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While The City Sleeps Blu-ray Review


“While The City Sleeps” is an engaging but drawn out film.

In 1956’s “While The City Sleeps,” a serial killer known as the Lipstick Killer is preying on women in NY. The killer, who we the audience find out from the get go, is a disturbingly creepy drug store deliver person. The central story isn’t about the killer though. It’s about the employees of the newspaper and TV news company Kyne Inc. which is under new ownership by Amos Kyne’s son Walter. For a number of reason, Walter decides to hold a sort of contest for a job promotion. The contest? Whoever cracks the case of the Lipstick Killer will get the promotion. On top of that, there is a crucial plotline involving a TV reporter (Edward) and his fiancé Nancy (a secretary at Kyne Inc).

Much like director Fritz Lang’s other film that I recently reviewed (“Beyond A Reasonable Doubt), “While The City Sleeps” is a gimmicky film noir/thriller. The whole competition element is especially gimmicky not to mention tonally awkward as a disturbing circumstance is turned into a sort of game. The contest also makes it come across as if the reporters are actually Police Detectives. At any rate, the plot does manage to work to a point. I say to a point as the middle act suffers a bit. While one has wait for the inevitable ending (which is intense and rewarding), viewers have to endure lots of talky scenes in offices and rooms, a padded romantic plot between Edward and Nancy, a baffling anti-comic book sentiment, and far too much time devoted to Edward’s personal life. ‘City’ is really at its best when it focuses on the killer. That’s when the movie becomes really gripping.

Cast wise, the film is a veritable whose who of Hollywood at the time. Dana Andrews, Vincent Price, Ida Lupino, John Barrymore, Jr., George Sanders, and Thomas Mitchell all make appearances here. In terms of making an impression, Ida Lupino (who plays a sneaky secretary named Mildred) and John Barrymore Jr. (the creepy killer) tend to steal the show.


Presentation: 2.0:1 1080p. How does it look? A generally impressive transfer although some shots look fuzzy and out of focus at times.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The 2.0 track is a little quiet but adequate overall.

The only extra is a trailer for “While The City Sleeps.”

April 4, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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