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Cry of the City (1948)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  29 September 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,199 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 23 critic

Police Lieut. Candella, longtime friend of the Rome family, walks a tightrope in the case of cop-killer Martin Rome.



(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: Cry of the City (1948)

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Complete credited cast:
Lt Collins
Brenda Martingale
Betty Garde ...
Miss Pruett
Berry Kroeger ...
W.A. Niles
Tommy Cook ...
Tony Rome
Teena Riconti
Hope Emerson ...
Rose Given
Roland Winters ...
Walter Baldwin ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Martin Begley ...
Bartender (scenes deleted)
Dan Sheridan ...
Detective (as Michael Sheridan)


Petty crook and cop-killer Martin Rome, in bad shape from wounds in the hospital prison ward, still refuses to help slimy lawyer Niles clear his client by confessing to another crime. Police Lt. Candella must check Niles' allegation; a friend of the Rome family, he walks a tightrope between sentiment and cynicism. When Martin fears Candella will implicate his girlfriend Teena, he'll do anything to protect her. How many others will he drag down to disaster with him? Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Passed | See all certifications »





Release Date:

29 September 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Schrei der Großstadt  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vito Scotti's first film. See more »


Midway through the film, while Rome is knifing Niles to death, the latter manages to pull a pistol from his desk drawer, but is only able to fire 1 shot through the ceiling; moments later we see Niles' secretary, who was eavesdropping just outside the door, is seen dropping dead, apparently from that bullet. See more »


Referenced in Film 2015: Episode dated 12 November 2014 (2014) See more »


I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now
(1909) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph E. Howard and Harold Orlob
Instrumental background music
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User Reviews

A Movie of Memorable Parts
7 June 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

You just know that slimy lawyer Niles (Kroeger) is going to get his somewhere along the line in this highly interesting noir. More a movie of parts than a whole, some of these parts nevertheless remain pretty memorable. Was there ever better tough guy than Richard Conte. Here he's wounded gangster Martin Rome getting his way with everyone, that is, until he runs into Rose. Now, whatever the 6'2", 230 lbs, Hope Emerson is, she's no rose. Her massage scene with Conte is priceless, and in my book, the movie's high point, one of the most amusingly unexpected and well calculated in all noir. At the same time, scope out the breakfast scene with Conte, where she fills her mouth like Godzilla churning up Tokyo, or where she manhandles the unfortunate cops trying to take her down. I hope there's a special place in Hollywood heaven for one-and-only characters like the hulking Emerson.

In fact, the film features a number of unusual and unheralded players that spice up the proceedings—Walter Baldwin as the trustee Orvy, crooked teeth and all; Betty Garde as plain- looking nurse Pruett, who takes no guff from anybody including cops; and Barry Kroeger as puffy-face lawyer Niles, an insult to his profession. These are not pretty people in the usual Hollywood sense, and I think one of the fascinations of noir is to feature such types at a time when movies prized good-looking people above all. Here, along with the shambling Emerson, they leave us with an impression of real city streets instead of a casting call along Hollywood and Vine.

Among the more conventional, it's fun to see a still slender Shelley Winters (Brenda) doing her cheap blonde bit as she fends off a tipsy masher in a bar. Her character sort of drops into the narrative out of nowhere, making me wonder whether something connective got edited out. Frankly, headliner Victor Mature (Candella) hasn't much to do except stand around and look handsomely imposing. Instead, co-star Conte gets all the best scenes, good lines, and audience interest. At the same time, something should be said for young Tommy Cook who makes a good gritty impact as Conte's younger brother.

Then too, check out director Siodmak's visual approach to the filming. Usually the light and shadow of expressionist noir takes place on a sound stage where control is absolute. But here, the imaginative Siodmak mixes expressionist light and shadow with location shooting to create an unusual overall effect. Note the number of location shots without the natural lighting that ordinarily would create a more documentary feel. It's a curious but effective blend. In passing—note too Siodmak's beautifully paced direction of the jailbreak sequence, a really suspenseful look at bureaucratic paper-shuffling, in this case, a police department.

The story itself is pretty shopworn—two friends growing up together in the ghetto, where one ends up becoming a cop, while the other turns to crime. In short, the sort of thing Cagney and O'Brien did in the 30's. Nonetheless, Siodmak's imaginative approach, plus the many interesting characters and entertaining vignettes make this version a noir worth catching up with.

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Shelly Winters-Richard Conte Scene From 'Cry of the City' (1948) rmbtot
source for the two missing scenes Howard_B_Eale
shelley winters extended scene's on b.f.i's dvds alanconway1
Showing on Fox Movie Channel pamlico-1
Mature pays for his newspaper like a champ Countorloc
Scene of Tony Rome's father paying out money drjla
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