City That Never Sleeps (1953) John H. Auer
Olive Blu-ray (1:30)
“Come here, Johnny”
“I’ve been there…”
City That Never Sleeps introduces us to so many characters in its opening minutes that feel we might be in for a convoluted ride, but such is not the case. Each of these characters (with one exception) is compelling and fascinating. We have Johnny Kelly (Gig Young), a young Chicago cop who comes from a whole family of cops. Johnny’s fed up with both the job and his wife (Paula Raymond). He’s got plans to quit the force and skip town with an exotic dancer named Sally “Angel Face” Connors (Mala Powers), but she’s getting fed up with all of Johnny’s delays in leaving. Plus a man named Gregg (Wally Cassell), who performs a mechanical man act in store windows, is also in love with Sally.
But wait, there’s more: William Talman plays Hayes Stewart, a failed magician who wants to blackmail a powerful but crooked attorney named Penrod Biddel (Edward Arnold). Stewart needs a little inside help which comes from Biddel’s wife Lydia (Marie Windsor), with whom Stewart’s having an affair. (William Talman and Marie Windsor as lovers? This can’t end well…)
City That Never Sleeps contains some great scenes and wonderful tension and stumbles only when Chill Wills appears as Sgt. Joe, the personification of the City of Chicago. If you can overlook that misstep, you’ll have a great time with the film, which is available on Blu-ray from Olive Films.
Next time: “How long since you’ve… talked with a woman?”
Photos: IMDb, Spellbound By Movies, Ferdy on Films