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City That Never Sleeps [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Gig Young, Mala Powers, Marie Windsor, William Talman, Edward Arnold
  • Directors: John H. Auer
  • Writers: Steve Fisher
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 23, 2013
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BGARG14
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,426 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Film Noir veterans John H. Auer (Hell's Half Acre) and Steve Fisher (I Mobster) directed and wrote this police thriller in the vein of the popular Detective Story of two years earlier. The film juggles around five characters through a particularly bad night in a Chicago police precinct - Johnny Kelly (Gig Young), a stressed out cop ready to crack; Sally "Angel Face" Connors (Mala Powers), a lounge singer looking for a way out; Hayes Stewart (William Talman), a thug-for-hire who's dying to move up in the syndicate; Penrod Biddel (Edward Arnold), a smooth and corrupt district attorney; and Sgt. Joe (Chill Wills), an honest cop trying to keep Joe on a straight path. Beautiful black-and-white cinematography by John L. Russell (Psycho) and another great bad-girl performance by film noir goddess Marie Windsor (Force of Evil).

Customer Reviews

All very good performances by the leading actors.
Ronald Schwartz
Each affects Young a certain way, and at the end he reevaluates his life and career in a profoundly different way, shaped by the events of that pivotal evening.
William Hare
Of the two I think this is by far the best, and it has a rafter of people hitting up against a wall of noirish problems.
orvuus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By D. Roth on October 4, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Young,a cynical,burned-out cop, wants to dump his small-time life and become a big shot like crooked lawyer Arnold. The hard-bitten desperation of the little guys, and the callous swankness of the well-healed feel alot like Asphalt Jungle. But the characterization isn't nearly as dimensional or powerful, and the actual dialogue is 'B' all the way.
But... don't go away... This is,camera-wise, a dynamite noir. Chicago lurks darkly, massively in the cold night with human faces illuminated from below with knife-edged clarity. The essential backdrops are there in spades; threatening stairwells and fire escapes, fancy nightclubs with sweaty backstage dressing rooms, fat cat penthouses with tastlessly bulbous furniture, and above all the empty, trash-strewn city streets and alleys.
If you go for Film Noir visually, this is a must-see ( the last chase is genuine 'A' quality.) Just remember- I warned ya about the script.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By William Hare on February 23, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
Gig Young was a highly talented film actor who suffered the misfortune of being type cast all too often as the "other man" rather than handling the lead, which he was more than capable of doing. When he won a well-deserved Oscar for the Depression mood piece "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" it was in the Best Supporting Actor category.

In the brilliantly conceived and beautifully done 1953 Republic police drama "City That Never Sleeps" Young is the lead performer, and one with a challenging role of wearing his dissatisfaction as a Chicago policeman on his sleeve as he juggles two beautiful women, a loving wife at home and a nightclub exotic dancer with whom he considers fulfilling a dream of moving to California and starting a new life.

Mala Powers plays the role of the dancer. She has two men interested in marrying her and after Young initially fails to go the extra mile she tells him that she will instead go off with a co-worker who plays the role of a mechanical man in the window in front of the nightclub.

When Young realizes that there is no tomorrow where Powers is concerned, he agrees to divorce his wife and marry her. In conjunction with that decision Young will work his police beat one more night, resign, then face the music at home and tell his wife that their marriage is over.

Before going out for his last night on patrol Young is corralled by fellow police officer and father Otto Hulett, who has heard from Young's wife and wonders what is wrong with him. He gives his father a noncommittal response, deciding to face the music later.

When he goes down to the garage Young is told that his regular partner has called in sick with an earache. An officer he has never met, a stranger, enters the scene.
Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Paetow on August 14, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Film noir fans will positively delight in this sophisticated police drama with its gritty cityscapes and glaring depictions of graveyard-shift patrolling and lurid nightlife. Location photography and adept chiarscuro provide a palpable realism as fully fleshed-out characters cross paths through the nocturnal gloom, in a busy precinct station, cacophonous cabaret, swank evildoers' digs, and cavernous office building. Several less-developed, but colorful portrayals add to the texture of authenticity as they weave in and out of the action. The most intriguing of these is a model cum mechanical man who lures the curious to a nightclub. Whether he is real or not is a knottily noirish question....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By orvuus on May 5, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
John Auer directed this film, and also directed "Hell's half acre" which is available on blu ray from Olive. Of the two I think this is by far the best, and it has a rafter of people hitting up against a wall of noirish problems. The basic story is a young patrolman wants to quit his job, and run off with his showgirl (taxi dancer) mistress and leave his loving wife behind: all because, darn it, she earns more money than he does. His dad is a lifelong cop nearing retirement, and his kid brother is enraptured with thug life. On top of the showgirl has another admirer, a fellow entertainer, who has daydreams that are both scary and pathetic, all of which center on the girl, who is due to take off with the cop. Edward Arnold pulls many strings behind the scenes as a corrupt lawyer, William Talman is a desperate thug, and Marie Windsor (who else?) plays the bad girl to the hilt. All in all pretty entertaining, albeit flawed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Boddy on April 11, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's campy and fits the noir mold nicely. Black and white with fairly good acting works for me. I was four when dad got onto the character list for his "atrociously" written one-liner for his maître' d role. In real life, he WAS one at a formal place where NOBODY sans black-tie got past his door.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen on September 29, 2011
Format: VHS Tape
Chicago cop Johnny Kelly wants to run away, from his job with the police force, and from his perceived mundane marriage. Hoping to flee Chicago with his stripper girlfriend Angel Face, he keeps putting it off with bouts of cold feet. Then one night when Johnny is assigned a new partner, Angel finally grows tired of false hopes and promises, just as Johnny is tempted by the dark side to finally realise both their dreams, but other factors are heading their way.....

Directed by John H. Auer and starring Gig Young as Kelly, City That Never Sleeps was brought to us out of the low budget Republic Pictures studio. Oddly fusing film-noir with fantastical elements makes for a most intriguing watch, yet it's very much a slog to get to a point where you feel your time has been worth it. But crucially it is worth the wait, lots of character strands all thread together to give us an exciting, and well executed climax, tho the fantastical finish point is something of a head scratcher to me personally. It's a weird film in many ways, and one that probably needs repeat viewings to fully grasp {and appreciate} what the hell is going on with all these characters. The weird feel is emphasised by John L. Russell's {Psycho & The Cabinet of Caligari} grimly lighted photography, who utilises the sparseness of the actual Chicago locations to great effect.

Known to be a favourite film of Martin Scorsese, City That Never Sleeps is actually a little better than it's B movie tagging. But it remains a film that one feels should have been much better. It's alright to fuse more than a couple of genre's, but you have to make it work convincingly within the structure of the plot{s}, and realistically they only just manage to pull it off, courtesy of a fine, if weird, ending. 6/10 but it could go either way upon a further viewing.
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