The Sleeping City

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The Sleeping City

Post by Bruce R on Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:21 pm

I thought the 1950 noir THE SLEEPING CITY was a more average noir than Keaney, who gave it a high 3.5 (IMDb:  7.0).  It stars Richard Conte, Coleen Gray, Alex Nicol, John Alexander, Richard Tabor and Peggy Dow.

The producers got the permission of the city of New York to shoot at Bellevue Hospital, and, in exchange, opened the movie with a disclaimer by Richard Conte, stepping out of character to point out that nothing like the story in this movie ever happened at Bellevue and offering tribute to the actual hospital and its staff. 

After that opening, the action starts fast with a young doctor getting shot point blank in his face.  A very violent scene for a 50's film.  The police are baffled by this crime and can't find any motive.  Inspector Al Gordon (John Alexander) decides that he has to put some men on duty at the hospital, and one of them is Fred Rowan (Richard Conte), a detective with experience as an army medic, masquerading as an intern.  Rowan enters a high-pressure world in which interns are hopelessly squeezed for time, sleep, energy, and -- most of all -- money, and walk a fine line on the edge of personal and professional disaster. His roommate, Steve Anderson (Alex Nicol), seems especially desperate. The only relief from the bleakness and tension, on a personal level, comes from the attentions of Ann Shelton (Coleen Gray), the ward nurse in traumatics, where Fred is assigned, and the good-natured needling of Pop Ware (Richard Taber), an elevator operator who likes to take an interest in the interns. But before he can get too far in his investigation, potential witnesses start dying around Rowan.  What's he to do?

Bruce R

Bruce R

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