While the City Sleeps (1956)
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You know how much stuff is written and published for the instruction of potential lawbreakers? Take the so-called comic books. Sold to kids of all ages, in drugstores.
In While the City Sleeps, Fritz Lang introduces a violent serial killer, but the focus is actually on newsmen trying to scoop one another on the killer's identity and arrest so they can get a big job in their media empire. Internal politics are more important than detective work, and I couldn't always decide if it was an interesting way to tackle a crime picture, or a frustrating one. Lang's protagonist is as broken as any in noir fiction, perhaps more than most, often drunk and using his girlfriend as bait to catch the killer. Lang is a daring director, that's no surprise, and he has edge. I just wish it didn't feel like the newspaper office was next door to Don Draper's. This is a very sexist film, not just because the killer is targeting young women - bosses getting fresh, the way Nancy is treated, how all the others are cheaters, etc. - and when the script decides the killer was inspired by EC's violent crime comics, well... Let's just say I hate this thing's politics and leave it at that.
Pretty good. The ending was a bit disappointing though.
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In 4 official lists
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This movie ranks #19 in François Truffaut's The Films of My Life
This movie ranks #95 in TSPDT 100 Essential Noir Films
This movie ranks #95 in TSPDT 1000 Noir Films
This movie ranks #413 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Films