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PNFS: The Asphalt Jungle

PNFS: The Asphalt Jungle

Sorry this event has been and gone


  • Wed 28 Mar ’12, 5:30pm
  • Wed 28 Mar ’12, 8:00pm


Downtown Cinemas, 70 Broadway Ave, Palmerston North


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Waged membership: $85.00
  • Unwaged membership: $70.00
  • Triple feature card: $30.00
  • High school student: $30.00


Palmerston North

Directed by John Huston
USA, 1950, 112 mins (PG low level violence)

The trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK5VDeay_kw

“If you want to know where The Usual Suspects or Reservoir Dogs came from, look no further than this ‘heist-gone-wrong’ movie, John Huston’s greatest noir thriller. Adapted from WR Burnett’s pulp novel, it assembles a motley bunch of Midwestern hoods for a ‘perfect’ $1 million diamond robbery, including Sterling Hayden’s hulking hard man (Dix Handley), the inimitable Sam Jaffe’s evil mastermind (the Professor) and Louis Calhern’s duplicitous lawyer (Alonzo Emmerich). “Some sweet girl,” Alonzo croons wistfully at the angel on the couch, the iridescent young Marilyn Monroe in her first part.” - Wally Hammond, Time Out

The criminal mastermind Erwin "Doc" Riedenschneider is out of prison. Doc has a keen eye for detail, not to mention an eye for a pretty girl. He has been planning a caper (a jewel heist) outlined by a fellow inmate when they were “behind the walls” for the previous seven years. In an unnamed Midwest city, Doc goes to the betting parlour of a mid-level bookie called "Cobby." He requests to be put in touch with Alonzo, a crooked lawyer. It is his understanding that Emmerich is the kind of man who can be approached with such operations and has the money to finance them. They get the gang together, commit the crime and everything turns to custard.

“This is the heist anatomised for the first time in American cinema, both in terms of roles (safe man, driver, hooligan, and fence) and attitudes, including those of Dix, who embodies its spirit, Alonzo, who embodies its letter, and the 'Professor', who fuses the two into an epitome of Continental politeness and sophistication.” - www.afilmcanon.com

In the film Police Commissioner Hardy explains that reference to the jungle. “People are being cheated, robbed, murdered, raped. And that goes on 24 hours a day, every day in the year. And that's not exceptional, that's usual. It's the same in every city in the modern world. But suppose we had no police force, good or bad. Suppose we had... just silence. Nobody to listen, nobody to answer. The battle's finished. The jungle wins. The predatory beasts take over.”

Did you know?
The film spawned a television series, The Asphalt Jungle starring Jack Warden, Arch Johnson and William Smith (billed as "Bill Smith"), which ran for 13 episodes in the summer of 1961 on ABC. None of the characters in the film appeared in the television scripts, and the plots were devoted to the exploits of the major case squad of the LAPD. One of the most notable features of the series was the theme song written by Duke Ellington.

Two screenings: 5.30pm and 8pm at Downtown Cinemas.

Members only. Palmerston North Film Society Membership is available at the door before each screening and lasts for one full year.

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