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Death of media magnat Amos Kyne is causing power struggle between his executives. In the meantime New York women become prey of a serial killer. Reporter Edward Mobley is in that circumstances faced with almost impossible missions: to catch the killer, to prevent the media empire from falling into the wrong hands and to save his romantic relationship from break-up. Written by
Dragan Antulov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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One of my favorites by Fritz Lang, "While the City Sleeps" is also one of the neglected masterworks of 1950s American cinema, a decade as you may know full of insight and social criticism (e.g. "Ace in the Hole", "Bigger Than Life", "Phenix City Story", etc.) It was Lang's penultimate American film and one of his personal favorites.
The film, a dazzling allegory on media manipulation and modernity may not work on single viewing and perhaps that's why it's so underrated, despite a superb cast: Dana Andrews, George Sanders, Ida Lupino, Vincent Price, Mae Marsh, Rhonda Fleming and John Drew Barrymore(the son of the great John Barrymore).
In discussing the picture, Lang often compared it to his German masterpiece, "M"(1931) and the comparison is not inapt. In "M", Peter Lorre's Hans Beckert terrorizes the whole city and creates a paranoia among its citizens. In "While the City Sleeps", Manners's crimes mainly function as a gimmick for the press to sell papers while the normal life in the city seems to continue. Rather than simply conveying the necessary information in "M", the media here in "While the City Sleeps" (consisting of an interplay between television and newspaper) is much more ironic and cynical: they use Manners and his victims to terrify the public to sell more papers, something that is equally true today as it was back in 1956.
Not to be missed.
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