City That Never Sleeps

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"...from the Honky Tonks to the penthouses...the creeps, the hoods, the killers come out to war with the city!"
  • NR
  • 1953
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 6.7  (1,555)

City That Never Sleeps is a gritty and suspenseful film noir from 1953 directed by John H. Auer. Set in Chicago, the film follows the story of Johnny Kelly (Gig Young), a cynical cop who is disillusioned with the corruption and violence of the city. His marriage to his wife Cathy (Mala Powers) is falling apart, and he finds solace in the arms of dancer Sally "Angel" Connors (Paula Raymond).

The film begins with an introduction to the seedy world of Chicago's nightlife, with a montage of burlesque shows, jazz clubs, and gambling dens. We are then introduced to Johnny and his partner, Charlie (Edward Arnold), as they patrol the streets and try to keep the peace. Johnny is a jaded cop who doesn't believe in the law, and he often takes matters into his own hands. When he saves the life of a young pickpocket named Polly (Marie Windsor), he sees an opportunity to turn his life around and become a hero.

Meanwhile, a group of criminals is planning a heist on the city's diamond district. Led by Hayes Stewart (William Talman), a suave and cunning con man, the gang includes Laura (Mamie Van Doren), a gorgeous blonde who is in love with Hayes, and Penrod Biddel (Wally Cassell), a trigger-happy thug who has a grudge against Johnny. As the police close in on the gang, Johnny finds himself caught in the middle of a dangerous game of cat and mouse.

The film features several memorable scenes, including a tense stand-off between Johnny and Penrod in an abandoned warehouse, and a thrilling car chase through the streets of Chicago. The film also has an impressive supporting cast, including Chill Wills as a fast-talking lawyer, and Marie Windsor as the sassy pickpocket Polly.

City That Never Sleeps is impressive in its exploration of the dark underbelly of the city, but it also has a romantic heart. Johnny's relationship with Sally reflects his longing for a better life, and his marriage to Cathy shows the toll that his job has taken on his personal life. Mala Powers gives a strong performance as Cathy, a woman who is fed up with her husband's obsession with his job. Paula Raymond is also excellent as Sally, a woman who sees the good in Johnny and wants to help him break free from his demons.

The film's cinematography is also noteworthy, with moody black-and-white shots of the city's skyline and its dark alleys creating a sense of foreboding. The jazz score by Leigh Harline also adds to the film's atmosphere, with its sultry saxophone and trumpet solos.

Overall, City That Never Sleeps is a well-crafted noir that offers a glimpse into the seedy world of 1950s Chicago. With its mix of romance, suspense, and action, the film is a classic example of the genre, and its themes of corruption and redemption still resonate today.

City That Never Sleeps is a 1953 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

City That Never Sleeps
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (1,555)