A 1950 film-noir classic, The Asphalt Jungle chronicles events leading up to and surrounding a huge jewel heist in an un-named Midwest city which looks a lot like Chicago.

John Huston's gritty, dark, rainy cityscape shots punctuate clever dialogues in the usual settings: the short-order cafe, the bookie's den, the police headquarters, the elegant mansion. But there is a seminal quality to the scenes which makes you feel as if you haven't seen them imitated dozens of times in the decades since.

Sterling Hayden stars as Dix Handley, a terse but staunch hooligan picked as driver for the operation. Mastermind Dr. Riedenschneider (Sam Jaffe) is a German immigrant recently released from "behind the walls". Louis Calhern portrays Mr. Emmerich, the supposedly wealthy financier who struggles to maintain his lavish lifestyle. Marilyn Monroe plays his knock-out paramour.

I'd recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good crime flick, or anyone nostalgic for the "good old days" of post-war America...

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