Movie Cycles: Heist (Caper) Films in 1950s–from Huston’s Asphalt Jungle

Which specific movie kicked off the cycle of heist-caper films in the early 1950s?

Arguably, it’s John Huston’s 1950 masterpiece, The Asphalt Jungle.

That film spawned a whole film cycle, perhaps even a film sub-genre.

There have been several remakes of Huston’s picture, including The Badlanders in 1958, Cairo in 1963, and Cool Breeze in 1973.

See our review.

It usually takes one film, which is artistically significant and commercially successful, to launch a whole series of similarly-themed pictures.

In 1964, another cycle of caper films–this time international co-productions–began with the release of Jules Dassin’s Oscar-nominated Topkapi, starring his wife, Greek actress Melina Mercouri (Never on Sunday) and Peter Ustinov, among others.