Cry of the City

Dir. Robert Siodmak. 1948, 95 mins. DCP. With Richard Conte, Victor Mature. This tale of a police detective chasing a charismatic cop-killer focuses on the battle for hearts and minds between the two men, products of the same insular Little Italy neighborhood. Their charged, intimate encounters with a succession of brilliantly delineated characters are staged in cramped, stifling interiors. Director Siodmak was a master of chamber noir, always most interested in psychology and the tense, ingrown dynamics of family and romantic relationships. Here he combines gritty New York location shooting with moody atmospherics, peering into many of the city’s corners of furtive misery. Desperation and moral ambiguity inhabit this town like weather.

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