While the City Sleeps (1956)
Director: Fritz Lang
Screenplay: Casey Robinson based on The Bloody Spur by Charles Einstein
Stars: Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders, Howard Duff, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Sally Forrest, John Drew Barrymore, Ida Lupino, Robert Warwick, Mae Marsh, Larry J. Blake and Celia Lovsky.
Tagline: Sensational LIPSTICK Murderer
The Lipstick Killer has the city on edge. He continues to murder women and leave taunting messages. The killings are coming with greater frequency. The news media is having a field day.
Amos Kyne (Warwick) died leaving his son, Walter (Price) in charge of the Kyne News Media conglomerate (newspaper, television, wire service). Walter has little business sense. He decides his best bet is to create an Executive Director to run the corporation. Walter offers the job to his top reporter/television commentator, Edward Mobley (Andrews). Mobley turns him down flat.
Walter then tells the head of each arm of the conglomerate that whoever breaks the story of the capture of The Lipstick Killer will become the new Executive Director of Kyne News Media. All three men want the job and are willing to go to great lengths to get it. Although Mobley doesn’t want the position, he agrees to help his friend get it. Mobley goes on live tv and taunts the killer. This puts Mobley and his fiancé in the killer’s path.
Thoughts (beware of spoilers)
Vincent Price is perfectly cast as the smarmy son placed in charge of a business that he has no idea how to run.
There’s a lot of romance drama at the expense of serial killer drama.
There was a real serial killer dubbed The Lipstick Killer a decade prior to the release of While the City Sleeps!
While the City Sleeps (1956) rates 3 of 5 stars.