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"Asphalt Jungle" ... Best Moment


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L.B. Mayer hated it (referred to it as "Asphalt Pavement") even though it made $$$ for MGM (but the writing was on the wall; Dore Schary was going to replace him), but the scene where cop Barry Kelley smacks Marc Lawrence around is perfect. Perfect acting and perfect direction. This is John Huston at his finest. Marilyn Monroe never looked more beautiful.

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> {quote:title=Ascotrudgeracer wrote:}{quote}

> Perfect acting and perfect direction.


I actually sat down and watched this last night although I've seen it many times before, and was impressed all over again.

Yes, Marilyn was stunning-so young & thin! And Calhern was great. Beautifully played sub plot.

My very favorite Jean Hagen performance too. For a long time I never realized she was the same person who played Lina LaMont. All the crooks were great, I love the intensity of the "planning" scene, although I can barely stomach Sam Jaffee there's just something about him that rings false to me. I dislike mouth breathers, so maybe that's it.


I love the creative startling camera angles in otherwise boring connecting type scenes. Huston's use of frequent close ups are just the right note to add a tense sense of drama. The balance of black, white & grays are stunning...I don't know if that's due to the lighting director or just Huston.


The ending is heartbreaking. Was this a book or written for the screen? Just beautiful cinema.

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> TikiSoo you asked:

> Was this a book or written for the screen? Just beautiful cinema.


This legendary motion picture was based on the novel of William Riley Burnett, better known as ?W.R. Burnett.? He is sometimes considered the greatest writer of the crime genre for both films and books during the Golden Age of Hollywood and from at least for 5 generations of fans. Burnett burst upon the motion picture scene in 1931 with the huge successful adaptation of his popular novel, ?Little Caesar.? This success prompted Burnett to come to Hollywood and over the course of some 20 years, wrote and co-wrote original screenplays and scripts based on his stories.


Let?s face it! Burnett has one of the finest records of crime films for anyone who ever worked in Hollywood! The list speaks for itself:


Scarface (co-wrote)


36 Hours to Kill (original script)


King of The Underworld (from his novel)


High Sierra (co-wrote with Huston from his novel)


This Gun for Hire (co-wrote)


Background to Danger (original script)


Nobody Lives Forever (from his novel)


The Asphalt Jungle (from his novel)


Vendetta (original script)


The Racket (original script)


Later on, Burnett even rewrote scripts for newer versions of previous films! But, even more intriguing about the great writer was his other screenplays for such classic films as:


Wake Island (co-wrote)


Dark Command (from his novel)


Action in the North Atlantic (co-wrote)


San Antonio (co-wrote)


Yellow Sky (original script)


And, his last great work: The Great Escape (co-wrote)


By the way, ?The Asphalt Jungle? has been remade at least two other times as ?The Badlanders? in 1958 and ?Cool Breeze? in 1972. Burnett was truly a remarkable sort of figure in Hollywood and highly respected by the film community.

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