12 user 5 critic

The Sleeping City (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 16 October 1950 (USA)
In New York, the murder of a Bellvue Hospital intern prompts the police to send an undercover detective to investigate.


George Sherman


Jo Eisinger (story), Jo Eisinger (screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
Richard Conte ... Fred Rowan, aka Fred Gilbert
Coleen Gray ... Ann Sebastian
Richard Taber Richard Taber ... 'Doc' Ware
John Alexander ... Police Insp. Gordon
Peggy Dow ... Kathy Hall
Alex Nicol ... Dr. Steve Anderson


At Bellvue Hospital, New York, an intern is shot in the head by an unknown killer. Inspector Gordon of the 9th Precinct finds no obvious leads but senses an undercurrent of mystery at the hospital; enter Detective Fred Rowan, whose medical background enables him to pose as an intern. Through wheels within wheels, Rowan finally penetrates to a secret, dirty racket...and nurse Ann Sebastian, whom he's been dating, may be mixed up in it. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


EXCITEMENT RIPS THE NIGHT! (re-release print ad - all caps) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 October 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Web ofthe city See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Working title: "Web of the City" See more »


Fred Rowan, aka Fred Gilbert: [opening narration] Hello, everybody, my name is Richard Conte. In the picture you're about to see, I play the part of Doctor Gilbert, an intern at Bellevue Hospital. With the permission of the City Authorities, all the facilities of Bellevue Hospital, located in the heart of New York City, were made available to the film production crew. The story itself is completely fictional, and did not actually happen in Bellevue Hospital or in New York City. During our stay at Bellevue, in making this ...
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Referenced in Where's Marlowe? (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Amazingly good...so why haven't I heard about this film sooner?!
19 December 2016 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Anything you can tell me?" "Sure...he's dead"

There is so much to like about this film that it makes me wonder how "The Sleeping City" isn't more famous. It's simply one of the best film noir pictures of the era...and that's saying a lot because I love noir and have seen many, many of these pictures.

The film begins with a vicious scene, as a young hospital intern is shot in the face at point blank range. The cops, however, have no leads and the killing seems senseless...perhaps the work of a psycho. With no other real options, the boss decides to call in three special agents. These men will obtain jobs at the hospital and see if there is anything that would lead them to understand why the man was murdered...as well as who did it.

The main undercover agent is Fred (Richard Conte). Because of his own background in medicine, he'll pose as one of the interns. It's a tough job, as he'll be around patients and it's pretty hard to fake it indefinitely! He's told to rely on his nurses, as they'll help him figure out what to do. And, if he has a case that's over his head, he'll just have to break cover and get a real doctor to help. However, when another intern soon ends up dead it sure looks as if some conspiracy is going on...but the viewer sure is surprised how deep this all goes and what it's all really about...and it sure isn't random!

There is so much going for the film and most of it has to do with realism. Apart from Richard Conte, most of the rest of the folks in the film don't look like actors and the cops especially seem like real cops. Additionally, Conte was no pretty boy and was excellent in the film...tough but no smart-alleck or unrealistic guy! But what also really helps is the story itself...it's hard to predict, very intelligently written and amazingly good. See this film...you won't regret it and it doesn't insult the intelligence of the viewer.

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