It is post-World War II, in 1948, and New York City marches on, busy and packed with the citizens. Jules Dassin’s Naked City is the most urban movie I’ve ever seen, giving Serpico and An Unmarried Woman (you’re so Manhattan, girlfriend!) a run for their money partly because of the black and white cinematography.
How productive the Big Apple is! Ah, but as the police know, the jewel thieves are out there, and so are the murderers. There are no dirty cops in this film, fortunately. They’re very amiable, whereas the felons, especially the killer of one Joan Dexter, are not whitewashed. Sinners are true sinners in Naked City.
The screenplay by Malvin Wald and Albert Maltz is generally credible, and Dassin has so directed as to almost produce pictorial art. It’s the biggest canvas you’ll find in film noir.
The movie stars Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff and Don Taylor.