While the City Sleeps (1956) [DVD]
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'Lang's most underrated movie' - Time Out Film Guide.
While a police-eluding serial killer prowls the New York streets, newspaper publisher Walter Kyne (Vincent Price) pits his three top newsmen against each other to catch the maniac and scoop the story, but in the ensuing chase the hounds become entangled in professional rivalry and romantic complications - with deadly consequences.
Fritz Lang's tense, fast-paced Hollywood thriller features an all-star cast and cinematography by noir maestro Ernest Laszlo (KISS ME DEADLY).
Extra Features: Pressbook gallery, stills and poster gallery. First time on DVD.
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Top Customer Reviews
The British import DVD from Indigo is a nice full frame transfer. The film was shot full frame (Lang disliked the wide screen format) and blown up for SuperScope wide screen in theatres.
When media magnate Amos Kyne (Robert Warwick) dies, the running of his empire passes to his aloof son Walter (Price). Expressing his plans to the chief members of staff, Walter explains that an executive position is available for the best applicant. He dangles a carrot in the form of the so called "Lipstick Killer" who is terrorising the city, which ever of the men helps to snare the villain, so shall they be the one who nabs the coveted position.
Fritz Lang's second to last American feature is one of his most cynical pieces of work. Film consists of two plot threads deftly coiled together to create an ironic whole. As the brutal "Lipstick Killer" goes about his dastardly business, the men of the media stoop to amoral lengths chasing the prize offered up by Walter Kyne. There's barely a decent person to be found, even the women who form part of the guys lives are dubious, one is having an affair, another is only too happy to seduce one of the men to feather her own nest. While the only innocent member of the group, Sally Forest's Nancy Liggett, her reward for being a loving innocent is to be offered up as bait for the "Lipstick Killer," and this by the guy we were thinking was our hero of the piece! Lang is clearly enjoying putting the killers "lust" on the same playing field as the media employees "greed.Read more ›
The Kyne News Group, with several media outlets, loses its aged, sick founder, Amos Kyne (Robert Warwick) early on in the film. The son, Walter Klyne (played by Vincent Price, inexperienced in the trade and a little gormless, on the surface at least) takes over and at once sets the cat among the pigeons when he challenges departmental heads to solve the so-called lipstick murders, those perpetrated by Barrynore.
Reporter, Edward Mobley (Dana Andrews), a favourite with the recently deceased Amos Klyne, takes on an amorphous role as a sort of go-between within the trio of rivals Mark Loving (George Sanders), Jon Day Griffith (Thomas Mitchell) and Harry Kritzer (James Craig). Kritzer), a pall of Walter Klyne’s (who is having it off with Klyne’s attractive young wife!) is tipped favourite to win the battle.
Mobbley appears on TV where he provokes the murderer into taking actions that he may not be able to resist, and which may lead to an arrest. Things do not go quite according to plan . . . !
The police hold the caretaker as suspect in the flats of one of the victims appearing early on in the film. Since this person knew of the drug store delivery man, who appeared on the scene at the time, one has to question why the police had not followed this up in their enquires?
A talented cast that includes Howard Duff as a police officer, with substantial contributions from Rhonda Fleming and Ida Lupino.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tragedy from the death of his father, Vincent Price is left to take over the Newspaper press business he has inherited, Murders occur at night in the city. Read morePublished 11 months ago by David
Star studded film noir set in New York 1955 with Dana Andrews in lead as reporter solving the case. Nice cameo for Ida Lupino excellent as alwaysPublished 20 months ago by Brian Twigg
excellent and timeless classic. clever intelligent script; impeccable actors.Published 24 months ago by benny
Is it just me? I found this a real clunker, easily the worst Lang movie i've seen. The acting is terrible - Dana Andrews in particular spends the whole movie slurring his words and... Read morePublished on 14 July 2014 by Now Zoltan
One of the greatest american films by Fritz Lang. Dark and without moral hope, perfect to understand the americam fifties.Published on 7 Dec. 2013 by JLR