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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Confidential Squad')

Directed by George Sherman
USA
1950

 

Drug pushing and gambling set the stage for murder in The Sleeping City, a hardboiled film noir thriller shot on the streets of New York. When a doctor is shot dead outside Bellevue Hospital, detective Fred Rowen (Richard Conte) is assigned to find the killer. Posing as an intern, Rowen is befriended by the hospital’s elevator operator (Richard Taber) and a ward nurse (Coleen Gray) he begins to date. As his investigation continues and potential witnesses wind up dead, Rowen finds himself next on the murderer’s list when he uncovers a narcotics ring. Suddenly, everyone is a suspect and he doesn’t know whom he can trust!.

***

In this affair, Mr. Conte does a thoroughly commendable job with the role and the situations that Jo Eisinger has written for him. He makes the ingenious detective a remarkably sympathetic chap whose feeling for tired, impoverished interns is quite as sensitive as his quick deductive powers. Coleen Gray also acts very crisply as a beauteous but baleful nurse, and a new man from Broadway, Richard Taber, is sharp as an elevator man. Alex Nicol, as a worn and frightened interne, and John Alexander as a stern detective chief, round out a cast which is sprinkled with good performers doing incidental bits.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 8th, 1950

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Comparison:

Universal 'Vault Series' - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

  

Only available at present as part of Kino's Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema III with Abandoned, The Lady Gambles and The Sleeping City

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal - Region 0 - NTSC Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:25:48          1:25:49.144 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.43 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.37:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,470,306,496 bytes

Feature: 18,720,301,056 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.73 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1553 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1553 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• None

DVD Release Date: November 23rd, 2016

Keep Case
Chapters: 9

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.37:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,470,306,496 bytes

Feature: 18,720,301,056 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.73 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith
Trailer (2:08)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 9th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (June 2020): Kino have transferred the George Sherman directed, Richard Conte Noir The Sleeping City to Blu-ray. It is part of their Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema III with Abandoned, The Lady Gambles and The Sleeping City. This is transferred to a single-layered disc but the 1080P is very pleasing with fine consistent grain, improved detail and some depth. Like The Lady Gambles it shows the same marks and speckles - quite a few more - but the overall HD presentation is quite an improvement over the interlaced, bare-bones, SD from only 4 years ago.

NOTE: We have added 36 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel dual-mono track (16-bit) in the original English language. It advances the film's audio and moody 'dark cinema' score by Frank Skinner (The World in His Arms, Arabian Nights, The Lady Gambles, The Appaloosa, Madame X, Magnificent Obsession, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, All That Heaven Allows, Thunder Bay, and The Naked City) that that adds further atmosphere. Kino offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray has a wonderful commentary by Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith. She is extremely professional and fully prepared - very eloquent - almost poetic using expressions like "coup de foudre" (I learned something!) and her tone suits the film absolutely perfectly. She is specific analyzing the narrative while exporting dark cinema descriptors in her, carefully chosen, words. Excellent. There is also a trailer.

The Sleeping City is another unjustly forgotten Noir - very atmospheric - filmed on location at Bellevue Hospital, some period-scrumptious decor, the dingy waterfront... with intrepid undercover Conte seeking and finding corruption in the medical system with suspicions rising with his gal-pal sweetie - one of my favorites - Coleen Gray. It's one of the better 'B'-tradition entries in the dark cinema cycle. It's a film I am very happy to own on Blu-ray - vastly improved a/v and a fabulous commentary. More value here for Kino's Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema III.

Gary Tooze

ON THE DVD (2016): The Sleeping City is another, superior and, elusive Essential Noir that hasn't surfaced on digital.... until now! It's a cracker with the perfect noirish pairing of Richard Conte and Coleen Gray! Ohh yeah - there is some romance here too.

The disc is predictably single-layered and has no menus, or extras, and the transfer is interlaced (see combing in bottom capture.) Aside from that it was acceptable with some contrast layering and decent detail. The image was clean (some dirt in the beginning) and consistent with no major artefacts or damage (a few, light, vertical scratches - see below.)

The audio is a factor of the production - but dialogue is easily discernable and the score by Frank Skinner (Canyon Passage, Magnificent Obsession, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, All That Heaven Allows, and The Naked City) is a good one and sounds clear. There is some bona-fide tension exported. There are no subtitles and the media is region FREE.

We continue to voice our displeasure at the pricing, made-on-demand status, and lack of any extras. Only Noir addicts (yes, YOU) need apply.  

Gary Tooze

 


Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

NOTE: Combing (Interlaced) on the DVD

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

  

Only available at present as part of Kino's Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema III with Abandoned, The Lady Gambles and The Sleeping City

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal - Region 0 - NTSC Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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