Saturday, February 16, 2013

Architecture of "The Asphalt Jungle" [1950]

The city is big, but the streets are empty. The sky is broad, but buildings crowd the view. The light is harsh, and the shadows are long. In this seminal noir/heist movie, (a criminal's procedural), all the well laid plans go off without a hitch. It's only afterward that the gang of crooks are done in, one by one, by their own moral failings.  The grim and grimy backdrop is a modern metropolis. But the stifling atmosphere is provided by the existential doom of the characters. It is their mutual, inner alienation that makes this gritty place The Asphalt Jungle.

Cinematographer Harold Rosson was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his B/W photography. 

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