Who Wants to Take a Stroll Around Manhattan at Night, circa 1948?

The  great film noir,  Naked City,   directed by Jules Dassin,  would have been just as mesmerizing without this self-conscious two-minute introduction by producer Mark Hellinger telling you just how cool the film is. 

But with its aerial shots of the city and images of Manhattan at night,  even the intro has its own voice and charms — a tough-talking producer talking about a tough city and preparing you for a tough movie.

See the film. Since you can’t take a stroll around Manhattan in 1948, this is a pretty good consolation prize.

It’s infinitely hokier than Double Indemnity or Sunset Boulevard, and close to silly with its pseudo-documentary style. But still hypnotic.

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