Total Film - 08/31/2010 3 stars out of 5 -- "Fritz Lang's penultimate US film revisits the subject of his first sound film, M....Easy to admire..."
Sight and Sound - 11/01/2010
"Fritz Lang's fabulously cynical noir-inflected thriller is as much a satire on media machinations as an old-fashioned detective story..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
"Ask mother," says the message scrawled in lipstick at a murder scene by an unknown serial killer who preys on women. It's a sensational story -- if it bleeds, it leads -- and a news conglomerate offers a big promotion to the high-level company exec who solves the case. So begins the wheeling, dealing and backstabbing of the competing media hotshots as they vie to unmask the so-called Lipstick Killer.
Fritz Lang (The Big Heat), whose early-career expressionist works would strongly influence the film-noir genre, directs this stylistically understated noir that features an abundance of starpower rare for the genre: Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Ida Lupino and other notables.
WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS is one of Fritz Lang's must successful American movies and a classic of the psychological Noir genre. It is not merely a thriller, but rather a multi-layered vision of the power and problems both of the press and of humanity's all-encompassing greed. The editor of a flailing New York City paper dies just as a series of sex murders sweep the city. His dastardly son (Vincent Price) takes over the paper and pits three rival editors against each other in a contest to see which one of them can crack the case and identify the killer. As the murderer continues to stalk the city's women, the reporters go all out to catch him in hopes of securing the top spot at the newspaper. While several of the editors use their girlfriends to bait the killer, airing taunting television spots attempting to rouse his anger, Lang paints a portrait of professional greed and moral weakness in the face of physical danger. Set both in stark glass-walled newspaper offices and in the dark and dense streets of New York City, the killer's crimes take a back seat to the film's focus on the dog-eat-dog race of the three editors to win the favor of the newspaper's owner.
WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS was filmed in New York in 1955.
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