By Troy Patterson
February 05, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST
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The font of one cliché in its title and 8 million more in its glossily hard-boiled style, the 1948 thriller The Naked City is the work of director Jules Dassin and storied crime photographer Weegee, who served as consultant. A narrator jauntily guides us through Manhattan’s caverns as Lieut. Dan Muldoon (Barry Fitzgerald) pieces together the murder of a suicide blond, turning up all manner of lowlife on the way. The filmmakers seem less interested in suspense than atmosphere, but hey, their idea of local color tends toward the lurid shades. B+

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