A throwback to 1930s film noir gumshoe crime thrillers, “The Naked City” finds Archer, a private dick struggling with self-esteem issues after his wife leaves him, investigating an artist who photographs bloody crime scenes and displays them at a high falootin’ art gallery. Archer then finds himself having to cut loose what’s left of his self-respect to infiltrate the art world
That’s about the gist of it. It’s shot in glorious black and white and it’s certainly film noiry, but for the type of story being told it’s way too short to leave any kind of real impression. In fact, this short barely scrapes the surface of a greater, much larger story to be told. It leaves you wanting more and not in a good way. Crime thrillers require time to unfold and draw the viewer in. If you don’t have that time to work with then you just wind up with a cute little scenario – much like this one.