The Asphalt Jungle

Synopsis: When the intelligent criminal Erwin "Doc" Riedenschneider is released from prison, he seeks a fifty thousand-dollar investment from the bookmaker Cobby to recruit a small gang of specialists for a million-dollar heist of jewels from a jewelry. Doc is introduced to the lawyer Alonzo D. Emmerich that offers to finance the whole operation and buy the gems immediately after the burglary. Doc hires the safecracker Louis Ciavelli, the driver Gus Minissi and the gunman Dix Handley to the heist. His plan works perfectly but bad luck and betrayals compromise the steps after the heist and the gangsters need to flee from the police.
Director(s): John Huston
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
112 min

Car 31, Ashton apartment building,

third floor.

Cars 31 and 36, 926 Ford Street.

Cars 31 and 36, 926 Ford Street.

Officers standing there now.

Attention, car 71.

Holdup, Hotel de Paris,

Camden Square south.

Holdup, Hotel de Paris.

Armed suspect, tall man, Caucasian,

wearing a dark suit and soft hat.

This is car 71. Roger.



What time this punk come in?

- I don't watch the clock.

I own the joint.

- No gun.

I'll search the joint.

You got a warrant?

- Look, why don't you cooperate.

Get a warrant.

- Take him in.

On what?

- We'll book him on vag.

All right. Come on, you.

Come on.

Smith, Karl Anton, age 37.

Arrested 6 p.m. Last night.

Phoned police station stating

he had murdered Mrs. Catherine Smith.

Doldy, William, age 22.

Possession narcotics.

Occupation, clerk.

No previous record.

Attempt suicide last night with necktie.

Handley, William Trevor,

alias Dix Handley, age 36.

Born Kentucky.

Occupation, none.

Arrested 1937, illegal possession firearm.

Sentence, one to five.

Escaped state prison, 1939.

Arrested 1940, released 1941.

That's enough.

Well, do you see the man

who pulled the stickup last night?

I don't know.

- What do you mean, you don't know?

He had a hat on.

Put on your hats.


He was tall, you say. He had on

a brown suit and a wide-brim hat.

All right. Don't you see him?

Well, come on. Is that him?

No, it isn't him.


- That's all.

Lieutenant Ditrich, commissioner

wants to see you in his office right away.

Sit down, lieutenant.

Thank you, sir.

Thirty-nine thefts, 33 burglaries,

...five morals offenses in the past 30 days.

Quite a record,

even for the 4th Precinct.

We know the guy who's been pulling

most of the stickups.

Name's Dix Handley.

He was in the show-up this morning, but

our witness got cold feet and backed down.

What can you do?

- Lock up the witness. Scare him worse.

It's your job, knowing what to do.

The only merchants

safe from harm in your precinct...

...are those who take wagers on the horses.

I wanna know why those

parlors are still operating.

I close them down,

but they open up again.

You don't close them hard enough.

Rip out the phones, smash up the furniture.

People like to bet the horses,

and just because the law says...

I don't want your opinion of the law.

Is that all, sir?

- No, that's not all.

Where's Erwin Riedenschneider?

- I'm waiting to hear on that, sir.

You don't know where he is, do you?

No, but we ought to get

a word from our stoolies.

It was all dumped in your lap.

He left prison yesterday at 12 noon, took

a train for this city, time of arrival, 3:17.

All you had to do was stay with him

for 24 hours.

If he didn't register, lock him up.

What happens?

He loses you five blocks from the depot,

and a dangerous criminal... at large in this city.

Two men on that detail

ought to get medals for dumbness.

They were assigned by you.

You should get one too.

Ditrich, I can do three things about you:

I can reduce you to patrolman,

send you down to Five Corners.

I can bring you up for trial

on charges of incompetence.

Or I can give you one more chance

to make good on your responsibilities.

I think that'll be

the greatest punishment of all.

Thank you, sir.

There's the number you're looking for,

but it's dark.

You want me to wait?

I wouldn't go parading around

this neighborhood with a suitcase.

Some of these young punks might clip you

just to get a clean shirt.


- I want to see Cobby.

Who are you?

- Just say Doc is here...

...and would like to see him.

Wait here.

You'd better be on the legit, pal.

Well, where the devil is he?

I'm a busy man.

What do you want?

I just got out today.

Oh, so that's it.

I'm tired of you guys putting a bite on me.

I'm no bank.

- I got a proposition for you.

All you guys have.

Maybe you didn't get who I was.

- I ain't never seen you before. What is it?

Maybe you've heard of me.

The Professor? Or Herr Doctor, maybe.

You mean, you are Riedenschneider?

Well, why didn't you say so?

Come on in, Doc. Come on in.

Sit down, Doc. Sit down.

Have a drink?

- Nothing to drink.

I got out of the habit behind the walls.

That's all it is, a habit.

Well, here's to the drink habit, the only one

I got that don't get me into trouble.

Well, Doc. What's on your mind?

I got a proposition. A big one.

How big is big?

- Too big for you, Cobby.

Now, wait, Doc. I don't like to brag,

but I'm doing all right.

Making book. I'm in the chips.

What kind of proposition is it?

A plan for a caper.

And it's a good one.

I could sell it for $ 100,000

on the open market...

...but that would be throwing money away.

I prefer to execute it myself and make...

- How much?

Half a million dollars.

Maybe even more.

I will have to do a little checking,

as the plan is some years old...

...but not much checking. Not much.

I need roughly 50,000 to operate.

Fifty thousand?

No, no, no. I don't see.

- Of course.

I thought maybe Mr. Emmerich...

What do you know about Mr. Emmerich?

Only what I heard in the walls...

...that he has money to invest and that

the way to get to him is through you.

Lf my information is not correct...

- Correct, sure. Sure. It's correct.

I just never thought of Mr. Emmerich

in connection with this kind of deal.

Excuse me a minute.

I'll be right back.

Hello, Dix. What do you want?

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Ben Maddow

Benjamin D. Maddow (August 7, 1909 in Passaic, New Jersey – October 9, 1992 in Los Angeles, California) was a prolific screenwriter and documentarian from the 1930s through the 1970s. Educated at Columbia University, Maddow began his career working within the American documentary movement in the 1930s. In 1936 he co-founded the short-lived left-wing newsreel The World Today. Under the pseudonym of David Wolff, Maddow co-wrote the screenplay to the Paul Strand–Leo Hurwitz documentary landmark, Native Land (1942). He earned his first feature screenplay credit with Framed (1947). Other screenplays include Clarence Brown's Intruder in the Dust (1949, an adaptation of the William Faulkner novel), John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (1950, for which he received an Academy Award nomination), Johnny Guitar (1954, credited to Philip Yordan, God's Little Acre (1958, an adaptation of the Erskine Caldwell novel officially credited to Philip Yordan as a HUAC-era "front" for Maddow), and, again with Huston, an Edgar Award for Best Mystery Screenplay) and The Unforgiven (1960). As a documentarian he directed and wrote such films as Storm of Strangers, The Stairs, and The Savage Eye (1959), which won the BAFTA Flaherty Documentary Award. Maddow made his solo feature directorial debut with the striking, offbeat feature An Affair of the Skin (1963), a well-acted story of several loves and friendships gone sour and marked by the rich characterisations which had distinguished his best screenplays. In 1961, Maddow and Huston co-wrote the episode "The Professor" of the 1961 television series The Asphalt Jungle. In 1968 he wrote a screenplay based on Edmund Naughton's novel McCabe; while a film adaptation of the novel was ultimately produced as McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Maddow wasn't credited on the film. His final screenplay was for the horror melodrama The Mephisto Waltz (1970). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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