I saw Jules Dassin and Mark Hellinger‘s The Naked City (’48) back in the early ’80s, or so I recall. I would’ve gotten around to a re-viewing sooner or later, but now I’m revved after catching Bruce Goldstein‘s “Uncovering The Naked City,” a 23-minute doc that explores the various locations and strategies that went into filming this hard-boiled New York cop movie, shot entirely on location. Now I’m locking into watching Criterion’s HD version this weekend.
Enterprising photographer Stanley Kubrick, 19 at the time, was spotted hanging around the Naked City set.
Hellinger, who narrates the film (and I wish they’d forgotten about any narration at all — it makes it feel hokey now), died of of a heart attack on 12.21.47 at age 44. (Who keels over at age 44?) The Naked City opened the following March.
Film historian William Park has argued that, despite Weegee‘s work on the film and its title coming from Weegee’s 1945 photo book, the film owes its visual style more to Italian neorealism rather than Weegee’s photographic work.
Copy from Criterion’s “Uncovering The Naked City” page:
In this original short documentary and personal essay, Bruce Goldstein, founder of Rialto Pictures and repertory director at New York’s Film Forum, tracks down many of the 100+ New York City locations — from the Bronx to the Lower East Side—used in his friend Jules Dassin’s classic police procedural THE NAKED CITY, while also spotlighting the contributions of producer Mark Hellinger and cinematographer William Daniels.”