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In the shadows of the streets of New York City, a city immersed with mystery, crime, and secrets, “The Naked City” emerges as a cinematic classic, brilliantly resembling the classic film noir genre. Directed by Jules Dassin and released in 1948, the film follows two New York detectives, Detective James Halloran (Don Taylor) and Lieutenant Dan Muldoon (Barry Fitzgerald) as they investigate the murder case of a former model, Jean Dexter (uncredited). The film delves deep into the darker and more intimate sides of New York City as the detectives begin to unravel the model’s sketchy past and her shady acquaintances, which include her wealthy mother, enigmatic boyfriend, and modeling agent. ‘The Naked City’ is notable for its realism regarding the gritty atmosphere of the streets of New York, even using New Yorkers as the film’s extras and locations as film sets.


  • What truly makes “The Naked City” apart from other noir pieces is its commitment to authenticity. The film captures New York City’s dark underbelly and gritty atmosphere. Many of the iconic scenes from the film were shot at actual New York City locations:
  • The scene where a U.S Mail truck is seen exiting a building is the US Post Office, located at 421 8th Avenue and West 33rd Street, Manhattan.
  • Madison Avenue and East 66th Street, Manhattan, serves as the stage for a scene where the detective walks down the street.
  • The chemist shop where the detective makes a purchase is located at 773 Madison Avenue and East 66th Street, Manhattan.
  • The scene including the 10th Police Precinct is located at 230 West 20th Street and 7th Avenue, Manhattan.
  • The bridge where the detectives are seen running through is the Williamsburg Bridge.

Interesting Facts:

“The Naked City” received well-deserved acclaim. It won two Academy Awards, for Best Cinematography and Best Original Score, and was nominated for Best Director and Best Film Editing. The film’s use of actual city residents added a layer of authenticity that resonated with audiences. The film’s unique style paved the way for inspiring a crime investigating TV show with the same name, which aired from 1958 to 1963.