While the City Sleeps (Fritz Lang, 1956)

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It’s just not fair. A combination of the stupendous Expressionist auteur Fritz Lang and a cast list this star-studded should not produce such a bland, baggy and boring press procedural as this!

Sure, the idea of taking a serial killer film noir premise and turning it on its head to devote the majority of the story line to the office politics of the members of the press trying to hunt down the killer is interesting… it’s just that this story isn’t at all interesting.

The killer’s sub-plot doesn’t fare much better as he has essentially no screen-time at all; we find out considerably less about him than the protagonist do, even though we have third-person omniscient on our side.

Most frustrating of all is that, if you macheted away all the bunk and searched the cutting room floor for some more time devoted to the Lipstick Killer, there may well be a reasonably enjoyable 72 minute b-movie hiding within all this twaddle, but I still doubt it would turn out to be worth the effort.

*1/2

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