Cry of the City (1948)

Genres - Crime, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Film Noir, Crime Thriller, Police Detective Film  |   Release Date - Sep 29, 1948 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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A film noir in the "docudrama" mode, Cry of the City is a gripping and complex crime film that noir enthusiasts will enjoy. Cry is not without its flaws. The plotting, even for a crime drama, gets a little complicated and occasionally feels slightly disjointed; a plot segment involving stolen jewels doesn't feel natural, for example. However, director Richard Siodmak's expert direction is so taut and incisive that most will forgive it these flaws. Aided by Lloyd Ahern and Fred Sersen's stunning lensing, Siodmak keeps the audience riveted from start to finish. He's aided immensely by his cast, lead by Richard Conte's incredible performance as Rome. Conte perfectly captures the character's charming snake quality; indeed, the audience is rooting for him through most of the picture, despite the fact that he is a dangerous criminal. Conte cons the viewer into being on his side, and it is only at the end that the viewer realizes he has been had as easily as everyone else in the film. Victor Mature, surprisingly, also turns in an excellent performance, arguably the best of his career, and delivers the crucial climactic speech with passion yet without going over the top. Hope Emerson, playing a game of cat-and-mouse with Conte, is unforgettable, and Berry Kroeger is a memorably nasty lawyer. Cry of the City is an engrossing and thrilling film.