The Sleeping City (1950) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Sleeping City1950

The Sleeping City (1950)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

One of the finest and most troubling films to come out of Universal-International, The Sleeping City tried to emulate some of the cinéma vérité elements of The Naked City (which had been produced at Universal's facilities). 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 spoken by star 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. That's the last reassuring moment that one will find in this eerie crime drama -- in the first six minutes, a young doctor taking a break from work is shot in the head, and the police can't find a clue even as to a possible 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. What Rowan finds is 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 avuncular interest in the interns around him. But before he can get too far in his investigation, potential witnesses start dying around Rowan , and one of his friends at the hospital is threatened. Soon the whole scheme and the motives for the murders suddenly become clear, along with Rowan's earlier failure to spot the clue he needed. He also suddenly recognizes the involvement of the people closest to him at the hospital, but before the squad can move, he also finds his own life at risk.


Richard Conte
as Fred Rowan
Coleen Gray
as Ann Sebastian
Alex Nicol
as Dr. Steve Anderson
Richard Taber
as Pop Ware
Peggy Dow
as Kathy Hall
John Alexander
as Inspector Gordon
James J. van Dyk
as Dr. Sharpley
Hugh Reilly
as Dr. Foster
Michael Strong
as Dr. Connell
Frank M. Thomas
as Lt. Lally
Henry Hart
as Dr. Nester
Robert Strauss
as Lt. Marty Miller
Herbert Ratner
as Detective Reese
Mickey Cochran
as Detective Diamond
Ernest Sarracino
as Detective Abate
Russell Collins
as Medical Examiner
William Martel
as Male Nurse
James Little
as Travers
James Daly
as Intern
Dort Clark
as Intern
Mimi Strongin
as Little Girl
Rod McLennan
as Detective
Ralph Hertz
as Patient with Broken Leg
View All

Critic Reviews for The Sleeping City

All Critics (3)

After a highly promising beginning, this one degenerates into the most routine sort of cop-versus-killer mellerdrammer.

October 18, 2019 | Full Review…

Just barely recommendable, mostly because of Sherman's direction and the smart, well-plotted script by Jo Eisinger.

August 8, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

A tight film noir about corruption in Bellevue.

August 19, 2003 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

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