The Naked City (1948)

DailyView: Day 244, Movie 341

Filling the year of 1948 in the DailyView is an influential film directed by Jules Dassin that tells the story of the investigation by the police of the murder of a young model. It is most widely known because it films its scenes on the streets and building of New York City instead of on a sound stage.

The police procedural, led by Detective Lt. Dan Muldoon (Barry Fitzgerald), slowly follows the clues, many of which are small and seemingly unimportant, to solve the crime.

While it was interesting with the way they shot this movie, it led to some distinct problems. Namely, the requirement that there had to be a ton of voice over because the original shots outside the sound stage was hard to hear, I assume. Many times voices did not match lips because the sound was too low. There were other times where the sound included too much of an echo. All of this was distracting.

There was also a voice over doing narration at sporadic moments though the film. That voice made it sound like a documentary at times.

I’m going to say that some of the acting was wooden and uninteresting. Barry Fitzgerald though was a fascinating lead actor, looking unlike your typical leading man. He also had a distinct voice that helped break up the monotony of the scenes.

When the acting wasn’t wooden, it was way over the top. There did not seem to be much in the middle.

The Naked City did win two Academy Awards, but they were for technical aspects cinematography and film editing.

I was not into this movie much and I did not enjoy the story or characters much.

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