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The Reeler Blog

A Naked Date with the Commissioner

(Photo: Fred R. Conrad/NYT)

In its Sunday sit-down to watch Jules Dassin's verite-noir stunner The Naked City with NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, The Times once again appealed sneeringly to my acute why-the-hell-didn't-I-think-of-that editorial guilt. Reporter Michael Wilson brought the DVD to a recent lunch with Kelly at police headquarters, ostensibly for purposes delineating contemporary police procedurals from those featured from 1948. Between Kelly's recollections of his milkman father rolling along in a horsedrawn carriage and a glimpse of snubnose revolver strapped to Kelly's ankle, the piece confers a quiet endearment with the mythology of cops onscreen. Or perhaps that was the palpability of Kelly not giving a shit:

The villain, trapped, climbs a bridge tower. ... The Manhattan skyline is spread over his husky shoulder. Mr. Kelly, perhaps anxious about his next meeting, spoke to the screen with a reasonable imitation of Mr. Fitzgerald’s brogue: “It’s all over, Garzah. Jump. Make it easy on all of us.” His wish comes true, more or less, with gunshots and a thud. Night fell on the screen as Mr. Kelly pulled on his suit coat and offered his appraisal.

“It’s reasonably authentic, in terms of investigative techniques,” he said. “These days there’s a lot more technology. Better tactics.”

Sure. But what about the film, commissioner?

He replied, “It actually was a pretty good movie.”

Jacket copy, no doubt. Thanks for your time, commish.

Posted at May 14, 2007 8:02 AM

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