The Film (4/5)
Cry of the City is another moody, dark Film Noir from Fox during the 1940s, where the genre was really booming. Richard Conte (Caliber 9) is Martin”Marty” Rome, a gangster who is bedridden in a hospital from a shootout where he murdered a police officer. While in the hospital, a crooked lawyer, Niles (Berry Kroeger, The Incredible Two-headed Transplant) is threatening to frame Marty for a jewelry theft which he and his girlfriend accomplice Teena Riconti (Debra Paget, in her film debut) weren’t part of. He wants Marty to confess the theft so the lawyer can clear his friend who actually was in the crime.
Marty refuses to do this; and while lying in the hospital bed, starts worrying for himself and Teena. With the help of an inmate, Marty escapes the hospital, and while at large, he kills the sleazy lawyer who wanted to frame him and Teena. It’s up to police lieutenant Candella (Victor Mature, Kiss of Death) to track down Marty. Candella is a long –time friend of the Rome family, making this a little more difficult for him. Marty’s brother Tony Rome (Tommy Cook, Teenage Crime Wave) and an old flame Brenda (Shelley Winters, Night of the Hunter) help him. Candella, searching the streets of New York for Marty eventually catches up to him leading to a climatic shoot-out.
Cry of the City is such a great movie. It’s the traditional battle between good (Lt. Candella) and evil (Marty Rome) with each one exchanging their philosophies of why they are who they are. Candella and Marty grew up together, but as adults they are on the opposite sides of the fence. The film, because much of the cast is portraying an Italian family, does have that ‘Italian gangster film’ feel to it at times. This film has some wonderful character actors such as Rose Given (the large, lovely, Hope Emerson, House of Strangers) and Lt. Collins (Fred Clark, Skidoo).
Brilliantly directed and well-acted by all the cast members, and with some great chemistry between Victor Mature and Richard Conte, this is a highly recommended film.
Cry of the City, courtesy of Kino Lorber, has been given a very good Blu-ray release. The movie is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1:33:1, in 1080p with an MPEG 4 - AVC encode and the results are quite good. Outdoor scenes, scenery look really good and clear. Excellent black levels; night scenes aren’t too dark. Because of the higher contrast it’s a lot clearer than the previous MOD DVD from Fox, and you can notice more details. There aren’t any really serious defect issues, perhaps a little ‘light’ in texture, but nothing serious. Film grain is present. Overall this looks stunning and the source materials were in above average shape.
The audio used for Cry of the City is English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0. The dialog, gunshots, the theme song for the film and other sounds, all come in loud and clear. It’s more than serviceable.
Supplements for Cry of the City are but a few but really good extras. We get an audio commentary by Film Noir historian Eddie Muller, a trailer, plus trailers for I Wake Up Screaming, Boomerang, 99 River Street, Shield For Murder, He Ran All the Way
Cry of the City is another great Film Noir from the Fox library that Kino Lorber has given Blu-ray life for. The film itself, along with the excellent audio and video quality, plus an Eddie Muller commentary, make this a very worthwhile release.