by Mark Hellinger, also the movie’s producer, the film painted a simultaneously grim and lyrical picture of New York City through its chronicling of one of the eight million stories that play their parts in defining the concrete jungle aptly termed as the “naked city”. Shot completely on location using the then-novel cinema verite technique, this top class noir was, on one hand, a relentlessly compelling crime drama and police procedural that twists and turns and ends in a spectacular chase scene culminating at the Williamsburg Bridge, while on the other, it was a fascinating account of the kind of moral dubiousness and detachment that typified post-War American society. The film has at its centre a veteran cop, whose world-weary cynicism, sardonic wit, hard to please nature and razor-sharp mind, made him quite akin to the legendary gumshoes in hardboiled literature, as well as, the perfect spokesperson for the movie’s matter-of-fact themes and those sordid times.
Director: Jules Dassin
Genre: Crime Drama/Film Noir/Urban Drama