While the City Sleeps

Director: Fritz Lang
Year Released: 1956
Rating: 1.0

Three newspapermen (and one woman) try to outwit each other for the chance to get a raise in this film noir ... and naturally, since this is a Fritz Lang film, they're all wretched vermin: alcoholics, liars and adulterers (and since it's never clear what the perks of the new position they're vying for are aside from more money, it's challenging to find their horrid backstabbing and trickery acceptable). The killer in question is depicted as being emotionally stunted and pathetic: he reads comic books, hates women and has ambiguous feelings towards his mother (to add to the sexual confusion/dilemma, his mother thinks of him as her daughter). The cynicism floods the picture the way most of Lang's other works do (his lofty status in the film community is puzzling to me), and despite the mastery of style it's a turgid effort.