Blu-ray reissue: The City That Never Sleeps **1/2

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on July 6, 2013)

The City That Never Sleeps – Olive Films Blu-ray

The original studio tagline for this 1953 noir from director John H. Auer teased a sordid thriller that took you “…from the honky-tonks to the penthouses” of Chicago, where “…the creeps, the hoods, the killers come out to war with the city!” Gig Young stars as a life-tired cop who has burned out on both work and marriage. He finds some solace with his mistress (a stripper) but is having commitment issues with that relationship as well. Collusion with a corrupt lawyer could be his ticket out…but as anyone familiar with noir tropes might guess, it’s likely to be a bumpy ride.

While it admittedly falls a little short of turning the Windy City into The Naked City (from a narrative standpoint), it is redeemed by atmospheric nighttime photography by John L. Russell (who served as DP on Hitchcock’s Psycho). I’m developing a love-hate relationship with reissue specialists Olive Films. While commendably digging up and releasing coveted rarities in HD, so far they demonstrate zero interest in restoring them.

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