6.8/10
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22 user 14 critic

City That Never Sleeps (1953)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 12 June 1953 (USA)
Johnny Kelly, who plans on resigning from the police force and leaving his wife the next day, has a very eventful last night on duty.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sally 'Angel Face' Connors
...
Hayes Stewart
...
Penrod Biddel
...
Sgt. Joe, the 'Voice of Chicago'
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Lydia Biddel
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Kathy Kelly
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Sgt. John 'Pop' Kelly Sr.
...
Gregg Warren
...
Stubby Kelly
James Andelin ...
Lt. Parker
...
Detective (as Thomas Poston)
Bunny Kacher ...
Agnes DuBois
Philip L. Boddy ...
Maitre d'Hotel
Thomas Jones ...
Fancy Dan
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Storyline

Chicago cop Johnny Kelly, dissatisfied with his job and marriage, would like to run away with his stripper girlfriend Angel Face, but keeps getting cold feet. During one crowded night, Angel Face decides she's had enough vacillation, and crooked lawyer Biddel has an illegal mission for Johnny that could put him in a financial position to act. But other, conflicting schemes are also in progress... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...from the Honky Tonks to the penthouses...the creeps, the hoods, the killers come out to war with the city!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 June 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chicago - 12 Uhr Mitternacht  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The building in which the robbery takes place was filmed in the Marquette Building in downtown Chicago. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sgt. Joe, the 'Voice of Chicago': I am the city, the hub and heart of America...
See more »

Crazy Credits

This motion picture is respectfully dedicated to the police and police departments of America - a brave army of men and women who form our first line of defense in preserving our sacred principles of personal liberty and justice. We gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance given by the City of Chicago and its police and Police Department, whose cooperation made this picture possible. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Ending (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It works, but it's very much an oddity.
11 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Chicago cop Johnny Kelly wants to run away, from his job with the police force, and from his perceived mundane marriage. Hoping to flee Chicago with his stripper girlfriend Angel Face, he keeps putting it off with bouts of cold feet. Then one night when Johnny is assigned a new partner, Angel finally grows tired of false hopes and promises, just as Johnny is tempted by the dark side to finally realise both their dreams, but other factors are heading their way.....

Directed by John H. Auer and starring Gig Young as Kelly, City That Never Sleeps was brought to us out of the low budget Republic Pictures studio. Oddly fusing film-noir with fantastical elements makes for a most intriguing watch, yet it's very much a slog to get to a point where you feel your time has been worth it. But crucially it is worth the wait, lots of character strands all thread together to give us an exciting, and well executed climax, tho the fantastical finish point is something of a head scratcher to me personally. It's a weird film in many ways, and one that probably needs repeat viewings to fully grasp {and appreciate} what the hell is going on with all these characters. The weird feel is emphasised by John L. Russell's {Psycho & The Cabinet of Caligari} grimly lighted photography, who utilises the sparseness of the actual Chicago locations to great effect.

Known to be a favourite film of Martin Scorsese, City That Never Sleeps is actually a little better than it's B movie tagging. But it remains a film that one feels should have been much better. It's alright to fuse more than a couple of genre's, but you have to make it work convincingly within the structure of the plot{s}, and realistically they only just manage to pull it off, courtesy of a fine, if weird, ending. 6/10 but it could go either way upon a further viewing.


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