7.0/10
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While the City Sleeps (1956)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 30 May 1956 (USA)
A serial killer has been killing beautiful women in New York, and the new owner of a media company offers a high ranking job to the 1st administrator who can get the earliest scoops on the case.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Robert Manners (as John Barrymore Jr.)
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Amos Kyne
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Mrs. Manners
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Gerald Meade
Sandra White ...
Judith Felton (as Sandy White)
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Tim - Police Desk Sergeant (as Larry Blake)
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Storyline

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 <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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TEN TOP STARS! TEN PEAK PERFORMANCES! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 May 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

News Is Made at Night  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was based on a real murder case that took place in 1946. In that year William Heirens killed three women and left a message scrawled in lipstick on a bathroom mirror after the second murder. In the message he urged the police to catch him before he killed again. Because of this the press dubbed him The Lipstick Killler. See more »

Goofs

When Barrymore Jr. is watching Andrews on TV, he is clutching a copy of "Tales From The Crypt". When he drops it to the floor, a close-up of the comic book now shows it to be titled "The Strangler". See more »

Quotes

Ed Mobely: You know, you have very nice legs.
Nancy Liggett: Aren't you sweet.
Ed Mobely: Nice stockings too. What holds your stockings up?
Nancy Liggett: There's a lot your mother should have told you.
Ed Mobely: I didn't ask my mother. I asked you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Toutes les histoires (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice tone, shame about the plot
17 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

Fritz Lang is widely regarded as one of the leading directors of his time, so a look at 'While the City Sleeps', one of his last films, should provide an interesting insight into where the art of cinema was in the mid-1950s. By far the weakest part of this film is its ludicrous central story, about a weird psycho-killer who likes to leave clues for the police whilst murdering without rational motive, but who is ultimately outwitted by a cleverer opponent. This is not a good plot, but it is one that continues to be re-used to the present day. Much stronger, and equally modern, is the irreverent subplot about a group of cynical journalists in a Murdoch-style media conglomerate jockeying for position and hoping to ride to success on the back of their coverage of the slayings. The film cuts between the different story lines with speed and humour, and the dialogue is quite sharp. However, the general level of realism is much poorer than in in today's films, the action scenes are especially weak and there's a stagey feel, even when the script is at it's most sparkling. And while not a criticism of the film, it's also dated by the titanic quantities of drinking and smoking engaged in by all the characters (did anyone ever live past 50?) Still, overall there's a lot to enjoy here, pleasures offset principally by the regretful discovery that Hollywood's misguided fascination with mindless mass-murderers is anything but a new phenomenon.


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