The Beast (1956)

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German title the beast
Original title While the City Sleeps
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1956
length 100 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Fritz Lang
script Casey Robinson
production Bert Friedlob
music Herschel Burke Gilbert
camera Ernest Laszlo
cut Gene Fowler Junior

The Beast is a 1956 film directed by Fritz Lang and produced by RKO Pictures . Casey Robinson wrote the screenplay . The film is based on the novel The Bloody Trail by Charles Einstein , which tells the story of the serial killer William Heirens .


After the death of the media leader Amos Kyne, he bequeathed his entire company to his son Walter. However, he decides not to run the company himself. He decides that whoever writes an exclusive story about the serial killer who is at work in town gets the job of managing director. A power struggle breaks out as everyone wants this job.


The city portrayed in the film is said to be New York , but the film was shot in Los Angeles . The trams (with stairs and pantographs for an overhead line ) of Pacific Electric in the Belmont tunnel under downtown Los Angeles were the trains of the New York subway .


The Evangelische Film-Beobachter comes to a rather mediocre verdict : “A crime film about a psychopathic female murderer, excitingly staged, but not above average in Fritz Lang's oeuvre.” The lexicon of the international film judges even more negatively : “Cynical depictions of people and psychological Inconsistencies in an intricate crime drama that is one of Lang's weakest US films. "

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Evangelischer Presseverband München, Review No. 39/1957
  2. Lexicon of International Films, rororo-Taschenbuch No. 6322 (1988), p. 315