Setting a blueprint for the genre, The Asphalt Jungle (1950) heads up Esquire‘s list of the 12 Greatest Heist Movies. “This one minted so many bits of the heist movie narrative that it’s hard to imagine the genre without it,” Tom Nicholson writes. “With its hard-boiled script and heavy shadows it’s a descendant of noir crime thrillers, and the very young Marilyn Monroe appears, too.”
Wilkinson claims she was turned down for the role of Angela, “but the way she flounced out convinced director John Huston to call her back: she was, he said, ‘one of the few actresses who could make an entrance by leaving the room.'”
This isn’t quite what happened, however. Although Huston’s early favourite was Lola Albright (see here), MGM talent scout Lucille Ryman persuaded him to give Marilyn a chance. On the day, a nervous Marilyn was convinced she had flunked the audition; but Huston reassured her on the spot, and the rest is movie history.