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.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Casey Robinson (screenplay), Charles Einstein (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dana Andrews ... Edward Mobley
Rhonda Fleming ... Dorothy Kyne
George Sanders ... Mark Loving
Howard Duff ... Lt. Burt Kaufman
Thomas Mitchell ... Jon Day Griffith
Vincent Price ... Walter Kyne
Sally Forrest ... Nancy Liggett
John Drew Barrymore ... Robert Manners (as John Barrymore Jr.)
James Craig ... 'Honest' Harry Kritzer
Ida Lupino ... Mildred Donner
Robert Warwick ... Amos Kyne
Mae Marsh ... Mrs. Manners
Ralph Peters ... Gerald Meade
Sandra White Sandra White ... Judith Felton (as Sandy White)
Larry J. Blake ... 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

Taglines:

Suspense as startling as a strangled scream ! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 May 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

News Is Made at Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally the producers were to distribute this film through United Artists, but sold the film to RKO for $500,000 ($4.57M in 2017) to ensure a faster and wider release. See more »

Goofs

When the murderer opens the envelope that came with the flowers outside the door of Nancy's apt. he uses a knife to cut open the envelope, then when he puts the card back in the envelope he licks the envelope flap and closes it...it was not cut. 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

Referenced in Maniac (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining newspaper story directed by Fritz Lang
8 April 2007 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Fritz Lang, who brought us so many marvelous films in the '30s and '40s - Metropolis, M, Fury, Woman in the Window, Scarlett Street etc., by the 1950s was in a decline. With the problems that the studios were having coping with television and the breakup of their monopoly of theaters, no one really wanted to deal with the difficult Lang. Therefore, he was relegated to B movies, some of which, like "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" are quite impressive.

1956's "While the City Sleeps" is a little less impressive but still highly entertaining. It stars some actors who had either seen better days in film or hadn't moved up the ladder much - Dana Andrews, Ida Lupino, George Sanders, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Sally Forrest, James Craig, and John Drew Barrymore. It's a '40s cast, and the film, set in New York City, has a '40s feel to it.

Andrews plays a Pulitzer-prize winning writer, Ed Mobley, an Ed Murrow type, who does a television commentary. With the death of the big boss of the media conglomerate - which includes a newspaper, television news, and a wire service - his waste of a son, Walter Kyne, (Price) takes over the company. He sets up a competition among the three heavy-hitters in the company - the newspaper editor John Day Griffith (Mitchell), the head of the wire service, Mark Loving (Sanders) and a news photographer Harry Kritzer (Craig). The first one who solves the "Lipstick Killer" murders wins the job as director of the company.

The black and white cinematography gives "While the City Sleeps" a great atmosphere, and some of the characters are a real hoot, including Lupino, who plays Mildred, a columnist for the paper, and Rhonda Fleming as Kyne's gorgeous wife who is having an affair with one of the contenders, Kritzer. Everyone drinks like a fish at a nearby bar, Mobley gets into trouble with his fiancé Nancy (Forrest) for kissing Mildred in a cab, and Kyne's wife is discovered in flagrante delicto due to a bizarre set of circumstances. Meanwhile, Griffith and Loving fight to be first and can't figure out why Kritzer doesn't seem to be trying very hard. Well, he is, just not at the paper. Nancy is set up (with her permission) as a target for the Lipstick Killer, who uses his delivery job to unlock apartment doors by pushing in the button, and then returns and kills his single female victim.

Though a little slow at times, "While the City Sleeps" is more of a newspaper story than a mystery, so there isn't a lot of suspense or excitement to be had. It's just good, old-fashioned entertainment. Recommended for a very good cast and decent story.


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