While the City Sleeps (1955)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

When media mogul Amos Kyne (Robert Warwick) dies, his business, which includes a major newspaper, a television station, and a wire news service, is turned over to his sole heir, his foppish, ne'er do well son (Vincent Price). The younger Kyne has no knowledge of how to run the company his father built, preferring to spend his time spending the money that it generates, and he decides to let the heads of the three divisions -- newspaper editor John Day Griffith (Thomas Mitchell), wire service … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Charles Einstein, Casey Robinson
In Theaters:


as Edward Mobley

as Dorothy Kyne

as Mildred Donner

as Mark Loving

as Nancy Liggett

as John Day Griffith

as Walter Kyne

as Lt. Burt Kaufman

as Harry Kritzer

as Robert Manners

as George Palsky

as Amos Kyne

as Police Sergeant

as O'Leary

as Mrs. Manners

as Judith Fenton

as Miss Dodd

as Bartender

as Bar Pianist

as Jim Leary (uncredite...

as Police Interrogator ...

as Police Sergeant
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for While the City Sleeps

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Critic Reviews for While the City Sleeps

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4)

The story is a cynical twist on Lang's famous M.

Full Review… | October 15, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Plot intricacies are deftly interwoven, with director Fritz Lang doing a topflight job of balancing the ingredients without dragging the pace.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

While this journalistic jamboree is more flamboyant than probable, a tight and sophisticated script by Casey Robinson and a clutch of professional performances make While the City Sleeps a diverting and workmanlike fiction.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Lang's most underrated movie.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Dour, disillusioned stuff -- easy to admire, harder to love.

Full Review… | October 15, 2014
Total Film

Lang's finest film since The Big Heat and his last great success, While the City Sleeps is a crime drama sending its lead actors on a twisted, dog-eat-dog journey into the underworld in their quest for success.

Full Review… | October 15, 2014
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for While the City Sleeps

While the City Sleeps is a decent Fritz Lang movie that for the most part manages to blend a murder mystery with a movie about the newspaper business. Vincent Price does well enough as the vacuous and generally clueless inheritor of a newspaper that chums the waters with a promotion between the 3 main horses in the running. The romantic storyline between Dana Andrews and Sally Forrest got a little annoying and overall, the cast was pretty good even if George Sanders and Ida Lupino were grossly underused. Regardless, Lang pulled it together at the end even if it did fall out of orbit for most of the 3rd act.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer


In "While the City Sleeps," Edward Mobley(Dana Andrews) is left with the tough job of having to announce the death of Amos Kyne(Robert Warwick), the owner of Kyne Media and his boss, on his nightly newscast. That leaves the company in the less than capable hands of Amos' playboy son Walter(Vincent Price) who does not inspire his new employees. At least, he realizes his shortcomings by announcing the new position of Executive Director which he makes a contest between Mark Loving(George Sanders), John Day Griffith(Thomas Mitchell) and Harry Kritzer(James Craig). So, the spoils go to whoever reveals the identity of the lipstick killer(John Barrymore Jr.).

"While the City Sleeps" is an entertaining movie performed with aplomb by a marvelous cast(not forgetting Ida Lupino and who could?) that owes more than a little debt to King Lear in its division of a kingdom.(And a character also references Macbeth.) And director Fritz Lang is certainly in his element here, again exploring civic responsibility with newspapers and related media in a free society that cannot properly function if they work entirely out of self-interest, as depicted here. As Amos puts it, a newspaper allows the citizens to make up their own mind while at the same time he puts the lipstick killer on the front page to scare everybody. Even though there is a killer on the loose, that's no reason to panic. And it is certainly no reason to take a cheap shot at comic books even in the wake of organized hysteria.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Makes a fantastic companion piece to Lumet's Network

Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

While the City Sleeps Quotes

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