THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950) B/W 112m dir: John Huston

w/Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore, Sam Jaffe, John McIntire, Marilyn Monroe, Marc Lawrence, Barry Kelly, Anthony Caruso, Theresa Celli

Director Huston's theses of collective effort and nihilist failure were never more starkly dramatized than in this genre-creating caper film.

From Variety 's review: "The Asphalt Jungle is a study in crime, hard-hitting in its expose of the underworld. Ironic realism is striven for and achieved in the writing, production and direction. An audience will quite easily pull for the crooks in the execution of the million-dollar jewelry theft around which the plot is built. ... Sterling Hayden and Louis Calhern star as contrasting criminals, the former a mean, bitter hood who dreams of restoring an old Kentucky horse farm, and Calhern a crooked attorney who needs money to continue sating his desire for curvy blondes and high living."

And, from Georges Sadoul's Dictionary of Films : "A tense, well-directed thriller, whose style is largely American 'neorealism.' The planning and execution of the robbery are described in a sort of light-hearted documentary manner. The characters of the master criminal and the lawyer have real psychological depth. Of marginal interest is the appearance of a newcomer to films called Marilyn Monroe."

THE ASPHALT JUNGLE received four Oscar nominations: Best Director, Supporting Actor (Jaffe), Original Screenplay (Ben Maddow, Huston), and Cinematography (Harold Rosson).