The Asphalt Jungle

The Asphalt Jungle

Directed by John Huston • 1950 • United States
Starring Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen

In a smog-choked city somewhere in the American Midwest, an aging criminal mastermind, newly released from prison, hatches a plan for a million-dollar jewel heist and draws a wealthy lawyer and a cherry-picked trio of outlaws into his carefully devised but inevitably doomed scheme. Anchored by an abundance of nuanced performances from a gifted ensemble—including a tight-jawed Sterling Hayden and a sultry Marilyn Monroe in her breakout role—this gritty crime classic by John Huston climaxes in a meticulously detailed anatomy of a robbery that has reverberated through the genre ever since. An uncommonly naturalistic view of a seamy underworld, THE ASPHALT JUNGLE painstakingly depicts the calm professionalism and toughness of its gangster heroes while evincing a remarkable depth of compassion for their all-too-human fragility, and it showcases a master filmmaker at the height of his powers.

The Asphalt Jungle
  • The Asphalt Jungle

    Directed by John Huston • 1950 • United States
    Starring Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen

    In a smog-choked city somewhere in the American Midwest, an aging criminal mastermind, newly released from prison, hatches a plan for a million-dollar jewel heist and draws a wealthy lawyer and a c...

Extras

  • THE ASPHALT JUNGLE Commentary

    This 2004 commentary features film historian Drew Casper (Postwar Hollywood: 1946–1962) and archival recordings of actor James Whitmore.

  • John Huston on THE ASPHALT JUNGLE

    In this brief archival interview excerpt, director John Huston discusses THE ASPHALT JUNGLE.

  • Philip Kaufman on THE ASPHALT JUNGLE

  • Pharos of Chaos

    This candid 1983 documentary about actor Sterling Hayden was directed by Manfred Blank and Wolf-Eckart Bühler.

  • Eddie Muller on THE ASPHALT JUNGLE

    In this 2016 Criterion Collection interview, film noir historian Eddie Muller (Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir) delves into THE ASPHALT JUNGLE.

  • John Bailey on THE ASPHALT JUNGLE

    Made by the Criterion Collection in 2016, this piece features cinematographer John Bailey addressing the visual techniques employed by director of photography Harold Rosson and director John Huston in THE ASPHALT JUNGLE.

  • City Lights

    This October 10, 1979, episode of the television program City Lights features director John Huston discussing his life, work, and family.

  • The Huston Method

    In this new piece edited together from several undated audio interviews conducted by film critic Gideon Bachmann, director John Huston discusses his methods for writing and directing a feature film.